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Queens Chronicle

ON POINT ‘Green’ laws will bankrupt us and cause blackouts

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Posted: Thursday, June 6, 2019 10:30 am | Updated: 3:57 pm, Thu Jun 6, 2019.

Without even a whimper the City Council has voted to impose staggering costs on every New York City family living in a co-op, condo or multifamily residential building. With Mayor deBlasio’s blessing, NYC’s version of the New Green Deal — aka Intro 1253 or the “Climate Mobilization Act” — received almost unanimous approval in the City Council in a rush to pass it by May Day. The most harmful financial consequences of this monstrosity will become apparent — conveniently — when its architects are long gone from political office. These costs will be borne by the dwindling numbers of middle-class families who have not yet fled our high-cost metropolis.

The Climate Mobilization Act will make NYC even less affordable by requiring these buildings to be retrofitted to energy‑saving standards that will significantly increase costs on those living inside them, owners or renters. A newly created unelected and unaccountable agency called the “Office of Building Energy and Emissions Performance” will be empowered to impose confiscatory-level fines on any building that fails to yield to its mandates.

Our city’s aging co‑ops and condos offer most of the truly affordable housing for middle-class families in the city, and Intro 1253 endangers that affordability. The bill requires tens of thousands of residential co-ops built decades ago to undertake costly retrofitting of the most expensive infrastructure components of their buildings to current-day standards. Residential co-ops are not profit‑making entities and will be forced to pay for modifications they don’t need with money they don’t have. These costs will certainly be passed on to owners and tenants alike.

The legislation provides no grants or waivers even for buildings that cannot afford the cost burdens being imposed. The Office of Building Energy and Emissions Performance can force these buildings to take out loans and mortgages they cannot afford, pushing them deeper into debt to pay for these unnecessary costs. If these buildings refuse to put themselves into financial peril, draconian and bankrupting fines will be imposed.

Intro 1253 exempts single‑family homes and (surprise!) New York City’s No. 1 slumlord, NYCHA, the New York City Housing Authority. All other buildings and their residents will be burdened by the crippling costs of this bill. At the last minute and after lengthy meetings with civic leaders of the co-op and condo community, a fig leaf was offered up by the primary sponsor of the bill, who agreed to exempt horizontal co-ops (garden apartments) from the onerous costs of this bill.

Intro 1253 is unquestionably a feel-good measure like other “green-wrapped” bills such as those banning plastic straws and plastic shopping bags. Both feel good but will have little impact on the planet’s climate as long as the world’s largest polluters, China and India among others, are allowed to sully the planet in full compliance with the Paris Climate Change Accord.

Just as alarming as Intro 1253 is its companion bill Intro 1318 which mandates a study to determine the feasibility of shutting down all 21 gas‑fired NYC power plants and compelling the city to obtain 100 percent of its energy from renewable sources. Just last month, Gov. Cuomo killed a natural gas pipeline that would have brought needed clean natural gas to NYC, and last year he authorized the closure of the Indian Point nuclear power plant by April 20, 2021. Indian Point produces 25 percent of NYC’s and Westchester’s combined energy needs, and there are no plans to compensate for that loss.

Con Edison, as we all know, is barely able to meet the energy demands of summer. The rolling blackouts and brownouts that New Yorkers have experienced in the past will soon become commonplace. Wishful thinking about wind, solar and other renewable forms of energy will not make up for the tangible loss of power we will suffer as a result of the governor’s arbitrary and seriously foolhardy decisions.

A rigid and unbending political ideology being pushed by a small cadre of environmental activists is driving these frightening decisions. At their Earth Day press conference after Intro 1253 passed with minimal public input or debate, politicians held a round of self‑congratulatory celebrations. Not a single legislator acknowledged the back‑breaking costs that that they have heretofore imposed on their constituents. They know they will be re-elected by voters who consistently reject a multiparty City Council that would impose just the sort of financial scrutiny and checks and balances needed to halt such overreaching legislation. These same voters seem unwilling to connect the dots between their own City Council member and the legislative cost burdens being imposed upon them.

Mired as we are in a one-party system, sadly, no relief is on the horizon for NYC taxpayers.

Bob Friedrich is President of Glen Oaks Village, a civic leader and a former City Council candidate.

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1 comment:

  • mediawatcher posted at 10:28 pm on Thu, Jun 13, 2019.

    mediawatcher Posts: 19

    Friedrich the shaven-head mustachioed thug is clearly a whore for the fossil fuel industry. Preying on the fears of older New Yorkers with limited incomes, this greenhouse gas emitting blowhard is against any and all adaptations which might help preserve our environment while weaning our infrastructure away from carbon- burning fuels! Friedrich the ozone layer- eroding methane spewer is a throwback to the days of 8 cylinder gas guzzlers and energy-inefficient appliances, a totally conscienceless goon who lines his pockets with petrodollars as the Earth is slowly and surely polluted, strangled, and climate-changed by his chosen fossil fuel poisons. This is the legacy that greedy Neanderthals like Friedrich wish to bequeath to our grandchildren, an Earth so ravaged by our selfish greed and stupidity that it is in the midst of a mass extinction of species, an event which we have precipitated and encouraged with our profligate usage of and dependency on fossil fuels. Friedrich the enemy of our Earth should hang his head in shame at his greedy profiteering at the expense of our Earth, out health, and our progeny. Green New Deal all the way!