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Author: The BCW

BCW Among Business Groups Statewide Opposing HEAT Act

The Business Council of Westchester is among 20 business groups statewide that oppose adoption of the proposed HEAT Act. “While we support efforts to respond to climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including increased efficiency and expanded renewable generation, among others, the undersigned organizations are focused on assuring that the state’s transition to a lower emission economy is workable and affordable. It is essential that New York avoids imposing significant adverse impacts on the state’s economy, individual businesses, and residents,” read the letter.

The coalition noted that the proposed legislation would amend the Public Service Law to include achievement of the “Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act,” or CLCPA. “We believe this is already the case under the CLCPA.  However, the CLCPA does not impose any specific restrictions on the use of natural gas or changes in the natural gas distribution system, including the significant system restrictions authorized under the HEAT Act. “We are very concerned that the HEAT Act’s broad authority to prohibit some uses of natural gas and mandate the discontinued use of portions of the gas distribution system will result in significant uncertainty for numerous in-state businesses, and adversely impact decisions to invest or re-invest in gas-dependent operations.”

The group noted that the state’s electric grid needs significant upgrades and expansions to accommodate the shifting of building and transportation energy needs from fossil fuels to electric power, and the state needs dramatically increased renewable energy production and storage capacity to meeting system supply and reliability needs under the CLCPA’s decarbonization goals.

The letter concludes: “The transition to a low-emission economy will be challenging, and most businesses will be affected by multiple CLCPA mandates imposing increased costs and operational changes. As the state moves forward on CLCPA implementation, it is crucial to avoid imposing excessive restrictions on access to reliable energy supplies, and to leave open options to achieve greenhouse gas emissions with the least amount of economic disruption.”

In addition to the BCW, other business groups signing the letter include:

Associated Builders & Contractors Empire State Chapter; Buffalo Niagara Partnership; Business Council of New York State; Council of Industry; Capital Region Chamber of Commerce; Empire State Forest Products Association; Food Industry Alliance of NY; Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce; Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce; Long Island Association; Manufacturers Association of Central New York; National Federation of Small Business; New York Association of Convenience Stores; New York Construction Materials Association, Inc.; New York Farm Bureau; NY State Builders Association; New York State Economic Development Council; SKI New York and Upstate United.

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