State Sen. George Maziarz, R-C-Newfane, has announced two pieces of energy legislation that he sponsors are expected to be passed by the New York State Senate by Tuesday evening.
The first piece, Senate bill 3806B, passed through the Senate during Monday's session. This legislation provides a reduction in costs for farms throughout New York state for those that use renewable energy. The bill cuts in half the interconnection fees for farms that install renewable energy resources on site. Furthermore, the legislation allows for an increase of the size of solar arrays allowed for farms on residential meters. This decreases in fees, along with an increase in the availability of more renewable energy through a larger sized solar array, will lower utility bills for farmers and give them more investment capital for their business, Maziarz said.
"New York is a leader in agriculture, and we have seen the growth of this economy because of recent expansions in the yogurt, wine and beer industries, all industries that directly tie into this state's agricultural economy," said Maziarz, chairman of the senate energy and telecommunications committee. "The boom in the industry has lead to an increase in demand for agricultural products throughout the state. By reducing the fees for farmers that use renewable energy resources, and by allowing them the opportunity to increase the size of renewable solar energy on their property, farmers can use their saved utility costs and use their investment capital to continue to expand the industry and to reach more consumers. This legislation is a win for both the agricultural industry and consumers alike."
The second piece of legislation, Senate bill 1119A, was expected to pass the Senate when it reconvened at 5 p.m. This legislation would allow for the storage and transportation of liquefied natural gas outside of New York City that is in quantities of 40,000 gallons or less. New York is the only state in the U.S. that does not allow for the transportation or storage of LNG. In fact, the law allows LNG to be stored and utilized within New York if the truck starts outside of the state, but does not allow it to be transported within the state. By providing this exemption, this legislation will reduce emissions, encourage the use of domestic energy sources, and promote economic activity.
"There are important economic development projects pending and existing trucking and manufacturing companies who would benefit from this change - and most importantly, jobs will be created," Maziarz said. "LNG will save trucking companies, businesses and consumers money as it costs $1 to $3 less per gallon than diesel fuel, and its use reduces harmful emissions as opposed to diesel. I am pleased that this legislation has bipartisan support from my Democratic colleagues as well as a broad spectrum of endorsements from the New York League of Conservation Voters, the Business Council and its affiliates, and the pipefitters and steamfitters union among others. This support for this legislation exemplifies the importance of the use of alternative energy in New York.