PUBLIC HEARING: CLIMATE ACTION COUNCIL’S DRAFT SCOPING PLAN

PUBLIC HEARING: CLIMATE ACTION COUNCIL’S DRAFT SCOPING PLAN

The Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce participated in a public hearing held by the Climate Action Council (CAC) of NYS on April 12, 2022, at Binghamton University.  Business owners, residents, and farmers from across the Southern Tier testified regarding the CAC’s Draft Scoping Plan. Public comments are due before June 10th.

 

The plan can be found here .

 

Public comments can be submitted here.

 

News coverage on the event can be found here.

 

The Chamber’s full comments are below:

Good evening. My name is Mina Hoblitz, and I am here today on behalf of Stacey Duncan, the President, and CEO of the Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce.

 

Our organization represents nearly 800 small and large businesses of various industries throughout Broome County, and we advocate for policies that will advance economic growth and bring prosperity to Upstate New York.

 

I’d like to begin by thanking the members of the Climate Action Council for providing our community with a platform to voice our thoughts on the CLCPA and Draft Scoping Plan.

 

We strongly support action to prevent climate change and the impact it will have on a global level, however the CLCPA has been a major concern of our membership since its passage in 2019 as the goals set by the state are some of the most aggressive in the nation.

 

While we certainly appreciate the intent of the plan and support using renewables and clean energy technology to reduce emissions, which many of our businesses are already doing, we believe that these mandates are going to be prohibitively expensive and will force business owners to leave New York. We understand how the costs associated with this plan will impact our businesses, therefore we strongly oppose any proposals that will drive employers out of our community.

 

Our membership is extremely concerned with both the affordability and reliability aspects of this plan. A large concern is that the proposed recommendations fail to address the pre-pandemic and current business climate in Upstate New York.

 

With inflation on the rise, increased energy costs, and outdated infrastructure, any further costs or mandates associated with this plan will undoubtedly force businesses to close or move to other states.

 

We also believe that this plan has the potential to disproportionately effect residents of low-income or marginalized communities as we are currently seeing projections of costs being anywhere from $20,000 – $50,000 per Upstate household. This number does not even include increased energy costs that will result as demands for electricity rise between 65-80% nor the number of tax dollars needed to carry out this multi-billion-dollar plan.

 

According to the AARP, there are currently 330,000 New Yorkers behind on energy bills who are also at risk for potential shut offs as early as next month.

 

With nearly 92% of likely voters saying low-cost energy and reliable electricity are their top energy concerns, we cannot impose such extreme costs on an already fragile economy.

 

Aside from cost, we also need to consider how reliable these proposals are. Utility providers in our region have expressed their views on the sustainability of our energy grid and the reality of being able to support the volume of energy that will be produced and transmitted.

 

The NYS Independent Power Producers say that a full electrification would require a buildout of nearly 4-4.5 times the size of our current grid. With a project of this size, it is very unclear how this will be paid for or how much this will cost our taxpayers.

 

For these reasons, we would ask the Climate Action Council to:

Conduct a comprehensive regional cost analysis of the impacts these mandates will have on residents and businesses

 

Evaluate the potential for extreme price volatility during the transition period to more robust markets for clean energy

 

and finally, address the impact of the Ukraine crisis on the world energy market and how that influences the Upstate New York economy.

 

Thank you.

 

The full video of the hearing can be found here.

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