NY Gov. Hochul is helping her fossil fuel donors gut key climate law

NY Gov. Hochul is helping her fossil fuel donors gut key climate law

The Lever reports:

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) is pushing to gut the state’s signature climate law after raking in nearly half a million dollars from the corporations and lobbyists pushing the move, according to a Lever review of campaign finance records.

The governor’s office wants to place a provision into the state’s $230 billion budget that would change how the state counts methane emissions, allowing energy companies to include more natural gas in their energy mix while still complying with the state’s climate law.

“The governor and her administration’s track record of decisive action to move away from fossil fuels toward a zero-emission economy speaks for itself,” two Hochul administration officials wrote in an op-ed supporting the proposed change on Monday. “We’re confident that the final budget will shape up to include historic climate commitments — including an economy-wide cap-and-invest program, ways to accelerate our development of renewable energy and our transition to all-electric buildings — so we can ultimately reach our climate goals while ensuring affordability for New York families.”

In 2019, New York passed the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA), which stipulated the most ambitious requirements in the country for how quickly the state should decarbonize its economy. The CLCPA requires the state to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2030, and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

But Hochul is now backing a provision — first introduced by state Senate Energy Committee Chair Kevin Parker (D) — that would use an accounting trick to allow the state to continue burning natural gas for decades longer. Under the CLCPA, the state calculates the impact of climate emissions over a 20-year period — one of only two states that does so. Hochul’s proposed change would revise that to a 100-year period. [Continue reading…]

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