Genesee votes NO on 1631

October 29, 2018

Genesee Energy is in favor of clean air, but NOT in favor of Initiative 1631

October 2018It's voting time again. Some initiatives sound so good. Why wouldn't we want to vote in favor of clean air? The idea of reducing carbon is fantastic, but the execution as proposed with this initiative is not up to par. Genesee Energy is 100% for lowering carbon output and reducing greenhouse gasses, which is why we work hard to educate and encourage all our customers to use the renewable, cleanest green heating fuel available - Bioheat. We wish this initiative was for the planet, but unfortunately, the way it is written, it will financially burden more middle and low income people than it will help the cause it says it is supporting. Voting NO on initiative 1631 doesn't mean we don't want clean air. In fact, we DO want clean air. But when considering all the facts, Initiative 1631 just isn't the right way to go about it.The Seattle Times, as well as a growing list of businesses, organizations, and individuals openly oppose this initiative for many factual, documented reasons. Genesee Energy agrees. Although we are very much in favor of clean air, we too are NOT in favor of Initiative 1631.

Here are just three of the main reasons why we urge you to vote NO on 1631.

  1. The huge coal fired power plant, cement manufacturers, and paper mills are the biggest carbon emitters. Yet those will actually be exempt from I-1631. Whether you heat with natural gas, electricity, or heating oil, your costs will go up significantly the first year, and increasing every year after that with no cap. We would like to see incentives for low carbon users rather than punishments without alternatives.
  2. I-1631 does not have a specific plan for reducing greenhouse gasses, however, failure to meet the unspecified goals will result in increasing fees over the years. The bill establishes a non-elected panel to decide how the money is spent, but there are no metrics to hold the panel accountable. We want to reduce carbon and lower greenhouse gasses, but we need a plan of action first or the money collected will likely be used frivolously.
  3. Between annual energy bills, the increase in gasoline prices, and higher food prices (since agriculture is not exempt), the average household will likely pay about $300 more per year just the first year. This will also rise each year with no specified cap. These costs will disproportionately impact the lower and middle income families, as well as seniors on a fixed income.

Since we are all energy users, we would like to see an initiative that incentivizes low carbon emitters, rather than punishing those without alternative options. The State of New York does this successfully by giving money back to low carbon emitters instead of punishing those that have no other financially applicable choice for energy. Clean air is very important, but please consider ALL the facts before voting on Initiative 1631.

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