Energy Cost and Diversity are Critical for
Region's Future Growth
Energy is a critical component of any business operation. According to the National Association of Manufacturers, the US manufacturing sector consumes one-third of all energy in the country. Orange County Partnership knows that businesses seeking to expand or relocate in the region need reliable and affordable energy. That’s why it is so important that our members understand what is happening with energy policy in New York State.
In 2019, New York State passed the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) to transition to emission-free energy sources and away from low carbon, affordable fuels like natural gas. This legislation could have wide-spread effects on the cost and reliability of our energy. Already, climate policies enacted in New York from 2006 through 2025 add more than $20 billion to electric bills statewide. After 15 years and $8 billion in investment, NYS has only increased wind and solar to 5% of total generation production statewide–far short of the 70% renewable generation that CLCPA mandates by 2030. New initiatives, such as off-shore wind and battery storage, have the potential to double these costs. This could translate to fewer businesses willing to set up shop in New York due to increased overhead costs.
We must advocate for policies that allow for an economically viable transition that continues to support business development. While we can all support the development of clean energy resources, it cannot be supported at any cost as many supporters of CLCPA have urged. Reliability cannot be breached and affordability cannot be ignored. The aspirational goals of the CLCPA cannot change the fact that in order to avoid the blackouts experienced in places like California, the state will continue to need fuel diversity to promote reliability and ensure affordability. In New York the issue of fuel diversity will be even more pressing as Indian Point is shut down in 2021. To that end the Partnership is working to fight for improved local energy infrastructure and energy projects that will improve the efficiency of our local power generators and lead to lower cost power for our members. For example, the proposed $500-million privately financed Danskammer plant upgrade will generate an affordable, clean source of locally produced energy while also providing employment opportunities to our citizens and helping to stimulate our economy.
We should move toward a cleaner, lower-emission future, but not at the expense of our economic well-being. It is essential that the business community speak with one voice to advocate for sensible energy policy that will support long term economic growth here in the mid-Hudson Valley.
Recently, Mike Lawler, Director of the NY Energy Coalition, published an article that was printed in The Journal News, (lohud.com), the Westchester County Business Journal and Gannett papers throughout the state. It’s worth the read:
My very best,
President & CEO