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New York’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act

In this series of Expert Focus pieces, David P. Flynn, a partner and Energy Law co-leader at Phillips Lytle LLP, discusses New York’s nation-leading Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act with Dennis W. Elsenbeck, head of Energy & Sustainability at Phillips Lytle Energy Consulting Services, and a member of the New York State Climate Action Council, as well as with academic experts.

Published on 16 October 2023
David P Flynn, Phillips Lytle LLP, Chambers Expert Focus
David P. Flynn
Ranked in 2 practice areas in Chambers USA
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Dennis W. Elsenbeck, Phillips Lytle LLP, Chambers Expert Focus
Dennis W. Elsenbeck

Finding Synergies Between the CLCPA and the Inflation Reduction Act

Published on 16 October 2023

As the scoping plan for the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) comes into focus, so too do new opportunities for New York State and the various stakeholders connected to the CLCPA. Most notably, through the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). This podcast delves into several topics related to the various synergies and key points of connection between the CLCPA and the IRA. David Flynn and Dennis Elsenbeck explore how developers, manufacturers and utilities can be properly involved in the conversation on creating solutions for the targeted goals of the CLCPA, how NYS can leverage the IRA to meet those goals, and the emerging economic development opportunities that are being created.

CLCPA Roundtable: Exploring the Role Hydrogen and Nuclear Can Play in the Future of New York’s Energy Goals

Published on 17 July 2023

This podcast features a roundtable discussion on the potential benefits hydrogen and nuclear could have on meeting the goals set by New York State’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. David Flynn and Dennis W. Elsenbeck are joined by Andrew Whittaker, SUNY Distinguished Professor in the Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering at the University at Buffalo for a conversation on the misconceptions around – and benefits of – nuclear energy, how hydrogen can be leveraged throughout the state and the ways each of these sources can move New York State closer to its green energy goals.

The CLCPA’s Scoping Plan: Fuelling Action for Effective Implementation

Published on 17 April 2023

The final Scoping Plan (the “Plan”) for New York State’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) was passed overwhelmingly by the Climate Action Council (the “Council” or “CAC”) on 19 December 2022. The vote was 19 to 3. The Scoping Plan provides recommendations to meet the CLCPA mandates, including significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions, accelerating building and transportation electrification, and securing climate justice.

Based on the Council's integration analysis, major recommendations in the Plan include:

  • critical investments in every sector of New York's economy to support deep decarbonisation efforts;
  • accelerated energy efficiency and end-use electrification mechanisms to foster up to two million homes transitioning to clean heating and cooling options by 2030;
  • a state-wide scale-up of approximately three million zero-emission vehicles by 2030;
  • electric grid infrastructure investments that will improve the reliability and resilience of the electric grid in the face of worsening storms and other impacts of climate change; and
  • a “cap-and-invest” programme that limits total allowable emissions units – polluting companies could buy and sell these allowable emissions units, thereby creating incentives for polluters to lower their emissions over time.

The Council approved the Scoping Plan following the release of the Draft Scoping Plan on 30 December 2021, and a robust public comment period that included 11 public hearings across the state and more than 35,000 written comments. Yet, there appears to be a great deal of confusion in terms of what the Plan may mean to the average citizen, as well as to business and industry energy consumers.

The recent controversy surrounding gas stoves is an example of policy becoming real in the eyes of the consumer. Unfortunately, most business and industry energy consumers actively engage only when policy impacts energy bills or mandates are placed into law, which tend to occur years after the debate has concluded. There are challenges and opportunities within the Scoping Plan, and it is critical that more be done to educate the market and to ensure the process is less policy and more market-driven in achieving balanced environmental and economic results.

What is missing in the CLCPA Scoping Plan?

Despite being applauded by state leaders, environmental groups and other constituents as a bold, monumental achievement, not all CAC members felt they could support the Plan, including CAC member and co-author of this blog, Dennis Elsenbeck, head of Phillips Lytle’s Energy Consulting Services. This dissenting cohort is concerned that a number of issues could have been better thought out, and that others failed to include key metrics in order to be able to judge success in the future. They also believe that engaging more subject matter experts in the fields of supply, demand and distribution – and not just utility experts – would bring a more robust economic focus to the Plan’s implementation.

Read more at Phillips Lytle’s energy industry blog: Renewable Energy Post.

New York’s Climate Action Scoping Plan: How the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act Will Be Implemented

Published on 16 January 2023

New York State’s nation-leading Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act took another step forward after the approval of the Climate Action Scoping Plan. Phillips Lytle partner and Energy Law co-leader David P. Flynn and New York State Climate Action Council member and Head of Energy & Sustainability at Phillips Lytle Energy Consulting Services, Dennis W. Elsenbeck discuss the next steps for the CLCPA now that the Scoping Plan has been adopted. Their conversation covered a number of key aspects of the adoption of the Scoping Plan and the opportunities that exist as New York State prepares to implement the CLCPA.

Key takeaways of the planning process

How the CLCPA can spur job growth through investment in disadvantaged communities.

Next steps after the adoption of the scoping document

The steps which will be taken by Governor Hochul now that the Climate Action Council has approved the Scoping Plan.

Reflection on the work done by the climate action council

Progressive conversations and debate helped shape the Scoping Plan, which can make New York State a nation leader in climate action.

Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act: The Future of Energy in New York is Now

Published on 17 October 2022

Goals and transformation

New York’s aggressive goals to address climate change and the decarbonisation of the economy.

Raising awareness

Why manufacturers and commercial operations should be engaged now to maximise opportunity and their ability to achieve goals not just in New York but globally.

Impact of climate on disadvantaged communities

The challenge of infrastructure in these communities, and how they will benefit from the Act.

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