An extra 55 cents per gallon for gas? NYS Senator says it could happen under new bill

New York State

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — One state senator says we could soon be paying more at the gas pump by about $0.55 cents per gallon. That’s if a new bill gets passed.  

The motion has the support of a handful of senators, but New York State Sen. Pam Helming (R-54) isn’t one of them.

While this bill has a transition to a greener economy in mind, Helming says a jump in price like this, will have a devastating impact on local families. 

“You’re going to pay more at the pump,” Sen. Helming said.

She says the new Senate bill, the Climate and Community Investment Act (S4264A), could mean gas prices will increase over a half-dollar per gallon. Helming says she doesn’t want to even think about next winter. 

“And for home heating and business heating, it’s going to increase costs by about 26%,” she said.

If passed, the bill would impose a $55.00 per ton carbon tax on fossil fuel emissions in-state.

The bill is sponsored by Brooklyn-area Sen. Kevin Parker (D-21). Supporters of the bill have said this would help transition to renewable energy sources. An article in “NY Renews” last month said it will create hundreds of thousands of new green jobs, invest back into minority communities, and combat the climate crisis. 

Senator Samra Brouk (D-55) co-sponsored the bill. In a statement she said the following:

“I am resolved to support environmental policies and initiatives that ensure the lasting protection of our planet and its natural resources. We know that the negative impacts of climate change are most likely to fall on vulnerable residents — the working poor and people of color. People die every day due to the negative effects of climate change and pollution. More than three-quarters of New York’s African American, Latino, and Asian American residents live in areas where pollution is higher than the state average. My legislative work and positions are grounded firmly in the needs of my community — and based on the feedback from constituents in the 55th district I am actively investigating how the Climate and Community Investment Act (CCIA) would impact working families. I am committed to working with the bill sponsor, constituents, and local leaders to ensure that no unnecessary burden is placed on hard-working New Yorkers.”

Senator Samra Brouk (D-55)

However, Helming says too many families are still struggling. “This is a bad idea, right?” she says adding, “We need to hear from more individuals in the community, on what they think. Is this a priority for them?”

With gas already pushing $3 per gallon, people at the pump Monday are wondering where all the extra revenue would really go. 

“People who do a lot of driving for their jobs, it will ruin them,” says gas customer Patricia Lange.

“I think overall, I’d say ‘bad,'” says customer Chris Kemp.

Sen. Helming says we need to all talk about renewable energy, but this bill isn’t the way to do it. 

“It’s shocking given the state of our economy right now,” she said .

Sen. Helming and others are planning to speak out against this bill Tuesday in Albany. News 8 did reach out to the sponsor and some of the co-sponsors of this bill. Once News 8 hears back, we will update this article.

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