This bill raids climate pollution funds raised through New York’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) to subsidize the operations of nuclear power plants. The past three State Budgets have already repurposed more than $150 million in RGGI funds, a significant portion of which is dedicated for property tax relief for local government entities facing a loss of revenue attributed to the closure, temporary or otherwise, of a power plant.
New York State is implementing climate policies that set an example for the nation and the world, repeated raids of RGGI proceeds are inconsistent with, and in fact undermine, those efforts. Currently, RGGI is operating with a $46 million deficit in the current fiscal year and NYSERDA is projecting it will remain at least a $19 million in the red next year. The nuclear subsidy proposed in this legislation, taken together with the sweeps included in the budget, eclipse the entire amount of RGGI funds collected in the last fiscal year, leaving no funds for the clean energy and utility cost savings measures – programs that have funded thousands of projects in all 62 counties of the state and every legislative district - they are intended to advance. Gutting RGGI programs will hurt the growing clean energy economy and the thousands of jobs it is supporting across the state, especially on Long Island where RGGI is the primary source of state funding for Long Island Power Authority’s thriving renewable energy and energy efficiency programs.
This bill directs NYSERDA reprogram RGGI proceeds to subsidize the operations of nuclear power plants.