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ICYMI: Respecting the Environment & Respecting the Taxpayers

Leeds, NY – U.S. Rep. Marc Molinaro (NY-19) penned an op-ed published in the Register Star / Daily Mail outlining the negative impacts Governor Hochul’s gas appliance ban will have on working families in Upstate New York.

Register Star / Daily Mail

Respecting the environment and respecting the taxpayers

By Congressman Marc Molinaro (NY-19):

Yes, they are taking away your gas stove, and they aren’t stopping there. The budget Governor Kathy Hochul and Albany’s Democrat controlled legislature just enacted includes a sweeping ban on all gas appliances in new construction, starting in 2026.

As of 2020, 61% of Americans used natural gas to cook food, take hot showers – and crucially in Upstate New York – to heat their homes during our brutal winters. Now, New York will be the first state in the nation to ban all gas appliances.

To help Upstate New York families understand the true impact of this gas ban, Governor Hochul and Albany politicians must answer three questions.

First, how will Upstate New York families afford this ban as record inflation continues to press down on them?

Earlier this year, I took action to find out how much a gas ban will cost Upstate New York families by authoring and passing legislation that was backed by 48 Democrats to commission a federal study on the matter.

Unfortunately, for now, we’ll have to rely on estimates since the gas ban was rammed through without waiting to see the study’s results. According to the Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA), a leading nonpartisan organization for sensible energy and environmental policies, a gas appliance ban on existing structures and future construction could cost every Upstate New York household $27,800.

This means working families, who are already spending more than ever on gas, food, and household products, will have to start making their dollar stretch even further.

Second, why was this ban enacted before upgrades to the state’s gas-powered grid were made?

Governor Hochul and Albany lawmakers have done little to address concerns regarding the ‘nightmare scenario’. That is, a situation in which electric appliances go dark during a critical snowstorm or weather event due to the significant strain these appliances place on the power grid. In this scenario, thousands of families would have no way to stay warm.

Third, how is this ban in line with efforts to address the affordable housing crisis?

Governor Hochul has claimed she wants to expand affordable housing. The Governor even attempted, and failed, to attach a proposal on housing to this budget.

With local residents in cities like Hudson experiencing skyrocketing rent– expanding affordable housing is certainly a worthy cause.

However, with the gas ban, expanding affordable housing will be more expensive and less attainable. That’s because builders will be forced to equip new housing units with pricey appliances, driving up the cost of building these units and burdening those who can least afford it with additional expenses.

Our climate is changing and there’s no question we must do more to preserve our environment and make sensible shifts toward sustainable energy sources. But we must do so by finding a balance between respecting our environment and respecting taxpayers.

Thankfully, finding this balance is achievable.

This year, I voted to pass historic, bipartisan legislation to unleash American energy, encourage the development of renewable projects, and preserve important environmental protections like the current prohibition on hydrofracking in the Delaware River watershed. Unlike the Hochul gas ban, this bill will actually lower costs for working families, while making a positive impact to protect our environment for generations to come.

Upstate New Yorkers have demanded cheaper, more reliable energy, expanded affordable housing options, and sensible environmental protections. Instead, Governor Hochul and Albany lawmakers delivered a half-baked gas ban, effectively putting a far-left fantasy above the interests of working families.