Testimony for Joint Legislative Hearing on Environmental Conservation
February 1, 2022
Reinvent Albany advocates for transparent and accountable government. We ask that the Legislature consider two issues that will build trust in state government and help ensure that New York meets the goals of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA).
First, we urge the Senate and Assembly to put the Fossil Fuel Subsidies Elimination Act (S7438 (Krueger) / A8483 (Cahill)) in your one-house budgets. This bill would eliminate an estimated $336 million in fossil fuel subsidies and is supported by over 150 organizations. It makes no sense for New York to be subsidizing fossil fuels while also aiming to reduce fossil fuel emissions.
Second, we oppose the raid on the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) in Part Y of the Public Protection and General Government Article VII budget legislation(page 71). This provision directs the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority to contribute a total of $23,913,000 to the general fund.
Raids damage public trust in government by taking funds away from their intended purposes. RGGI was established with the intention of combating greenhouse gas emissions. Diverting these funds for other uses runs counter to the program’s mission and makes New York less likely to be able to meet its climate goals.
According to Environmental Advocates NY, more than $250 million in RGGI funds have been raided since 2008. We urge the legislature to pass A7611 (Kelles)/S6268A (May), which would end the raids.
Thank you for allowing us to submit written testimony. Please send any questions to Tom Speaker at tom [at] reinventalbany.org.
Click here to view the memo as a PDF.