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NYS Climate Action Plan sparks controversy

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Posted at 6:19 PM, Apr 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-27 18:19:10-04

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) — A carbon neutral economy, that's the New York State Climate Action Council's goal.

"Our planet is burning, we don't have a choice and we don’t have time,” Executive Director of PUSH Buffalo Rahwa Ghirmatzion said. “We have to transition off fossil fuels."

The Climate Action Council is proposing a mandated 85% reduction in emissions, with 100% zero emissions electricity by 2040.

The public hearing period for this action plan ends June 10; you can submit comments here.

This is a plan PUSH buffalo is getting behind.

"It would not only revive our economy and create hundreds of thousands and jobs, but it will also mean we can have cleaner communities," Ghirmatzion said.

This plan means your home would rely on electricity, instead of natural gas for heat. PUSH buffalo said the cost of electrifying a home is roughly $900 to $1,200.

"The more people that use it, the more people that buy it, the cheaper it is going to get,” Ghirmatzion said.

But not everyone thinks the plan is a good idea, Senator Rob Ortt said this will hurt Western New Yorker’s bottom lines.

"Natural gas heats the vast majority of homes in Western New York,” Ortt said. “It’s already expensive for those folks to heat their home, this is going to make it more expensive."

National Fuel said early estimates show a $650 increase per year to heat your home if heating becomes electric.

"These recommendations are unaffordable, unreasonable and unattainable," President and CEO of Independent Power Producers of New York Gavin Donohue said.

Those against the plan said it only has downstate in mind.

"Western New York is different,” Donna Decarolis from National Fuel said. “We're colder, 56% colder than downstate."