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New Report: Energy Poverty in New York

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press release

New Report: Energy Poverty in New York

June 30, 2022

New York, NY – Fuel prices in the U.S. have reached punishing levels this summer. In the Empire State, the pain feels particularly acute: millions of New Yorkers are already in “energy poverty,” spending more than 10 percent of their income on household energy. Yet despite rising costs, the state’s policymakers persist with policies that are as ineffective as they are infeasible.

In a new Manhattan Institute report, adjunct fellow Jonathan Lesser evaluates such policies, including the 2014 fracking ban, the 2019 Climate Act’s zero-emission mandates, the effective banning of new pipelines into the state, and mandates to electrify all end-uses of energy. These ideas, he writes, have not only made energy crushingly expensive for New Yorkers, but also drastically underestimate the economic consequences of increased demand for electricity, and irresponsibly depend on the development and commercialization of non-existing technologies.

To alleviate energy poverty in New York, Lesser recommends the following urgent measures:

  • Rescind the 2014 ban on fracking and allow new interstate natural gas pipelines. A 2015 EPA study refuted allegations that fracking contaminates water; besides, natural gas has been the primary cause of reductions in American CO2 emissions.   

  • Abandon the ill-conceived electrification policies. Electrification will be hugely expensive and have little or no environmental benefits, while burdening residents and businesses with the costs associated with replacing furnaces and water heaters.  

  • Rescind the 2035 ban on internal combustion vehicle sales. This mandate will harm lower-income New Yorkers while yielding little to no pollution improvements.

  • Abandon offshore wind and solar PV mandates. The high cost of offshore wind—which is intermittent in nature—will raise electricity costs, while introducing reliance on massive investments in battery storage. 

  • Welcome new nuclear power plants. Unlike wind and solar, nuclear energy provides continuous supplies of electricity. Embracing nuclear power—especially small, modular reactors—would eliminate the need to develop massive quantities of battery storage and DEFRs. 

  • Rescind New York’s Climate Act mandates. The mandates are infeasible and would, in any event, have no measurable impacts on world climate. Instead, the state should invest in measures to adapt to whatever climate change may occur.

Click here to read the full report.

Contact:Nicolas (Nic) AbouchedidPress Officer(917) 692-8854nabouchedid@manhattan-institute.org

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