New York Groups Campaign For Reduction Of State Fossil-Fuel Subsidies
Albany, New York. -More than 150 groups have sent a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state legislature urging them to withdraw support for fossil fuels from the state budget.
Demand from an alliance of college, religious, labor, political, and environmental groups says investing more than $1.5 billion a year on fossil fuel subsidies that exacerbate climate change – while cutting down on essential programs – is “outrageous and unconscionable.”
Marco Volpita, co-director of government affairs for New York Youth Environment Leaders, said oil and gas wells will continue to work as long as they are productive.
“Removing direct subsidies will decrease the number of fossil fuels that come out of the ground, pollute our atmosphere and harm our communities,” he said.
The groups have submitted a petition, with more than 2,000 signatures, asking for legislation to recognize all fossil-fuel subsidies and their effect on the state.
Senate Bill S-2649-C was introduced by State Secretary Liz Krueger, D-Manhattan, who chairs the Senate Finance Committee. She said that giving tax incentives to increase the use of oil and gas runs contrary to New York’s aggressive climate conservation objectives.
“Our job, our mission, our obligation is to decrease our dependence on these products as fast as possible,” she said. “The clock is ticking.”
Her bill passed in the House, but not in the Legislature, and will be reintroduced in the next legislative session.
Marissa Guerrero said the state government has lost nearly $63 billion to the COVID pandemic. But tax cuts, credits, deductions, and exemptions for the fossil fuel sector are also on the books.
“It’s now time for New York state to get ahold of its budget and stop giving handouts to the well-heeled fossil-fuel industry,” she said. “We don’t have time or money to lose.”