Uncertainty Still Surrounds Cuomo’s Energy Policy
Governor Andrew Cuomo is preparing to unveil his 2013 New York State Energy Plan later this month. The governor has pursued an ambitious energy agenda since even before he took office and the latest energy plan will likely continue down the same road. In advance of Governor Cuomo’s new energy plan, The Ithaca Journal was one of several state newspapers that published an assessment of his energy policies to date.
The Ithaca Journal’s review gives the governor high marks for maintaining a strong initiative to generate cleaner energy in-state. New York has nearly doubled its funding for tax incentives for residential and commercial solar customers to $432 million over the next four years. An additional $70 million in funding is being offered for large-scale solar customers and research that would reduce the cost of solar equipment.
Governor Cuomo has also re-routed funds generated by the state’s participation in a cap and trade program for carbon emissions to promote the development of renewable energy. Additionally, New York State recently adopted new carbon emissions rules for new and expanded power plants, making it nearly impossible to build a new coal plant in the state. The downside: New York’s coal industry is suffering as a result of the penalties and regulations and some coal-fired plants fear having to shut down because of the program.
Despite his efforts to move the state’s energy policy toward a more green future, the governor still hasn’t answered the million dollar question: to drill or not to drill? New York’s natural gas resources remain untapped and Governor Cuomo continues to play political hot potato with the issue, especially with regard to permitting drilling in the Marcellus Shale.
But, as the Ithaca Journal points out, the success of Governor Cuomo’s policies depends on who you ask.