2005 ENERGY LEGISLATIVE PROGRAMStaff Contact:
The following list of priorities was adopted on Dec 1, 2004. 1) Systems Benefit Charge (SBC) 2) Replacement Power, 3) Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), 4) Continuation/ preservation of energy tax reductions/cuts and 5) Continued emphasis on energy infrastructure development in New York State (generating plants, transmission, pipelines, LNG facilities).
Support a statewide policy that encourages a safe, secure, reasonably priced, reliable and diverse supply of energy. Actively promote changes to the state's legislative, regulatory and tax structures to reflect increased competition in New York's energy industry, promote increased economic development, and expedite the siting and construction of new generation (e.g. under article X of the Public Service Law and in other areas) and other energy infrastructure facilities (e.g. Article 7 of the Public Service Law).
- Oppose legislation that would re-impose or increase energy taxes, including local gross receipts taxes.
- Support elimination of state and local sales tax on the gas and electric commodity.
- Support legislation that would immediately eliminate Article 9 gross receipts taxes ($186-a of the New York State Tax Law) for all remaining customers.
- Support the well-established, but occasionally ignored principle that the real property tax assessments of energy companies should not exceed those of corporations with real property assets of like value.
- Support legislation which eliminates the State's Petroleum Business Tax (PBT).
- Support the elimination of the PBT on petroleum products used for non-residential purposes -- electricity generation and heating.
- Support the elimination of the PBT on motor fuels (gasoline and diesel).
- Support the elimination of the PBT on kerojet fuel.
- Support the elimination of the annual indexing of the PBT.
- Support legislation which unifies all petroleum related taxes on motor fuels into one single excise tax, collectable on a per gallon basis.
- Support the elimination of special assessments on energy companies for funding state agencies.
- Support legislation that would enforce the collection of taxes on motor fuel sales by Native American nations to non-native Americans.
Electricity and Natural Gas
- Support initiatives to facilitate the development of new electric generating capacity, electric and natural gas transmission and distribution facilities and other energy infrastructure. Such initiatives would include, but not be limited to, supporting the introduction of a new, streamlined siting statute that would encourage the development of safe, secure, reasonably priced, reliable and diverse supplies of electricity.
- Oppose regulations or legislation that would reduce SO2, NOX, CO2, and mercury emissions from electric generating plants to levels that would result in increased energy costs for consumers or that would create competitive disadvantages from the cumulative effect of environmental regulations. Any proposed emissions standards must not impose any adverse effects (cost or otherwise) on the business community, on other users of electricity, or on the economic development of the state -- including the retention and expansion of jobs.
- Oppose efforts to require energy companies to locate jobs and/or facilities within certain geographic locations.
- Oppose legislation that would allow a municipal corporation to recover damages from utilities for their costs in responding to power outages and other emergencies.
- Support the Power Authority's efforts to utilize low-cost energy for job creation; job retention; and job and capital expansion purposes. These allocations should be utilized for maximum economic benefit.
- Support legislation that would facilitate the allocation of low cost electricity to large consumers with provisions that hold providers and distributors harmless.
- Support legislation and initiatives that would reimburse energy companies fully for the cost of relocating, supporting, and protecting facilities in conjunction with federal, state and/or local government infrastructure project such as state Department of Transportation projects.
- Support market driven emissions trading policies.
- Oppose legislation which imposes system benefits charges (SBC) on energy customers, and actively engage in proceedings to renew the SBC.
- Oppose legislation that would require the provision of market sensitive information to state agencies.
- Support legislation which would provide state agencies with the necessary flexibility to exempt certain sensitive information such as maps, architectural drawings, or other detailed information relating to electric, natural gas, steam or telecommunications systems or infrastructure from public disclosure while maintaining the existing appeals process for gaining access to such information.
- Oppose legislation that seeks to restrict the use of certain outdoor lighting installations thus resulting in less effective and less safe illumination of roadways and other public spaces.
- Oppose legislation that would restrict or prohibit the construction of natural gas infrastructure within certain distances of schools or any other designated facilities.
- Oppose legislation that mandates specific technologies for electricity generating facilities.
- Oppose legislating programs which raise the cost of electricity and natural gas to customers, including proposals that unduly subsidize alternative supply strategies.
- Oppose legislation which imposes geographical limitations on the location of retail gasoline service stations.
- Oppose legislation that would require the divorcement / divestiture of retail gasoline stations operated by producers, refiners or distributors of petroleum products.
- Oppose legislation which regulates franchise agreements and mandates open supply for gasoline service stations.
- Support legislation which would increase penalties for gasoline tax evasion and expand the same provisions to include diesel motor fuel.
- Oppose legislation that would prevent petroleum companies from utilizing geographical zone pricing of gasoline as a marketing technique.
- Oppose legislation and/or regulations which set state or local gasoline standards which vary from federal standards.
- Oppose legislation which would prohibit volume minimums in motor fuel franchise agreements.
- Oppose legislation that would permit lessee dealers of gasoline service stations to alter the service station property.
- Support the full and expedited recovery of expenses incurred by energy companies in the wake of the World Trade Center attacks. Significant repairs were necessary to restore the electric, gas and steam systems in response to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and hundreds of millions of dollars were spent in emergency utility services, site cleanup, replacing and relocating facilities and equipment, and enhancements in the security of such services. In August 2002, the President and Congress allocated $750 million of Federal aid, a significant amount of which is dedicated toward reimbursing utilities for these costs. To date only a small portion of the promised aid has been disbursed.
- Oppose legislation which would require the New York State Public Service Commission to review the compensation and benefits paid to certain officers, directors, and high level employees of the companies it regulates.
- Oppose legislation which further erodes the statutory protection afforded to the business records of corporations which are affiliates of public utility corporations.
- Support legislation and initiatives that authorize municipalities, in the conduct of public works projects to use appropriate mechanisms for reducing public inconvenience, project delays and costs, including but not limited to treating the cost of utility facility relocations, support and protection work as part of the public project bid.
- Support efforts to continue the development of competitive markets in New York.
- Support efforts to ensure that the costs of additional security at energy related facilities are fully recoverable.
- Oppose legislation which would impose redundant "whistleblower" reporting requirements.
- Support the continued operation of all existing, economically viable, base load electric generating facilities, including nuclear plants, as a means of ensuring stable and competitive prices and supply diversity.
- Support a statewide policy that encourages a safe, secure, economic, reliable
and diverse supply of energy.