Op-Ed | We need to fix energy problems without harming New Yorkers in the process

March 22, 2023

Heather Briccetti Mulligan | March 15, 2023

It’s clear that we live in a highly polarized society but dig a little deeper and you’ll find that there are some points where many of us agree.

For starters, climate change is an issue that affects every single person, family, community, and company. I don’t believe you will find many who oppose that view.

Another likely point of agreement: families from Niagara Falls to Riverhead are struggling to pay their bills. From food to medicine to housing to the cost of energy, prices have skyrocketed, and no one knows when they will stabilize. All anyone needs to do is look at the latest Siena poll. New Yorkers worry about affordability. Only the fear of crime is more worrisome to New Yorkers than the price of living in this great State.

Thankfully, there is one way to address both climate change and economic issues facing New Yorkers.

We must create a smart energy policy that includes a careful balance all options, solar, on- and off-shore wind, nuclear increased storage, and natural gas including renewable natural gas and green hydrogen. All of which help our environment and create good high paying jobs.

Right now, that is not happening.

There are dozens of bills and regulations being discussed in Albany at this very moment. Many are being pushed without thoughtful analysis. Many are flawed and will have unintended consequences. If approved, some of these proposals would actually hurt New Yorkers because the policies will not create the holistic, comprehensive plan that we need. They will not bridge current clean energy resources with renewable development.

What will this cost New Yorkers? Hundreds of millions? Billions? Who knows? It’s clear nobody knows.

What we do know is that gasoline prices will increase – some estimates say as high as an additional dollar per gallon. Food prices will increase. Companies will leave New York. Jobs will be lost. And, moving too fast will make the grid unreliable. That’s not what we need right now.

New Yorkers need to understand the harmful unintended effects of the proposals that are now working their way through Albany. There is a wrong way and a right way to fix our energy issues without hurting New Yorkers. Let’s take some time to make sure we get it right.

Heather Briccetti Mulligan, President and CEO of The Business Council of New York State