Climate Action Council Leaves Rochester Region Out Of Public Hearings

Assemblyman Josh Jensen (R,C,I-Greece) and his regional colleagues from the Assembly Minority Conference are calling for the Climate Action Council (CAC) to hold an in-person hearing in the Rochester region for their draft scoping plan. This follows the council’s decision to not hear directly from more than a million New Yorkers who call the Rochester metropolitan area home over a plan that would dramatically change day-to-day life.

The CAC’s Draft Scoping Plan would make fundamental changes to daily life for every resident and business of the state in efforts to limit greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent to zero emissions by 2050. The draft plan would mandate 100 percent electricity in newly-constructed homes and buildings by 2024, no new natural gas appliances for home heating, cooking, water heating or clothes drying beginning in 2030, and no gasoline automobile sales by 2035. The potential costs to fully electrify a home could reach $35,800 for each residence, while adding additional costs to goods and services. While in-person public hearings are scheduled in Buffalo and Syracuse, the Rochester region was left out, leaving the people of Monroe County and surrounding counties without a voice in the draft scoping plan.

“I hear from constituents every day who are frustrated by a state government that operates in secret and without public input. With the proposals included in the draft scoping plan, it is critically important that the New Yorkers we represent have an opportunity to share their thoughts and having an in-person hearing in the Rochester area will allow for that,” said Jensen. “A proposal that could change the nature of daily life for 20 million people needs to be discussed in person, and we deserve the same opportunity as the people of Buffalo and Syracuse to do so openly.”

“The people of Monroe County and its surrounding areas deserve and are owed an in-person hearing, with the opportunity to personally testify on an issue as consequential as the Climate Action Council's Draft-Scoping Plan. Studies have shown that it could cost each homeowner over $35,000 to fully transition their home to electric. If the Climate Action Council wishes to continue pushing this ill-advised plan that would be costly on the consumer and the reliability of our energy grid, then the least they can do is show up in-person and hear directly from the people who will be affected the most,” said Assemblyman Phil Palmesano (R,C,I-Corning).

“A policy that has the potential to affect every facet of people’s daily lives should receive input from as many New Yorkers as possible. Leaving the residents of Rochester out of this public hearing and comment process is a glaring omission, especially when the residents of Syracuse, a city with a smaller population, have been afforded that opportunity. We must always remember that when devising public policy, public scrutiny only helps those policies better serve the needs of our citizens,” said Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I, Batavia).

“It is very unfortunate that the residents of Rochester could be left out of the public hearing for the Climate Action Council. Every town deserves to have a voice when it comes to such a massive change like the one drafted. Within my district is the R.E. Ginna Nuclear Power Plant that provides thousands of jobs for the community and has a commitment to a 100% carbon-free energy by 2040, yet the CAC wants to eliminate the power plant and burden the lives of our citizens,” said Assemblyman Brian Manktelow (R,C,I-Lyons).

“When a policy is put forward that has the potential to upend family budgets and fundamentally change how people live and work within their community, our state government owes it to the people who will feel the brunt of its consequences to listen to them about how it will affect their well-being,” said Gallahan. “What this plan proposes could make it the most devastating impactful policy for working families in decades. If nothing else, public input into the plan will help highlight troublesome elements within it before they become headaches for us All,” said Assemblyman Jeff Gallahan (R,C-Manchester).

**Editor’s note: For a letter from assemblymembers, please click here.

The full Climate Action Council plan can be viewed here.

To make your voice heard, New Yorkers can visit, email, or send a letter to NYSERDA, Attn: Draft Scoping Plan Comments, 17 Columbia Circle, Albany, NY 12203.