The Business Council of New York State Joins Members of New York’s Forested Economy to Oppose Current State Legislation Mandating the Elimination of Greenhouse Gas Emissions


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The Business Council of New York State Joins Members of New York’s Forested Economy to Oppose Current State Legislation Mandating the Elimination of Greenhouse Gas Emissions


Two Separate Proposals to Reduce Green House Gas Emissions are Expensive and Lack Technological Support


RENSSELAER, NY – The Business Council of New York State recently joined the Empire State Forest Products Association, and its members, to public oppose two separate legislative proposals, one of which calls for a 100% elimination of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions by 2050. A second proposal mandates 70% of electricity be renewable by the year 2030.

The Business Council and the joining businesses leaders agree serious measures to addressing climate change must be made however we would urge that business leaders be present as they are part of the solution.

“Both bills will increase energy costs, operational costs, and create uncertainty thus compromising the global competitiveness of energy-intensive, trade-exposed (EITE) industries including the pulp and paper industries,” said Senior Director of Government Affairs, Darren Suarez. “We predict rising compliance costs will cause uncertainty and force New York manufacturers to invest in locations with less stringent standards, or in locations that have commitments to ensure a competitive business climate.”

The Climate Community Protection Act

The CCPA l (S.2992 / A.3876) mandates eliminating all GHG emissions from all sources by 2050. The bill presents a significant barrier to new business investment as current technology is not yet available to eliminate all emissions. The bill provides no defined relief to businesses facing near impossible conditions for manufacturing, farmers and the forested economy.  


The Climate Leadership Act

Legislation part of the Executive Budget proposal requires the State along with a labor organization, an environmental justice organization, and a renewable energy organization to develop a roadmap to substantial emissions reductions. The select group of stakeholders does not include a single business. Furthermore, the bill mandates 70% of electricity must be renewable by the year 2030. Since New York adopted specific renewable targets, renewable generation has increased less than 10% in fifteen years.  Now they are proposing to increase renewable by 40% in eleven years. New York has chosen to buy renewable credits which is very costly and unsustainable as they are fleeting. By 2030 these fleeting credits will have cost electricity consumers over $ 9 billion.

Natural Climate Solutions

The forestry industry, from planting to production, can be part of the solution to properly address and reduce net-GHG emissions. However, neither piece of legislation reflects the value this industry has moving forward. Based on the conservation, restoration and management of forests, grasslands farmlands, and wetlands natural climate solutions can deliver significant net-emission reductions. 

“The Empire State Forest Products Association (ESFPA) represents over 400 businesses, industries and landowners engaged in forest resource production and stewardship of New York’s 19 million acres of forest,” said John Bartow Jr., Executive Director of the Empire State Forest Products Association. “ESFPA supports efforts to address carbon emissions that in turn cause climate change in a way that maximizes the mitigation provided by forests and wood products they produce and leads New York on a path to net zero carbon emissions.


“As the manager of over 234,000 acres of private working forest in New York, we are pleased that the state is electing to lead on the issue of climate change,” said Sean Ross, Director of Forestry, Lyme Timber Company. “Forests and forest products have great potential to reduce the amount of carbon in our atmosphere. We look forward to working with the state in developing an achievable framework to address the impacts of a changing climate.” 

“Our organization, and the forest products industry, has a strong history of working with government entities and the environmental community to achieve many goals so we welcome the opportunity for continued discussions regarding climate change,” said Tom Gerow, General Manager of Wagner Lumber.


Facts About New York’s Contribution to Current Climate

  • According to the most recent NYSERDA study, manufacturing accounts for just 13% of GHG emissions while the commercial and residential sector account for a combined 58%


  • When measured by per capita emissions New York State is one of the least carbon-intense states in the nation. Based on an EPA data - Wyoming is the highest producer of emissions measured at 110 metric-tons per capita. Comparatively New York only produces 9 metric-tons per capita


  • The Upstate energy sector is much different from downstate as upstate New York is largely supplied by zero emitting resources such as nuclear and hydro power, while downstate New York receives only 30% of its energy from zero emitting resources


  • Today New York’s electric sector is producing half of the CO2 emissions it was producing in 2000


  • New York State is responsible for less than .5% of the worlds CO2 emissions


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