BORELLI URGES LEGISLATURE TO REJECT ENERGY FEE INCREASES
Assemblyman fights for a more competitive energy market
Assemblyman Joe Borelli (R,C,I – South Shore) today expressed his opposition to Gov. Cuomo’s Executive Budget proposal to increase Title V air permit fees and fees for the State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (SPDES). Borelli, along with some of his colleagues on the Assembly Energy Committee, recently wrote a letter to Cuomo and legislative leaders expressing their opposition to the proposals and urging the full rejection of all energy fee increases.
“Increasing costs on power production just leads to higher energy costs for consumers, and that’s unacceptable,” said Borelli. “These fees penalize energy producers and large consumers whether they increase or decrease their emissions. Instead of upping energy costs with no significant environmental benefit, when so many New Yorkers already struggle to pay their energy bills, we should be encouraging more private sector investment to foster a more diverse and competitive energy market for consumers. This approach would provide New Yorkers with the affordable and dependable energy they deserve. As budget negotiations come to an end, I urge all legislators to reject all energy fee increases; it’s critical that we control costs and fight to protect consumers.”
Title V fees are calculated based upon the amount of emissions that a facility produces. According to the report Power Trends 2014: Evolution of the Grid, from 2000 to 2013, the sulfur dioxide emission rate has dropped 94 percent, and the emission rate for nitrogen oxides declined by 81 percent. The more companies reduce their emissions, the less revenue is produced by the fees. The Title V fee increase proposal would have the perverse outcome of penalizing power plant owners for reducing their emissions by forcing them to pay higher associated fees.
Existing fees range from $45 – $65 per ton of gas, and the bulk of these fees are already higher than the minimum level of $48.27 per ton required by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). These proposals would increase these fees to $65 – $90 per ton of gas. Borelli noted that these fees will affect energy production at NRG’s Arthur Kill power plant, and Kinder Morgan Liquid Terminal in Charleston.