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Dyngus Day Delight, by Cindy Schreiner

Letter to the Editor: My opinion on Natural Gas Ban

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“…over 60% of electricity in NYS is produced from Natural Gas”

From Tony Lojacono Buffalo, NY 

As we have all experienced a cold and long winter I’d appreciate it if you took 5 minutes to read and review my thoughts on the Governors ban of natural gas and propane. 

The transition away from fossil fuels as a means for our energy is effecting our way of life.  This transition should take some forethought, planning, and rolled out over many years if not decades; however, NYS government is pushing through to do this much sooner than it can possibly happen. This transition will be very costly and may cause much undo hardship on its citizens. Issues of public safety, costs to transition, energy reliability, and ongoing day to day living expenses will be effected if the current proposals are enacted. 

This past winter we had two storms where the electric grid failed. Thankfully, many homes had natural gas for their ovens to boil water, cook a warm meal, and receive some heat to prevent from freezing. They may have also been able to run their fireplaces to keep heat in their homes. Either way, if we were relying on one source of power and it failed, many more people would have died from the cold winter weather. If public safety is first and foremost with our elected officials then they have not thought this legislation through very thoroughly. Too many issues and too fast to convert to an all electric future. 

The cost of natural gas is inexpensive relative to the cost to create electricity from various sources such as hydro, nuclear, coal, wind and solar. These sources are not nearly as reliable, available or affordable as natural gas is. To ban the source will ultimately result in higher electricity costs. As I recently read in the Climate Action Committee Scoping Plan, the NYISO warned “thinning reliability margins over the next decade present increased challenges to reliability”  NYISO also predicted that “Future uncertainty is the only thing certain about the electric power industry”  Presently over 60% of electricity in NYS is produced from Natural Gas. How do they plan to replace that source with other forms of energy in such a short period of time? 

To convert each home to electric over time will cost the average home owner tens of thousands of dollars. Yes there will be subsidies available at the expense of us taxpayers so long as you qualify financially. If not, then the costs to convert comes out of your pocket. Each home will need at least 150Amp service to their home for complete electrification. The cost to upgrade to 150-200 amp service per home is roughly $3000. You need a licensed electrician to do this job. I’d assume, there are not enough electricians to satisfy this demand in the time needed to convert homes.  Take those who live in the city where the homes are over 100 years old, many are two family dwellings with no driveways. How do they intend for those residents to charge their EV cars? 

I am also a landlord with investment properties. If I have to convert these homes to all electric I will most certainly will have to increase rents. I can barely keep up with the increased maintenance, insurance, taxes and labor costs associated with these properties. I wonder how this proposed transition will effect the many small real estate investor, it’s property values, and the cities tax base? If these elected officials are doing this to help its citizens how does an expense like this help them? it certainly will not help the poor as rents will skyrocket. The present administration claims to be there to help those in need and this is doing the exact opposite. 

Finally, NY State makes up a very small amount of CO2/greenhouse emissions compared to an entire country. NY City is over 11million people out of the 19,700 million people in the state. So, it’s safe to conclude that more than half of those emission come from NYC. Why should the rest of the state and in particular WNY where winters are on average 20 degrees colder, are subject to more power outages, and now be forced to give up alternative power sources to our homes and businesses. Seems like a very expensive proposition paid for by our tax dollars considering the minor impact we have on the environment.

It’s time to act now because if this legislation is passed its very hard to reverse it, if not impossible to reverse. You must act by April 1!!!!

Please click on the link below and let your opinion be heard!

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