Liz Krueger    New York State Senate, 28th District     September 21, 2017

Senator Krueger And Assemblymember Cahill Announce First In The Nation Bill To Tackle Fossil Fuel Subsidies

Legislation Would Create Process To Repeal Outdated Giveaways, Protect Provisions That Benefit New Yorkers

New York   Today, State Senator Liz Krueger and Assemblymember Kevin Cahill announced the introduction of a bill to tackle counterproductive state fossil fuel subsidies, shining a light on and potentially halting tax breaks, credits and refunds for the use of dirty fossil fuels. The legislation would require the Governor to submit an annual analysis of all fossil fuel related tax expenditures, including recommendations regarding continuation, modification or repeal of some of the worst offenses.  It also implements a 3-year sunset provision for all current and future fossil fuel related tax expenditures.'a0 The state-level measure is the first in the country to specifically target fossil fuel tax subsidies and create a regular public review process. 

Sen. Krueger and Assm. Cahill explained the need for the bill in an op-ed this morning in the Albany Times Union.

"We are now undoubtedly living in an era of climate change, and we are already seeing it's devastating impact around our country and the world," said Senator Krueger . "New York should be doing everything we can to mitigate the effects of climate change, but there are still areas where we are on the wrong track. We spend $1.5 billion every year on tax subsidies that support the use of dirty fossil fuels, with barely any information about the effects of this spending. We need a process in place to regularly analyze and review these subsidies, so that we can strengthen those that actually benefit hard-working New Yorkers, and get rid of those that waste taxpayer dollars and make our climate crisis worse."

With the recent devastation created by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma no one should doubt the real life consequences of climate change.  Here in New York we have a long history of initiatives focused on cutting greenhouse gases. Through legislation and funding we have found ways to prioritize and support the use of clean renewable resources. However, at the same time our State Government counterproductively continues to offer subsidies that promote the use of dirty fossil fuels. The bill will bring greater transparency to this process. First, by opening up the books to uncover who is receiving these tax breaks and for what purposes. Second, it allows the legislature to review and determine if any of the subsidies should not be renewed, providing oversight and the ability to revoke programs which work against the public interest. The process created will allow public involvement into a system that we currently know very little about. 

New York State spends over $1.5 billion every year on fossil fuel related tax expenditures, distorting the market and subsidizing the use of greenhouse gas-emitting fossil fuels.  Some of these tax expenditures may serve a compelling public interest, such as a sales tax exemption for residential heating. However, a significant proportion of the spending serves to prop-up outdated industries or reward energy inefficiencies leading to a double cost to taxpayers —once for the direct tax expenditure and again for the environmental damage resulting from the continued burning of fossil fuels. 

New York State has a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80% below 1990 levels by 2050.  Continuing to subsidize the use of fossil fuels delays the adoption of cleaner alternatives, creates barriers to achieving the State's climate goals and wastes precious taxpayer money. The legislation introduced today would require the State's annual Tax Expenditure Report to include an enumeration and evaluation of all fossil fuel related tax expenditures, as well as a recommendation by the Governor regarding the continuation, modification or repeal of such expenditures.

Liz Krueger's Contact Information

Albany Office
 172 State Street Room 905 Legislative Office Building
 Albany, NY 12247
 United States
 Phone: (518) 455-2297
 Fax: (518) 426-6874
 See map: Google Maps
 District Office
 211 East 43rd Street Suite 401
 New York, NY 10017
 United States
 Phone: (212) 490-9535
 Fax: (212) 490-2151
 See map: Google Maps
 Email address:

Senator Krueger And Assemblymember Cahill Announce First In The Nation Bill To Tackle Fossil Fuel Subsidies

Chelsea Reform Democratic Club
PO Box 1120,
Old Chelsea Station,
New York, NY, 10113-1120