Jan 7, 2006 (From the CalCars-News archive)
Staff at the New York State Power Authority have been involved in PHEV-related projects for many years. Now support is broadening. On January 4, at the opening of the 2006 Legislative Session, NY Governor George Pataki presented his final State of the State Address. (Observers speculate this may be a first step in a Republican Presidential campaign.) He included a proposal to:
"spur the development of efficient hybrid vehicles that can actually be plugged in at home or alternatively run on renewable bio-fuels."
In 2003, Pataki originated the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), the first regional, mandatory cap-and-trade program to control carbon dioxide emissions in the United States. Participants include Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, and Vermont. (Massachusetts was originally a member but last month, Governor Mitt Romney, who may also run for President, withdrew his support.
Following are relevant excerpts (internal cuts shown by ....); the entire text/audio are at http://www.state.ny.us/governor/2006_sos/
Today we find ourselves at the dawn of an emerging global economy - one characterized more and more by international competition, one in which companies on six continents are able to compete with our own on an increasingly level playing field.
In today's rapidly changing world, it is clear that we need to continue to hone New York's competitive edge and leverage the great ingenuity, industry and spirit of our people.
This year, I propose to you an agenda with straightforward, achievable objectives that will empower New York State to excel in the emerging global economy.
Objectives based on the same principles and priorities behind some of our greatest successes - cutting taxes, improving our children's education, creating jobs, and protecting our natural environment.
It is an agenda aimed squarely at some of the most significant challenges we face in 2006:
....It takes decisive action to cut New Yorkers' fuel bills and protect our environment by reducing our dependency on foreign oil.
For more than a decade, we in New York have been aggressively pursuing the solutions to one of our generation's greatest challenges -- reducing our dependence on expensive, polluting, terror- promoting foreign oil.
We don't have to look far for evidence that the time to transition away from foreign oil is now - it is right there on the gas pumps and in our home heating bills.
Not just here in New York, but across the nation, our reliance on foreign oil is hampering the financial freedom of our working families and their employers; it is hurting our economy, damaging our environment and enriching regimes that support, harbor and encourage the terrorists who threaten our national security.
....Since 1995, we've established New York as a national leader in environmental protection -- we've preserved nearly one million acres of open space, cleaned up rivers and revitalized waterfronts across the state.
We have made great strides to reduce pollution from power plants by implementing the toughest acid rain regulations in the nation. We enacted the nation's first green building tax credit.
Most recently we led the way as seven Northeast states put in place the first regional market-based program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in American history.
Let's continue to build on that record of accomplishment by making New York State the leader in reducing dependence on imported energy.
The entire world is now grappling with the question "where will we get the energy to power the global economy of the 21st century without causing irreparable damage to our natural environment?"
Let's make New York the place where that defining question is answered.
Let's make New York the worldwide center for clean, renewable energy research, product development and job creation.
Let's attract companies from around the world that are developing the clean, renewable energy sources of the future - let's make the entire state a tax free zone for this growing industry.
We cannot address the issue of oil dependency without talking about transportation.
Because of the investments we have made in mass transit, we already have the most efficient transportation system in America, but we can do more - much more.
Our transportation system is still over 90 percent dependent on petroleum products. The huge price increases we have seen at the pump are likely to get worse as developing countries like China and India consume an increasing amount of oil.
Later this session, I will propose a plan to jumpstart a new era of statewide availability and use of renewable fuels - ensuring that more of our energy dollars stay right here in New York.
It begins with an initiative to make renewable fuels available at service stations all across the state, starting with the New York State Thruway.
And then, it goes a step further, by making that renewable fuel tax-free throughout the entire State of New York.
This plan will also provide for the establishment of refineries that make ethanol out of agricultural products from our farms and wood products from our northern forests.
It will create shovel-ready sites and help finance advanced clean coal power plants that will burn our most abundant fuel without the pollution of yesterday's dirty plants.
It will spur the development of efficient hybrid vehicles that can actually be plugged in at home or alternatively run on renewable bio-fuels.
This comprehensive strategy to reduce dependence on foreign oil, will allow us to seize the future today and create the clean energy technologies that can be exported around the world tomorrow.
The time to prepare for a future powered by clean energy sources is now -- not just here in New York, but across our entire nation.
We've shown time and again that when New York leads, others follow.
Let's act this year to make New York State the energy independence capital of America, and set the stage for a cleaner environment and an even stronger, more prosperous New York for the next generation.
Thanks to Dave Modisette of the California Electric Transportation Coalition (CalETC) for sources on this.