Jobs, Farmland Top Concerns In GOP Discussion Surrounding Climate Bill

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CORNING, N.Y. (WENY) – Republican Leaders from New York’s Senate and Assembly are claiming a bill, currently in committee, will cause extreme tax hikes for gas and home heating costs.

Local and regional stakeholders gathered in Corning on Monday at the Radisson Hotel to discuss concerns surrounding the Climate and Community Investment Act (CCIA).

It would impose a carbon tax of $55 per ton of fossil fuel emissions on corporate entities in or entering the state.
One big concern for GOP leaders: jobs.

“The worry for us is how is this going to affect our business? How is this going to affect our customers? We know it’s going to mean increased costs overall. You’ve heard all the speakers today talk about increased costs. And we think they’re going to be quite detrimental,” said Julie Lewis, Business Analyst with Corning Natural Gas, one of the stakeholders attending the meeting.

Another concern addressed included farmland usage.

“If you look at the amount of land, we talk about Indian Point Nuclear Facility, which was producing 2,000 mega watts of electricity in a smaller, compact area … to get that same generation from solar wind it takes a significant amount of land usage,” said Assemblyman Phil Palmesano (R,C,I-Corning).

The CCIA would use the tax fees collected, an estimated $15 billion per year, to put back into communities.

New York Assemblywoman Anna Kelles is reacting to the roundtable discussion. She says the measure is necessary to reach the renewable energy mandates under the 2019 Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.

“How are we going to stop this? Let’s put a fee on the corporations that are doing it and put that money back into the system to the people who are experiencing the harm of it the most,” Assemblywoman Kelles says.

Currently the legislation sits in the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee.

To view the bill, click here:


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