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New York lawmakers want to speed up electric buildings

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Lawmakers in the state Senate want a ban on fossil fuels in new building construction to go into effect three years earlier than proposed by Gov. Kathy Hochul. 

The provision in the Democratic-led state Senate’s proposed budget is part of a broader effort to transition the state to more renewable forms of energy in the coming decades, legislation that is expected to drive major changes in transportation, construction and consumer products.

All-electric buildings are considered a key component to the cleaner energy switch. As part of the proposal, lawmakers want to impose a statewide prohbition on fossil fuels in new construction to begin by 2024 for buildings under seven stories. 

Gov. Kathy Hochul’s budget introduced in January sets a five-year timetable for the ban, which would begin in 2027. 

Advocates on Sunday urged the Senate’s provision be adopted in the final budget agreeement, which is expected to be reached by the end of the month. 

“State leaders have every reason to pass an immediate ban on fossil fuels in new buildings via the state budget: the people want it and our climate needs it,” said Food & Water Watch Northeast Region Director Alex Beauchamp. “If we are serious about meeting New York’s emission reductions goals and combating climate change, time is of the essence. When it comes to fossil fuel phaseout, delay equals death.”

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