Energy Committee Update

August 27, 2009
Staff Contact: Ken Pokalsky

Draft Energy Plan Issued

As you know, the state has issued its Draft 2009 State Energy Plan and is holding a series of nine statewide.

The plan’s emphasis is on promoting energy efficiency and GHG emission reductions (including the Governor’s recently announced “80 by 50” Executive Order), developing a “clean energy economy,” and promoting energy independence through further development of in-state sources including renewables and other distributed generation, Marcellus Shale and additional nuclear capacity.

While it recognizes energy costs as a significant economic issue, the plan’s most significant cost reduction component is the reliance on increased efficiency to produce customer-specific and system-wide cost benefits. On the other hand, it recommends that customer financed programs such as EESP and RPS be expanded and/or extended.

The plan touches on a wide range of issues of interest to Business Council members, including adoption of a new siting law, carbon capture/sequestration legislation, extension of economic development power programs, expanded transmission capacity, deployment of “smart grid” technology and others.

The Business Council will be submitting testimony, and participating in the September 15 hearing.

We are seeking member input, and look forward to receiving your comments.

Regulatory Review

Governor Paterson issued Executive Order 25 which creates a Governor’s regulatory review committee, and a review process to evaluate existing state regulation in order to “reduce unnecessary burdens, costs and inefficiencies” and to help improve the state’s economic climate. This effort will initially focus on six state agencies, including the Department of Environmental Conservation. These participating agencies are directed to invite public comment on unnecessary, duplicative and/or burdensome regulations, and provide a 60 day period for public input. Agencies are to issue a report on recommended changes for between two and ten especially problematic rules.

The Business Council is soliciting input on anti-competitive regulations imposed by New York State agencies. Clearly, several major environmental regulations, including those related to greenhouse gas emissions, new source review, and water intakes are of particular concern. We would welcome your input on these and other environmental regulations having an adverse impact on the state’s energy sector.

Section 18-A Repeal Legislation

Two different bills have been introduced to repeal the increased Section 18-A energy assessment adopted with the FY 2010 state budget last April. S.6132 (Ranzenhofer)/A.9098 (Hawley) and A.9091 (Calhoun) propose straightforward repeals of part NN of chapter 59 of the laws of 2009. This "temporary state energy and utility service conservation assessment" is 2 percent ) is 2 percent tax on energy utility's gross operating revenues derived from in-state operations, and was expected to increase energy costs by more than $500 million per year.