Editor & Publisher, Marcellus Drilling News (MDN)
Climate leadership? No. Jim Willis assesses New York’s new law; a de-growth initiative that will accelerate the inevitable destruction of the Empire State.
New York State is done. Let’s just be honest; there’s no saving the Empire State now. (We can say these things because we live here.) Following the passage of the recent Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, businesses and residents are beginning to move out of the state. Why? Because in the coming years the state will either outlaw the energy they need to use, or make it so expensive they’ll go bankrupt.
One example: Everyone in New York who uses a furnace for winter heating; whether that furnace uses fuel oil, natural gas, or propane, will have to dump that furnace and switch to a heat pump or electricity…in the next 20 years. The new law just passed is, quite literally, stark…raving…mad.
You think we’re kidding? Think we’re being melodramatic about how serious this is? Read this from POLITICO:
Many environmental advocates were elated to see the Legislature pass a historic, sweeping climate measure last month after years of inaction. But they also know that there’s a long path ahead to implement New York’s new goals for net zero emissions by 2050. “It’s daunting in a way,” said Joe Martens, a former commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation, which will play a crucial role in implementing the emissions cuts. He’s currently head of the New York Offshore Wind Alliance. “It is going to affect every aspect of New Yorkers’ lives — and if it’s implemented successfully the hope is it gets replicated elsewhere,” he said. Heating fuels will have to be virtually eliminated and replaced with electric heat pumps or other non-emitting technology. Diesel trucks and gas cars that the state can control must be phased out. Manufacturers of copper, steel, cement, pulp and aluminum will face higher energy costs and have to find ways to lower emissions or offset them. Renewable energy projects must be built at a pace not yet seen in New York to achieve a 70 percent renewable electricity target by 2030 and eliminate all power-sector emissions by 2040.
… While Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration already has started work on efforts to boost investments in renewables, electric vehicles, energy efficiency and heating alternatives, the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act requires a comprehensive plan and new bureaucracies to craft it. The scoping plan will also run parallel to an already existing State Energy Planning process, which has been delayed.
Martens, a Big Green shill who profits from Andrew Cuomo’s actions in blocking fossil fuels, says this new law, “is going to affect every aspect of New Yorkers’ lives.” He’s got that right.
As the article points out: “Heating fuels will have to be virtually eliminated and replaced with electric heat pumps or other non-emitting technology.” Bye bye furnace. Bye bye wood burning stove. This is fascism, where every aspect of a citizen’s life is controlled by Big Government.
Businesses that are involved with the manufacturing of “copper, steel, cement, pulp and aluminum” are gone too. They won’t stick around for this silly nonsense of doubling, tripling their energy costs. Why stay here when they can move to neighboring Pennsylvania? Or somewhere else?
This is a total disaster.
A Wall Street Journal article points out just how hosed New York manufacturers will be under this insane Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act:
New York legislation establishing the country’s highest standards for reducing greenhouse-gas emissions has companies scrambling to determine how much it will cost to comply.
Executives at Revere Copper Products Inc., a manufacturer in Rome, N.Y., wonder if potential energy price increases will make the company less competitive globally. Paper-mill operators, which use wood chips and other timber byproducts as fuel, are worried they will need to find a new way to power their facilities. And cement companies, whose manufacturing process creates emissions, wonder if the bill has the potential of upending the industry in New York…
State lawmakers in June passed the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, which by 2050 requires an 85% reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions from the 1990 level. A spokesman for Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said he plans to sign the bill into law.
New York would be the only state with an 85% reduction target based on 1990 levels across all sectors of its economy, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
For all its sweeping changes, the legislation is light on details. It doesn’t specify how reductions will be tracked or what potential penalties noncompliant companies face. And it doesn’t say which businesses will be eligible for a yet-to-be-created carbon-offset program, which will be reserved for 15% of the economy’s emissions.
The details will be hammered out over the next few years as the state creates committees and advisory boards to help implement the law. In the meantime, the state’s manufacturing industry is left in a holding pattern that has companies pondering worst-case scenarios. Across the state, more than 400,000 people are employed by the manufacturing industry. On average, they earn $14,000 more than those in nonmanufacturing, private-sector jobs, according to Public Policy Institute of New York State Inc.
The industrial sector is the state’s fourth-highest emitter of greenhouse gases in the state, accounting for 13% of all emissions, according to the New York State Greenhouse Gas Inventory. For industries including paper, cement and copper, most of those emissions come from the processes that create their products.
State Sen. Todd Kaminsky, a Long Island Democrat and sponsor of the bill, said he understands the challenges businesses in those industries face.
“They’re in a globally competitive marketplace where every penny matters and they’re just trying to keep their prices down, and I get that,” he said. “But I think everyone needs to be rolling in the same direction.”
Manufacturing industry representatives say the legislation will raise the cost of doing business in the state and make it more likely that businesses will close their doors or move to another region to avoid potential increases in electricity costs or the capital investments necessary to reduce emissions.
“If we raised our prices one cent, we would start losing market share,” Mr. O’Shaughnessy said…
While the concerns of the business community are valid, it is unlikely that the law will lead to a mass departure of manufacturing from New York, said Janet Peace, the senior vice president of policy and business strategy for the environmental not-for-profit Center for Climate and Energy Solutions.
“Fear of trade exposure is real,” she said. “But in a lot of cases, it’s been overblown.”
We’ll see how “overblown” the fears of businesses exiting New York are, Ms. Peace. We predict New York is a dead man walking. Businesses will leave in even larger numbers that they already are–rather than face obscenely high energy costs. One has to be blind not to see that.
The Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT), provides this sobering assessment of New York’s crazy new law:
The New York State Legislature just passed the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. Gov. Andrew Cuomo is expected to sign the bill into law…
The new law also authorizes numerous state agencies to issue regulations to achieve greenhouse gas emission limits that govern nearly every aspect of the private economy, including energy, health, housing, transportation, agriculture, economic development, and utilities. And, the new climate law also must be considered when agencies issue any permits, contracts, licenses “and other administrative approvals and decisions.”
Climate change policy now governs everything in the state of New York.
A spokesman for the state Senate expressed the objective of legislation like this, when he stated the “commitment” for New York to be “a national leader in addressing climate change.” Professional spokespersons usually choose their words carefully. “Addressing” climate change is easy; affecting or altering it is something else entirely. In other words, the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act is a mix of ego and symbolism – nothing more, since it will have no practical or noticeable benefit, e.g., the sea levels in Long Island Sound will not be affected.
Instead, New York’s climate law will have a pernicious effect on the state’s economy and competitiveness by forcing companies to transition from fossil fuels, including cleaner sources such as natural gas, far sooner than is feasible or wise. Deadlines and mandates that force-feed more expensive and less reliable energy sources will increase costs to every business and homeowner – both of which already pay the nation’s highest property taxes. But, not to worry, say the bill’s sponsors. The new law attempts to mitigate this “transition of the state’s energy sector” by ensuring the creation of “good jobs that protect workers and communities.” Feel better?
Despite the law’s vacuous promises, state mandates that increase the cost of energy also will accelerate the exodus of both businesses and homeowners from New York to less expensive states, which has long been occurring. What manufacturing business, for example, which is heavily reliant on energy, would consider expanding – or locating – in the state? The governor and legislature have repeatedly signaled their intention to deny cheap and available energy for more expensive and scarce renewable sources.
New York State’s race to the bottom of this climate madness did not begin with this absurd legislation.
The state literally sits on centuries’ worth of natural gas deposits in the Marcellus shale and Utica shale regions in upstate, northwest of New York City. But, the state banned hydro-fracturing more than a decade ago and Gov. Cuomo has kept the ban in place at the insistence of state and national environmental extremist organizations funded by millionaires and billionaires. Plentiful, cheap energy is therefore off-limits to middle-income and working-class New Yorkers, which means the forgoing of thousands of jobs and tax revenue. By contrast, the energy economies of nearby and neighboring Pennsylvania and Ohio are thriving from hydro-fracturing, not to mention North Dakota and other states.
With hydro fracturing banned in New York, the governor also is closing the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant in 2021, an obvious source of clean energy that serves downstate. Environmental groups then targeted new construction of natural gas pipelines to transport natural gas from out of state. As CFACT has written, Gov. Cuomo has dutifully complied, including his bureaucracy’s recent rejection of the proposed Williams pipeline that would bring new energy supplies to New York City and suburban Long Island.
The state’s refusal—i.e., Gov. Cuomo’s refusal—to allow more natural gas pipelines has already negatively affected suburban counties like Westchester, just outside of New York City, where a moratorium was imposed on new connections to homes and buildings. This also has led to a halt on new development, including construction of low-income housing. With the more recent denial of the Williams pipeline, suburbanites and businesses in Queens and Long Island will be negatively impacted in short order.
Is there hope for my home state of New York? Conditions are likely to get worse for the state’s residents before there is any chance of turning the corner and adopting a more sensible, scientifically based energy policy.
Gov. Cuomo, who just began his third term of office, is clearly doing the bidding of the environmental organizations. Both houses of the state legislature are now overwhelmingly controlled by a majority of Democrats, most of whom embrace environmental extremism as their religion. The new climate law is just the beginning of their crusade.
As more middle class New Yorkers escape higher energy and other costs by departing for other states, as the saying goes, will the last one leaving please turn out the lights – or, more likely, blow out the candles?
Editor’s Note: One has to temper these thoughts with the realization New York law in general and the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act in particular are more bark than bite. Yet, the evidence of out-migration is already overwhelming and even Joe Martens seems to acknowledge it’s a bit much to enact something that will change every aspect of everyone’s lives.
This may well be the tipping point where historians will look back and say this is when New York took one step too far and fell off the cliff. Existing businesses and residents may try to avoid leaving for reasons of attachment but who in their right mind would ever go to a place where an influential majority state senator thinks it’s more important for everyone to “to be rolling in the same direction” than compete in the marketplace. That’s totalitarianism and ordinary people are starting to notice.