Understanding the CLCPA

We need to speak up for our energy future NOW.

The Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA), passed in 2019, plans a radical reimagining of how New Yorkers should drive, heat, cool and cook. The plan far exceeds anything done in any other state.

We all worry about the effects of climate change. But that doesn’t mean the CLCPA sets us on the wisest path to impact our future positively. It’s important you understand its ramifications, then decide whether this seems smart to you.

So much at stake for New York families

At the center of the CLCPA’s plans, outlined in a scoping plan at the beginning of 2022, is a well-intended but incredibly risky “electrify everything” pathway. This course of action will create a host of problems for typical NY families and businesses:

  • Expensive carbon taxes on gasoline, natural gas, propane gas and heating oil. By some estimates, these taxes could cost a typical NY family $21,000 over ten years.
  • Financial penalties on traditional heating equipment and mandates for full-electric conversions that would cost homeowners over $20,000.
  • Prohibitions on replacing natural gas furnaces, propane water heaters or oil boilers with newer, cleaner and more efficient models of the same fuel systems, even if these fuels are increasingly renewable.
  • Extreme and dangerous burdens placed on an already unreliable electric grid. Firstly, the CLCPA will transition every car, truck, home and building onto the grid before we have the means to support the demand properly. Then, the grid itself will transition to new, untested power sources. Learn more here.

While the law purports to be focused on the interests of everyday families, the reality is less reassuring. Wealthy residents have the means to pay new taxes and cover pricy system conversions. Some lower-income households may receive subsidies for updates. But a considerable number of working and middle-class families will have to shoulder the cost of this law.

CLCPA: Critical Benchmarks

  • Heating systems in all new home and business construction will be limited to full-electric heat pumps. Heating oil, gas or propane systems will be banned for new construction.
  • The state will introduce sizable new carbon taxes, driving up the cost of your home heating fuel.
  • Deadline for a 40 percent reduction in emissions from the 1990 baseline.
  • Mandates that 70 percent of the state’s electricity comes from renewables, up from 26.8 percent in 2018.
  • The Climate Action Council’s own projections show that NY will lose 22,000 jobs by 2030, entirely negating any projected job gains in the CLCPA reports.
  • Electric heating pumps will become the only available home heating equipment for NY homes.
  • Homeowners will no longer be able to replace existing heating systems with new heating oil, gas or propane systems, regardless of their energy efficiency.
  • Homeowners may begin receiving fines if they have not converted to electric heating systems, even if their existing home heating works well.
  • Aiming for 100 percent zero-carbon emissions, the state will require every building to be fully electric.
  • The electric grid transitions to zero-emissions sources, many of them untested, unreliable and vulnerable to outages.

While these objectives may sound great, the cost of this experiment will be paid for by NY families. It’s not surprising, then, that it is starting to raise alarm across the political spectrum.

New York needs a smarter energy policy that balances the need to reduce climate change with the costs and potential disruption that could come from too radical an approach. We need a place for traditional fuels to help transition to a low carbon future by making improvements in their own emissions. Instead, the CLCPA shuts down all innovation.

We need a multifaceted approach to avoid harsh consequences for families.

We live in New York and recognize the great challenge posed by climate change. We believe we need to act aggressively to mitigate it. But the idea that we can only help save the planet by electrifying everything is overly simplistic and unrealistic.

Worse, it will likely backfire, undermining public support for significant climate action. Considering that NY contributes less than 1/2 of one percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, this disruptive and costly experiment will have a minimal impact on climate change. Factories currently coming online in other countries will entirely nullify the CLCPA’s effect.

More traditional fuels like heating oil, natural gas and propane gas have already offered big improvements where environmental impact is concerned. On the home heating front, renewable components are being used with increasing frequency. Current home heating equipment runs much more efficiently than it used to, and with far fewer emissions.

Click on the button below to join thousands of New Yorkers in demanding a Smarter NY Energy policy.