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Coalition Calls for Transparency in New York’s Green Energy Plan

A coalition of New York business organizations, labor unions, independent energy experts, and community and environmental leaders is concerned about the cost of implementing these ambitious programs and has called for transparency and disclosure. They said New Yorkers are already struggling with highly taxed electric bills and they’re worried that the state is moving too quickly, which could result in higher costs that are going to affect consumers’ bills.

The state’s “Reforming Energy Vision,” aims to transform the way electricity is distributed and used in New York to maximize efficiency and reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

It sets three goals to be achieved by 2030: a 40 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels; 50 percent electricity generation from renewable energy sources; and a 23 percent decrease in energy consumption in buildings from 2012 levels.

Gov. Cuomo had earlier announced a $1 billion commitment to New York’s solar industry and in last year awarded $3.3 million to research teams for the development of new technologies to enhance the electric grid.

The coalition, which supports policies for reliable and affordable electric power, is concerned that the proposal is focusing largely on new projects rather than addressing the immediate needs of the existing infrastructure.

“When you’re talking about changing something fundamental like the electricity grid, we know in general that that’s something that you have to approach with a great deal of deliberance(sic) and a great deal of caution,” a spokesman said, adding “because if you interrupt power supplies or compromise or degrade the power supply it could be extremely costly.”