New York City, New Jersey to introduce new energy efficiency rules
New York, New York (Reuters) – New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Monday unveiled a plan to overhaul New York’s energy industry to help combat air pollution and save billions of dollars annually, in a step that could boost the state’s economic fortunes.
The plan, announced by Cuomo and his state’s attorney general, would require manufacturers to install at least two-thirds of the state-required energy efficiency systems by 2030 and create a new energy research center for a study on reducing carbon dioxide emissions from power plants.
The effort comes as New York and other states grapple with rising levels of air pollution that have prompted state lawmakers to take unprecedented measures to curb greenhouse gases.
The plan would require all New York manufacturers to buy more efficient equipment from 2025 to 2040 and build new power plants to comply with the standards.
Cuomo said he expects to sign the bill as early as Monday.
“As the nation continues to struggle with climate change, we have to get the economy going again, to help keep families and businesses safe,” Cuomo said in a statement.
“New York is the poster child for how we can and should move away from a toxic, polluting industry.
This plan will help ensure New York will continue to be the leader in this vital sector.”
The governor’s plan is aimed at reducing air pollution caused by cars, trucks, factories and other vehicles that are powered by fossil fuels.
New York’s annual average particulate matter of more than 100 micrograms per cubic meter of air is the highest in the United States.
It is nearly 10 times higher than the nation’s average, according to the federal government.
A New York Times analysis earlier this year showed that pollution in the state is rising as coal use continues to decline.
Cuomos plan also would require energy companies to make changes to how they design and manufacture products that are designed to use the most energy possible.
The new plan would provide $300 million for a program called the New York Clean Energy Fund, which would help pay for energy-efficiency programs for manufacturers, and a program for smaller businesses to buy and install cleaner-burning equipment.
The goal is to make the state “the energy capital of the world,” said Robert C. McInerney, a spokesman for Cuomo.
Cuiamos plan would be funded through a combination of tax credits, grants, loans and grants, which are meant to help small businesses.
The tax credits for the program would be reduced to $300,000 for the first year and $1 million in each subsequent year.
The legislation also calls for $1 billion in grants to companies that want to build cleaner-powered facilities, including for power plants, as well as a program to support electric vehicles.
McInerneys office said the program for electric vehicles is still in the planning stage and is being reviewed by the state legislature.
McDonald’s Corp said it will spend $2 billion to upgrade and expand its U.S. plants to meet new federal emission standards.
The company also said it would buy up to 600 new electric vehicles to meet emissions standards.(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Sandra Maler)