Lawmakers talk ‘green’ initiatives

New York State

ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) – New York State lawmakers have visited several “green” initiatives this session including legislation requiring new cars sold from the year 2035 forward to be electric. 

That bill heads to the Governor next after passing through the legislature this week. Senator Pete Harckham who sponsors the EV bill says California has passed a similar measure. “The thought was, they’re the number one auto market, we’re the number four auto market. So, the more states do this the more certainty it gives to the marketplace both in terms of the auto industry and of the electric charging industry,” Harckham said.

Another bill that passed both chambers aims to cut EV charging costs by creating an electric vehicle charging commercial tariff. “Very often you’ll see a company will put a cluster of these together and the electricity is very expensive, so if we don’t somehow flatten it out during the peak rate period it would be exorbitantly expensive both for consumers and for the folks to install it,” Harckham said.

An issue that’s still being debated is a carbon tax to combat greenhouse gas emissions. But, during a press conference earlier this week Republicans said that would be costly to not just corporations, but consumers. 

“In the middle of a pandemic, we’re talking about raising taxes on regular New Yorkers, millions of them who take cars to get to work, 55 cents a gallon, 26 percent to heat their homes?” said Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt.

The legislature also voted to ban small plastic bottles for personal care items like shampoo to be given to guests at hotels.

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