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For Release — August 8, 2008

Business Council urges delay in costly greenhouse initiative

ALBANY— Moving forward with the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) will impose additional costs and make New York's economy less competitive at a time of fiscal crisis and rising energy costs, according to The Business Council of New York State.

In a letter to Gov. David Paterson release today, The Business Council voiced concern that RGGI will contribute to higher electric power prices in New York. The Business Council called on the Governor to delay adoption and implementation of RGGI.

“In this time of economic stress, and rising energy prices, we believe it would be a mistake for New York to impose another significant cost on the state's energy consumers,” said Kenneth Adams, president & CEO of The Business Council.

“The final version of the proposed rule was only made available to the public this week, leaving little time for review and comment before the Department of Environmental Conservation considers the proposal on August 11th. The short time frame could lead to adoption of yet another set of regulations that while well intentioned, increase costs while providing limited environmental benefits,” said Adams.

“New York has been and continues to be a leader in clean energy and energy efficiency, but we also pay among the highest energy prices in the United States,” added Adams. “We estimate that New York business and residents pay an annual $6.5 billion premium for electric power, when comparing in-state rates to the national average. These increased costs are driven by state-influenced factors such as fuel use, environmental regulations and state-imposed taxes and fees,” added Adams.
“There is little doubt that high energy costs have a negative impact on the state's economy. We believe that implementation of RGGI, which will impose an additional cost on power generation and major power users, during an economic downturn is ill-advised and will only compound the state's economic problems,” said Adams.

The full letter is here. For further comment contact: Heather Briccetti at 518-465-7511 ext.203.
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