Zack Hutchins
Director of Communications

For Release — Sept. 9, 2009

Business Council says bill to limit emissions will damage economy

ALBANY— The Business Council of New York State warns that a bill (S.4315/A.7572) to limit gas emissions could have a devastating impact on New York's economy. The bill has already passed the Assembly and could be before the State Senate tomorrow.

“As our economy continues to suffer from a prolonged recession, we cannot afford a new law that will dramatically increase the cost of doing business in New York and would have little impact on global greenhouse gas emissions,” said Kenneth Adams, president & CEO of The Business Council of New York State.

“New York is already one of the most energy-efficient and carbon-efficient states, in addition to being a high cost energy state,” said Adams. “We need the rest of the nation to catch up with what New York has already implemented, before adopting new, economy-wide emission mandates that will increase costs and erode our economic competitiveness.”

“In the last year New York has lost 200,000 private sector jobs. That is nearly 17,000 jobs a month. While facing that kind of economic hardship we cannot make it harder to do business and create jobs in New York, added Adams.”

The bill would require the Department of Environmental Conservation to impose restrictions on carbon dioxide and other greenhouse emissions from any source. This would include manufacturing, power generation, fuel processing and other business sources, but based on the language of the bill could be applied even more broadly to residential and commercial buildings and private vehicles. The bill would mandate that emissions by 2012 not exceed “aggregate levels of greenhouse gas emissions” for 1990. The bill provides no circuit breaker for these limits even if they produce significant adverse economic impact.

The Business Council warns that state-specific greenhouse gas emission mandates will put the state at a significant economic disadvantage compared to other states and nations. It is likely that this mandate will merely shift emissions from in-state sources to out-of-state sources providing no real environmental benefit. New York should work to create a national CO2 standard that would promote fair competition, environmental benefits and protect New York businesses and consumers rather than adopting its own standard that will damage our economy.