Business Council of NYS Sounds Alarm on Impacts of State’s Energy Policies
John Jordan | October 2, 2023
ALBANY—The Business Council of New York State announced recently the first of several state-wide information campaigns designed to educate New York voters on the impacts of significant legislation approved by state lawmakers. The campaigns will highlight and assess policy decisions that, regardless of intention, could adversely impact New York State’s private sector businesses and the millions of New Yorkers they employ.
The first campaign will focus on the transition toward clean energy sources and renewables, the Business Council of New York State said. Business groups representing thousands of companies from Niagara to Montauk are joining in the efforts to urge Albany lawmakers to create and implement smarter and better business policies. Among the business organizations that have voiced concerns over the state’s energy policies include The Business Council of Westchester, The Rockland Business Association and the Partnership for New York City.
Some energy transition policy decisions will have unintended consequences as the state tries to cross the bridge to clean energy resources and renewable development. As the state moves to implement the “Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act,” or CLCPA, policy decisions are being made that could have significant unintended consequences, Business Council officials stated, including:
• Higher energy prices whose impacts would ripple through the state’s economy;
• Reduced reliability of the state’s energy grid that would affect homes, institutions and businesses; and
• Adverse impacts on the state’s overall economic climate that may discourage new investments and job growth.
“New York is at a crossroads. We are a worldwide leader in environmental initiatives and green energy policies, and we must and will continue to be the leader. But, we must also look at the policies and determine what is feasible, what is affordable, and what is best for the future of the State. That is what this campaign is all about, and this will be a campaign with supporters from across the spectrum from almost every industry from communities across the state. Let’s be clear: it is essential to push a green economy. It is also essential to make sure we can reach our environmental and clean energy goals without severely damaging New York’s families and businesses as well as jeopardizing the reliability of New York’s energy infrastructure,” said Heather Mulligan, President & CEO, The Business Council of New York State.
A host of business and economic development organizations across the state came out in support of the campaign.
“A healthy and growing economy requires public policy that balances our environmental goals with the need for affordability and reliability of power supplies. We supported enactment of CLCPA because the legislation contains mechanisms that allow state agencies to achieve that balance. We urge those agencies to consider the implementation paths that can be taken in achieving CLCPA goals, and to choose paths that also protect the economic vibrancy of the state,” said Kathryn S. Wylde, President & CEO, Partnership for New York City.
“The NYSEDC recognizes the acute need for our state’s clean energy transition. But we also strongly believe that New York’s move away from fossil fuels and onto renewables must occur in a methodical manner that safeguards the reliability necessary to foster economic growth and protect public health and safety. New York needs to proceed toward its clean energy goals in a way that balances both practicality and reliability,” said Ryan Silva, Executive Director, New York State Economic Development Council.
“We are grateful to the Business Council for wanting to work with the state in a collegial manner to achieve necessary milestones in realistic timelines as we move forward toward clean energy sources and renewables. The leadership of this important organization has shown, historically, its ability to mobilize our business community when difficult issues face us. The Rockland Business Association is proud to be part of a campaign that truly seeks to bring folks together at a point in time when that seems impossible. The path to a green energy economy is one we all travel; we need to do it together,” said Al Samuels, President/CEO, The Rockland Business Association.
“We have carefully assessed the impacts both economic and personal it will have on every aspect of life in New York No business sector will be unaffected if fossil fuels are prematurely banned, The BCW remains deeply concerned about the unintended, but inevitable consequences of setting these self-imposed deadlines. The simple fact is that New York is way behind schedule in building the renewable energy infrastructure that must be created to achieve the goals that we support. The BCW will continue to ask state leaders the tough questions that must be answered to remove many of the issues that are occurring to prevent renewable energy systems to move forward,” said John Ravitz, President/COO, Business Council of Westchester.
Ravitz added, “We also urge the governor and the state legislature to begin to have honest conversations with all stakeholders statewide on how we can achieve the goals to ensure that New York has a strong and reliable energy plan in place. Those conversations must also include transition plans that include continuing to use natural gas to support the energy system until the renewable energy infrastructure is in place. As we look to recruit and retain businesses to Westchester County and New York State we must be able to demonstrate that the state has a solid energy platform that will not cause reliability and costs issues. All of this will require a tremendous amount of work, mutual understanding, and cooperation on everyone’s part It is not an option and the time to begin is now.”