Memorandum in Strong Opposition-S.8005 (Savino) / A.10342 (Englebright)
S.8005 (Savino) / A.10342 (Englebright) - AN ACT to amend the environmental conservation law, the public service law, the public authorities law, the labor law and the community risk and resiliency act, in relation to establishing the New York state climate and community protection act
The Independent Power Producers of New York, Inc. (IPPNY) is a trade association representing companies involved in the development of electric generating facilities, the generation, sale, and marketing of electric power, and the development of natural gas facilities in the State of New York. IPPNY represents more than 75 percent of the electric generating capacity in New York.
IPPNY strongly opposes S.8005 (Savino) / A.10342 (Englebright). This legislation likely could impair electric system reliability through essentially requiring a 100 percent renewable energy system by 2050, via the requirement that greenhouse gas emissions be reduced to zero by 2050. The legislation would result in the elimination of the baseload electric generating facilities that are able to operate continuously to provide the reliable electricity upon which the State’s energy consumers depend, even though the bills would have the New York State Climate Action Council, as created by the bills, consult with the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) in advising the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) on the program. The bills would impose these requirements, even though the electric generation sector already has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions the most of any other sector of the State’s economy – 52.5 percent below 1990 levels – largely as a result of the forces of the competitive wholesale electricity market and without the availability of direct emission control technologies.
The NYS Public Service Commission (PSC) actively is conducting a proceeding to have 50 percent of the State’s electricity come from renewable energy by 2030. The ongoing State Resource Planning Study, being conducted jointly by the NYISO and the State’s utilities, is evaluating the impact of this 50 percent requirement on electric system reliability, but the study will not be completed until August of this year. As a result, there currently is no clear path to maintaining reliable electricity under the 50 percent requirement, much less a 100 percent requirement.
There is no lack of regulatory authority or existing emission reduction requirements that needs to be addressed by this legislation. The DEC already has the authority, without this legislation, to update and implement the draft Climate Action Plan Interim Report, which was developed through an extensive stakeholder process, for how to reduce emissions from each sector of the State’s economy. This report arose from Executive Order #24, which already established the goal of having all sources within the State reduce greenhouse gas emission levels by 80 percent below 1990 by 2050. Importantly, the report’s requirements already have been adopted, or are being implemented, for the power sector.
New York State led the other states in the Northeast to adopt the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), which is a regional approach to reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from power plants. RGGI’s requirements actively are being reviewed again this year to make them stricter. The RGGI review is part of complying with the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan to reduce emissions from power plants at the national level, even though the United States Supreme Court has stopped the implementation of the Clean Power Plan pending judicial review. Additionally, the DEC already has adopted its CO2 Performance Standards for Major Electric Generating Facilities (for new power plants and increases in capacity at existing power plants) and its regulation for Analyzing Environmental Justice Issues in Siting of Major Electric Generating Facilities Pursuant to Public Service Law Article 10 (New York’s Power Plant Siting Law).
Furthermore, these bills eventually could require that greenhouse gas emissions from all sectors of the State’s economy be reduced to zero by 2050. In addition to electric generating facilities of all sizes, the legislation would apply to emission sources that the DEC can monitor for compliance, such as large businesses and natural gas pipeline facilities. The bills also would have performance-based standards apply, at a minimum, to the transportation, building, industrial, commercial, and agricultural sectors.
For the reasons stated above, IPPNY respectfully and strongly opposes the passage of S.8005 (Savino) / A.10342 (Englebright).