According to an economic analysis of New York State’s greenhouse gas reduction mandates, which require 80% reductions below 2005 emissions levels by 2050, will cost energy users and taxpayers more than $1 trillion.

The Manhattan Institute report highlights the costs and other impacts of the state’s 80 by 50 mandate and Clean Energy Standard. It notes that state’s 80-by-50 goal will require electrifying nearly all transportation, which accounts for almost 40% of energy consumption in the state. Millions of cars and hundreds of thousands of trucks will have to be replaced.  This will have a massive impact on the state’s gas taxes, which support road and bridge maintenance. Millions of oil- and gas-burning furnaces and water heaters will need to be replaced with electric ones. Manufacturers that burn oil and natural gas will have to switch to electricity.

The report points out that replacing all of the state’s fossil-fuel consumption with electricity from low-emission sources will require a significant amount of renewable energy generation. It suggests that even in a best-case scenario, in order to achieve its 80 by 50 goals the state will need to build at least 100,000 megawatts of offshore wind generation covering 6,000 square miles, an area larger than Connecticut.

It is reports such as this one that have led Unshackle Upstate to support S.4423-B (DeFrancisco), which would require the Public Service Commission (PSC) to perform a cost-benefit analysis of the Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) initiative, including the impact of REV on electric rates charged to consumers through additional taxes and fees.  We need to know exactly what New Yorkers will be paying for their energy, and what benefits the program will provide to Upstate New Yorkers.

To rebuild and grow the Upstate economy, employers need access to affordable energy, particularly clean and affordable natural gas. Millions of New Yorkers rely on natural gas for residential heating and electricity generation, and to power businesses. But the state has denied its residents the economic opportunities associated with developing our own energy resources by banning natural gas development through hydraulic fracturing.

Natural gas development has brought manufacturing jobs (and other jobs) back to Pennsylvania and Ohio. It is time for New York State to revisit its decision to ban fracking, and look at natural gas development as a much-needed engine for economic growth that will fuels opportunities for job creation and manufacturing growth.