Hochul Doubles Down on Green Bad Deal Policies | Citizens Against Government Waste

Hochul Doubles Down on Green Bad Deal Policies

The WasteWatcher

After New York Governor Kathy Hochul’s (D) fiscal year (FY) 2023 Executive Budget included more than $5 billion for “various provisions of the so-called ‘Green New Deal,’” with provisions “for climate mitigation and renewable energy subsidies,” she has now doubled down on these policies that are a bad deal for taxpayers.

Governor Hochul’s FY 2024 Executive Budget calls for “a transformative $5.5 billion investment to promote energy affordability, reduce emissions, and invest in clean air and water.”  Notably, the focus on “energy affordability” aims to place all of New York’s eggs into the renewable energy basket with no consideration of the cost to build the infrastructure needed to tie renewable energy sources into the power grid, or the capacity for inconsistent green energy sources to provide sufficient power.  Instead of allowing for a market-based solution, Governor Hochul insists that the government can guarantee energy production by fiat.

Among the governor’s proposals is a prohibiting the use of “fossil fuel equipment and building systems in new construction” in addition to “phasing out the sale and installation of fossil fuel space and water heating equipment in existing buildings.”  Notably, the Executive Budget fails to explain how the state will pay for this forced transition, where new energy will come from, or what will happen to property owners who resist this top-down government-mandated shift.

These proposals come on the heels of the passage of the $4.2 billion Clean Water, Clean Air and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act, which was a significant part of the more than $5 billion for renewable energy included in the FY 2023 budget.  The commitment to further climate funding leaves little doubt about the governor’s intention to force implementation of as much of the Green New Deal as possible on New Yorkers.

Before adopting Governor Hochul’s budget, state lawmakers should look carefully at California and the impact of moving so quickly to becoming a carbon-neutral state.  California has banned the sale of new gas-powered cars by 2035 and called for cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent, oil usage by 94 percent, and a massive increase in wind and solar energy over the next 20 years.  The state’s electric grid operator warned of ongoing strain to the system due to high energy use and told owners of electric cars in September 2022 to refrain from charging their vehicles.  The North American Electric Reliability Corporation’s December 2022 Long Term Reliability Report warned of a “high risk of energy or capacity shortfall” in California and energy shortages across the U.S. where fossil fuel plants have been retired too fast before renewable energy replacements are online. 

A May 10, 2022, Department of Energy announcement of its Request for Information on the structure of its $2.5 billion Transmission Facilitation Program noted that independent analysis suggested that achieving the administration’s climate goals would require transmission infrastructure to increase by 60 percent and by 2030 and 300 percent by 2050.  But energy researcher Robert Brice estimated it would take 282 years, not 27 years, to triple nationwide transmission capacity. 

Governor Hochul’s heavy-handed efforts to impose a government-directed shift away from fossil fuels ignores the full impact of her decision on the Empire State.  Even before adding in these proposed reforms, the cost of living in the Empire State is 55 percent higher than the national average.  Increasing regulations and taxpayer burdens for the sake of promoting a fantastical Green New Deal agenda will entice even more New Yorkers to leave for greener pastures.

When New York lawmakers gather to consider Governor Hochul’s extreme budget, they should carefully consider its long-term impact on their constituents.  A top-down approach that pushes political priorities over market realities threatens the economic future of the state.  Instead, legislators in Albany should focus on the kind of taxpayer-focused reforms offered by the other states to which New Yorkers are leaving in droves.

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