BLACK RIVER — Last week, when news broke of the governor’s resignation, I was in Albany at a roundtable listening to testimony regarding the Climate and Community Investment Act.
Although the news cycle turned its focus to the governor’s resignation, the CCIA is another major problem facing New Yorkers. The CCIA is being proposed by far-left Democrats in Albany, and it could increase the cost of gas by as much as 55 cents per gallon.
The last thing those of us in the north country and Mohawk Valley need is a more expensive gas bill. We have seen the effects of Democrats’ reckless tax-and-spend policies out of Washington as gas prices continue to climb, in some areas hitting nearly $4 per gallon.
The CCIA (S.4264) is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, a bill that has rightfully been called New York’s version of the Green New Deal. At the roundtable, we heard from stakeholders and business owners who made it abundantly clear that the CCIA will hurt them rather than help.
Our rural communities rely on our own modes of transportation; we do not have access to mass transit like they do down in New York City. Adding 55 cents per gallon will cause people to travel less, which will have a devastating effect on our local economies. Less travel means less commerce, less going to work and less dining out, which are all things that will hurt us overall.
According to the Tax Foundation, New York has the seventh highest gas tax in the country, at 43.12 cents per gallon. If the CCIA was to be enacted by the state Legislature, it would raise New York’s tax per gallon to 98.12 cents.
This would be a whopping 57% higher than the gas taxes in any other state. While Democrats believe this legislation has good intentions, in practice it would have negative effects on our area.
I am all for renewable energies, which is why I supported the grand opening of the No. 3 wind project just a couple of weeks ago. This project in Lewis County will provide more than 330 short- and long-term jobs.
While supporting renewable and sustainable energies, we still must be able to point out bad legislation and the CCIA does not pass the litmus test. This is why I will continue to oppose it.
If you have any questions on this issue, please feel free to reach out to my office at email@example.com or 315-493-3909.
Kenneth D. Blankenbush, R-Black River, represents the 117th District in the state Assembly.