New York’s Climate and Community Protection Act

The lawmakers in Albany have passed legislation known as the Climate and Community Protection Act (CCPA) and it is sitting on the Governor’s desk awaiting signature.

There is plenty of debate on whether CCPA is good policy or bad policy. All you need to do is Google “New York’s Climate and Community Protection Act” and read the NY Post (against) and the NY Daily News (for) and you will see the various sides of the debate.

What this bill does is commit New York State to some of the most agressive goals of any city, state, or region:

This is a legally binding legislative act to achieve an 85% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and a goal of net zero.

My view is that we need ambitious goals like this and penalties for not reaching them (the stick).

But we also need new policies and new funding/investment to allow us to reach them (the carrot).

Most of the “green new deal” style legislation that is getting passed in NYC, NYS, and elsewhere, and being proposed in many other places, is long on sticks and short on carrots.

I believe CCPA is a good first step for NYS and I hope the Governor signs it into law.

But legislators and activists and the business community should not stop there. We need to follow these goal setting/penalty setting laws with more work around how we get there and there are many good ideas floating around on how to do that.

As hard as if has been to get CCPA done, I think the hard work is just starting because reaching these goals will require creativity, innovation, new technology, and a massive amount of investment and the willpower to see it through.

We really don’t have a choice. So let’s go.

#climate crisis#hacking energy#policy#Politics#Uncategorized

Comments (Archived):

  1. Tim Stodz

    I like your viewpoint on this. When push comes to shove, we really don’t have a choice do we? New York could lead the way on this kind of legislation and set a good standard. We need to hit these goals (or at least do everything we can) or else…Really enjoying your blog.

  2. Richard

    Can nycs electrical grid handle 2 million electrical cars?Can you reduce by 85% and keep current levels of air travel.NYC subsidizes energy costs for the lower income home owners, what will be the additional expense?What will be the effect on nycs ability to maintain its middle income households – already under pressure?Will the super wealthy agree to give up their second and third homes, agree to one car per household, agree to one international plane trip per year?

    1. DJL

      Electric cars cause more pollution that gas cars. 75% of electricity in the US comes from coal. Lithium-ion battery components cross the ocean twice on large tankers before they make it into a tesla. The biggest environmental lie ever told. But it makes the rich electric car owners feel better – which is important.

      1. Richard

        I just want to know if the grid can handle the surge?

        1. DJL

          I would have no idea. But 2 MM cars would not suddenly show up at once. Just look at the average ownership time of a vehicle * 2 million turnover and you can see how long it would take. (Years)

      2. Susan Rubinsky

        Coal is actually at 27.4% for the U.S. Though, fossil fuels, overall, are at 63.5%. However, there are dramatic differences from state to state.For example, here in CT where I live 95% of electricity is generated by equal parts nuclear and natural gas (we also have North America’s largest Fuel Cell — and more on the way — which burns natural gas at a much higher rate of efficiency with zero carbon output).Sources:…Here’s a overview comparing states. The differences from state to state are pretty dramatic (Topping per capita emissions are WY, ND, WV, ALO, LA, MO, KY, IN, NE, OK –

        1. DJL

          This is all good stuff. Natural gas is generally much better and cost effective than solar or other methods.Its just unfortunate that everything is dumped into one atmosphere and then carried around the world with natural currents.

          1. ShanaC

            NG isn’t anymore based on the bids to build new plants in Colorado (which needed to depreciate a ton of coal plants all at the same time due to their age and cost structure unrelated to climate change and the president). Xcel’s new grid is going to be cheaper with wind and solar only. While Xcel was commited to a greener system anyway because of local colorado inativies and tax breaks, they weren’t expeting to go almost green from the start. They’re doing it because it is crazy cheaper – to the point where it made national news.…(though the trade war is mucking this up unnaturally with a tax)And the Colorado plan by Xcel is a first gen example of new grid prototypes because Colorado was forced into this situation. Second, third generations will be even more cost efficient per gigawatt. There’s no functional reason to not have a green grid knowing this

          2. Susan Rubinsky

            Yes, with fuel cells we can make natural gas very clean and highly efficient.

          3. awaldstein

            Did a project with unpiped Flare Gas as a source of carbon neutral power in off the grid locations for computing power.Quite the education.

        2. DJL

          BTW – You are correct. 75% coal is India. US is closer to 30%. My mistake.

    2. ShanaC

      Canada seems to be doing ok with the subsidizes question

      1. JamesHRH

        Also has a staged sound nuclear regulation process in place.We’ll be selling NYS clean CDN fusion electrons way before the state builds anything clean.

        1. ShanaC

          doubt it. you can put wind on the north shore. you can’t put nuclear plants on long island, because evacuation would be a problem. it would be easier to build than import the power long term

          1. JamesHRH

            You import electricity from northern Quebec.Have you done any recent research on nukes? Don’t meltdown, use thorium, you name it.No brainer.

  3. awaldstein

    Agree.The amount of innovation that could be spurred here is significant if supported.Reconceptualizing the electric grid alone with hybrid sources is huge opportunity in its own right.

  4. DJL

    We do have a choice. Don’t try to legislate a solution to an infinitely complex problem.Even if you believe in man-made global climate change (which many do not) I would propose that using the government as the stick is the wrong solution. For example, how can you possibly accurately measure “greenhouse gas” emission from a state, when 100 feet across the border is another state? This will be a huge waste of taxpayer dollars that should be spent on carrots.

    1. creative group

      DJL:”Even if you believe in man-made global climate change (which many do not)”.The Koch Industries propaganda machine in use. No facts just false statements to justify a empty position not based upon science or facts and this forum allows it to go unchallenged being afraid of offending the side that offends intelligence daily.We are short on opinions and long on producing facts to this short on facts crowd daily production of lies.…They will never produce a consensus of scientific anything but manufactured websites with looney tunes paid for by the Carbon emissions companies.Captain Obvious!#UNEQUIVOCALLYUNAPOLOGETICALLYINDEPENDENT

      1. scottythebody

        so true

      2. John Gardner

        Were you aware that according to the IPCC AR5 report that if the governments of the world did nothing that it would cause less harm (as measured by GDP loss) than the cost of mitigation? Whether or not you believe that humans have a significant impact on the climate, the cost/benefit analysis right now does not favor government intervention to change behavior.

    2. Khürt L. Williams

      Don’t bring rational thought to an emotional discussion.

      1. DJL

        My bad. ;>)As I often say to my friends “I see you’ve already made up your mind and don’t want to be confused with the facts.”

    3. Michael Elling

      Were MPG standards (CAFE, 1975) good or bad?

  5. William Mougayar

    What are the best carrots for this, and who provides them?

    1. ShanaC

      nber is starting to research on this

    2. awaldstein

      Early stage projects like Swytch are building blockchain based platforms to let you visualize and calibrate hybrid power grids.Random comment but laws like this will drive some interesting and new projects I think.

    3. Mike

      Possibly significant investment tax incentives to attract private capital to qualified investments? Eliminate capital gains taxes on these investments? Not direct subsidies. Let the private sector pick the winners and losers. There was a discussion of a similar program for real estate investment on this blog a few months back.

  6. jason wright

    2050 is too far out to concentrate minds to find solutions. It’s not creating a sense of urgency (bordering on panic). Press the right emotion button and things will get done. We all know this is how our brains can be made to work, and it’s very effective.

    1. Khürt L. Williams

      So you’re suggesting a plan to devise ways to manipulate people?

  7. sigmaalgebra

    I see no threat of problems with the climate and no significant or even measurable harm to the climate from human activities.Glaciers melting? Uh, one could try to measure temperature via pictures of glaciers, but thermometers have long been very accurate and are much better. What we would want is the average global temperature, and satellites are terrific and about the only reasonable way to measure that. When we see pictures of glaciers instead of satellite data, as evidence that humans are causing climate change, likely just anecdotal or cherry picked, we know (i) that is the best evidence they have, (ii) the evidence is junk, i.e., their best evidence is junk, and (iii) they are just trying to fool us — get on our backs and in our pockets (that is a good Reagan quote; he did some good things, but in total I can’t go along with all the important things he said or all those that he did). Now the climate is terrific and quite stable.The last significant climate change was the global cooling from 1940 to 1970. It so happens that during those years, CO2 from human activities was increasing. The human activities were, as so far always, irrelevant, and the cause was, as in the Little Ice Age, fewer sun spots.For a big fraction of the years, at least in recent centuries, the sun spot rate goes in 11 year cycles. In these cycles we are about to enter a few years of fewer sun spots and some cooling.As in the Medieval Warm Period, some warming would be significantly good for agriculture and standard of living in some of the third world.The climate is nearly entirely driven by sun spots, and we have no control over those.Details are in the relatively well done documentary The Great Global Warming Swindle…Apparently there is a big effort to push the idea of threat to the climate from human activities. Maybe until enough people watch that video, most smart but cynical politicians will vote for biggie changes, rules, limitations, etc. to take effect 30 years from now. But long before 30 years, a LOT of people can watch that documentary and tell the politicians to stop it with their absurd, wasteful effort to save the climate from human activities.

    1. DJL

      Once you convince people that (1) they are responsible for destroying the planet and (2) that government has the solution – you have opened the door to government regulation EVERY aspect of your life. Communism 2.0. This is nothing but a global power grab. It pretty simple for anyone who will open their eyes.

      1. sigmaalgebra

        I can’t help but believe that somehow we should do the usual, “follow the money”.A few $billion in subsidies here, a few $billion there, and after a while it adds up to some significant money and, in particular, one heck of a big political, publicity, and lobbying budget.But in our country, the voters can win, each two years they can just shut up the scam.

        1. DJL

          Interested to see if any of the climate change advocates here (including our fearless leader) have actually taken the time to view this documentary. It was buried amazingly well by US media.

          1. sigmaalgebra

            “Buried”?IMHO and best guess, US media is (i) smelly bait for the ad hook or (ii) propaganda for and paid for by special interests.

          2. sigmaalgebra

            The video mentions “heretics”. Well, the other side is orthodoxy! Then it’s tribal identity, fitting in, the right social graces, virtue signaling. a public statement about wealth (apparently our leader can afford it), being politically correct, or some such? That is, physics, chemistry, the sun spots, the atmosphere, even CO2 really have nothing to do with it. Soooooo, the whole thing was one heck of a selling, scam job. Trump is punching holes in that hot air balloon. Or, there’s history going way back to a trilogy, accusing people of sin, that is, transgression, and, then, facing retribution and in need of redemption, usually via sacrifice, e.g., giving French farm land to the church. Here, for the sin, start with something people will do anyway, e.g., sex, write a bunch of really complicated rules, have confessions, and then get on with the redemption via sacrifice. Soooo, we are as sure as sex that people will emit CO2!!! So, call that sin and get on with the redemption and sacrifice — send your money now!

    2. Michael Elling

      Plastic particles in all our fish are great too!

  8. Kirsten Lambertsen

    I really appreciate this approach. Rather than be against something because it’s not perfect, support it and do the work of adding improvements. That’s how sh*t gets done.

  9. Susan Rubinsky

    Here’s a great overview of the dramatic differences in per capita emissions in different states:”Texas has more energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions than any other state, while Vermont has the least…””The mix of fossil fuels—natural gas, petroleum, and coal—that contribute to CO2 emissions varies by state. For example, 2 of the top 10 energy-related CO2 producing states, California (second) and New York (ninth) emit virtually no coal-related CO2 emissions, while the other 8 states in the top 10 have CO2 emissions from all three fossil fuels. Texas not only produces the most total energy-related CO2 emissions, but also has the highest emissions from coal, petroleum, and natural gas.”Population is the most important factor in determining total CO2 emissions in a state. Other factors that influence both total and per capita CO2 emissions include the state’s energy resources, climate, population density, and economic mix.”…

  10. Tom Labus

    Gregor Macdonald’s impressive take on the current state of fossil and electricity. A call to move on from fossil for financial return reasons.

    1. JamesHRH

      Nuclear. Current designs use prior designs waste as fuel.No brainer.

  11. Mark Gavagan

    Reducing meat consumption is a simple, inexpensive way to cut-back on greenhouse gases. “How Meat Contributes to Global Warming”https://www.scientificameri…

    1. sigmaalgebra

      Ah, reminded me that the next time I’m out I should get 10 pounds of hot dogs, some sliced turkey, some more sliced ham, and some sliced cheese!

      1. Mark Gavagan

        Well, I do hope you take care of your health.”WHO report says eating processed meat is carcinogenic: Understanding the findings”

        1. pointsnfigures

          Cows actually build up soil….which stores carbon….which helps with global warming. Pigs tear up that soil making way for seeds. Chickens go through and eat the bugs….all good for the soil.

          1. Mark Gavagan

            @pointsnfigures:disqus, Interesting. I’d never heard of that.I quickly read the TED transcript, and then this Guardian article.Not everyone agrees, but IF I understand correctly, Savory and Monbiot argue that only a specific type of “holistic” range management (not often practiced in commercial animal farming) can result in significant soil carbon sequestration.Absent such holistic range management, the carbon capture benefits you suggest will not happen.

          2. pointsnfigures

            Which means if you do sustainable grass fed farming and stop subsidizing industrial methods of farming, you can have holistic range management, eat delicious meat, and have a positive impact on the environment.

          3. Mark Gavagan

            @pointsnfigures:disqus I think your conclusion on this disputed research finding is a possible outcome, IF current methods of commercial animal farming are largely or completely changed.However, respectfully, I do not think it’s fair or accurate to simplify this as you did in your original comment, that “Cows actually build up soil….which stores carbon….which helps with global warming”

        2. sigmaalgebra

          IIRC, for some processed meats, there was a concern about one of the nitrate preservatives, but that was not general.I question if dietary cholesterolin normal amounts adds to hardening of the arteries. Instead I prefer the theory that the hardening is a normal part of the healing responses of the arteries from injuries to the walls of the arteries, e.g., from smoking.

          1. Mark Gavagan

            @sigmaalgebra:disqus, From the “WHO report says…” article I posted above: >Meat processing such as curing (e.g. by adding nitrates or nitrites) or smoking can lead to the formation of potentially cancer-causing (carcinogenic) chemicals such as N-nitroso-compounds (NOC) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH). > Meat also contains heme iron, which can facilitate production of carcinogenic NOCs. > Cooking – especially high-temperature cooking including cooking meats over a flame (e.g., pan-frying, grilling, barbecuing) – can also produce carcinogenic chemicals, including heterocyclic aromatic amines (HAA) and PAHs.It is well known that besides increasing the risk of some cancers, high red and processed meat intake can also increase risk of other chronic and potentially life threatening diseases such as coronary heart disease, stroke and type II diabetes … higher rates of total mortality with higher intake of red or processed meat.

          2. sigmaalgebra

            Yes, good chemists and tests for being mutagenic if not actually carcinogenic can find a lot, one food at a time. Actually showing carcinogenic is not so easy; showing it in reality in humans and knowing the cause is super tough in (i) gathering good data and (ii) analyzing it to establish causality.And the general statement “higher rates of total mortality with higher intake of red or processed meat” for similar reasons is also super tough to prove.Sure, maybe cooking meats until there is smoke and a burned crust might create some bad stuff. But there is also Maillard browning also a key to a lot of cooking and is browning but maybe not at the temperatures being considered.Statistics to establish causality is tough to do. From what I’ve seen, too often the poor biologists just do regression analysis and look mostly just at the sizes of the individual regression coefficients to pick out one variable from the several used as the cause — not necessarily so good.For the nitrates, my understanding is that the problem was in just a small part of the meat industry and that industry got that problem under control long ago.Yes, thanks for the WHO links — WHO has long done some really good work, IIRC, on smallpox. I SHOULD read your links!Right now I’m busy moving!

          3. Mark Gavagan

            Thanks for your reply sigmaalgebra. I’m uninformed about much of what you wrote, so I can’t comment, other than this: Good luck with your move..

          4. sigmaalgebra

            When I was in grad school, some people in my building were into environmental engineering and there I learned about mutagenic: If want to test a chemical, then put it with some cells and see if the cells mutate. That’s a heavily used, fast, quick and dirty, first cut filter test for the more difficult to determing carcinogenic. Yes, there is utility here, but in practice too often mutagenic is taken for carcinogenic, and some of that may have happened in some of the tests of food. Net, that whole subject is tough..

          5. Mark Gavagan

            Hmm. Okay, I understand (now, not before) that mutagenic is easy to test for, and that most* carcinogens are mutagenic, but not all mutagens are carcinogens. Thus, the “possible carcinogen” label laypeople like me read so often in the media.* “Mutagenicity and carcinogenicity are clearly correlated. One (1976, Joyce McCann and Bruce Ames) study showed that 157 of 175 known carcinogens (approximately 90 percent) are also mutagens.”I suppose whether or not it makes sense to dismiss “possible carcinogen” warnings is how often mutagens (i.e. “suspected of causing cancer”) are in fact carcinogens.I searched a bit, but wasn’t able to find anything useful on this.

          6. sigmaalgebra

            You found it, the Ames thing.In that grad school thingy, they mentioned the Ames thing that a big fraction of carcinogens are mutagens. But that’s backwards: What we want is the fraction of mutagens that are carcinogens. So, right, with some more data, can use Bayes rule to get what want. At the talk, I spoke up and made that point.

          7. pointsnfigures

            Yes, I think that I know plenty of people that have lived into their 90s eating sausage. I’d also say that I am not cruel enough to force people into a choice. When you mess with the food supply and say, “only organic sustainable blah blah blah” you have to remember there are a lot of poor people out there that can’t afford that. Industrialized farming works for them.At the same time, if you got rid of all farm subsidies (sugar, peanuts etc) which were instituted by FDR not for economic reasons but to get votes, I’d be in favor of it. Let the markets give supply and demand clues and let farmers respond. They are incredibly tech efficient and adaptable. People underestimate the innovative and entrepreneurial nature of the American farmer.

  12. Noah Rosenblatt

    “the planet is fine, we’re fuc**ed” – George Carlin, RIP

  13. John Francis Charles

    I know this is totally unrelated but I wasn’t sure if I should post to another day. Tomorrow a friend is grabbing lunch with Congressman Patrick McHenry, the ranking republican on the House Financial Services Committee.What questions should he ask?Context:Among republicans, McHenry is one of the most engaged in writing bills to support fintech innovation, cryptocurrencies and crowdfunding. He and Chairwoman Maxine Waters work well together (really), so there is real potential for bipartisan legislation in these areas.Patrick has also publicly expressed concern about Facebook’s planned cryptocurrency (Libra), supporting Maxine’s plan for an investigatory hearing (now planned for July 17th). Lastly, today the committee held a hearing on fintech oversight, and tomorrow they hold a hearing on artificial intelligence for detecting fraud, predicting customer behavior, and pricing banking and insurance products.

  14. pointsnfigures

    markets work better than centralized plans to allocate resources and solve problems.

    1. Chimpwithcans

      Yep. didn’t the CFC/ozone layer issue get cleaned up through market mechanisms? Sill requires government to create the market though – which is a tricky sell.

  15. Khürt L. Williams

    .Nearly 60 percent of the state’s electricity is consumed in the New York City area, where only 40 percent of it is made…

  16. DJL

    I’m pretty sure that if we could analyze the carbon footprint of the supply chain required to (1) produce EVs and (2) retrofit our entire road system to support them, the climate impact would be negative, not positive. So the entire notion of using EV as a solution to emissions is a false premise.But that would be a very inconvenient truth.

  17. Vasudev Ram

    Interesting points:>2. On-the-road recharging — not just the availability of recharging units, but the time to charge. I am starting to see recharging units at places like Cracket Barrel on highway locations, but I have never seen one being used.How about swapping the discharged battery for a charged one, at the charging station? I do realize there could be issues with that approach, like the old one could be misused or damaged. The station would have to check for that each time. Wonder if anyone tried this though.>4. WTF happens when you run out of charge on the road? With an ICE, somebody can bring you a couple gallons of gas.Can’t someone – like a service shop – or a service unit of the manufacturer – bring you a battery (at least in some places)?This made me look up the electric vehicle industry in India. I had seen an electric car make called Reva some years ago and also read about it in Business India magazine.Seems the Reva company was acquired by the Mahindra group, a large automotive group in India.…Edit: Mahindra group is actually a conglomerate that works in other areas than autos too.

  18. Susan Rubinsky

    Yes, you are correct about the use of the word “burn.” I know how it works — just was using “burn” as colloquial shorthand.

  19. sigmaalgebra

    Okay, IIRC, natural gas is methane, and a fast Google search confirms that the chemical formula for methane is just CH4.So, a tutorial on reforming is at…withCH4 + H2O (steam) –> CO + 3H2EndothermicCO + H2O (steam) –> CO2 + H2Exothermic Uh, as I quickly read the tutorial, for at least that first reaction, endothermic, need to add a lot of heat and pressure, i.e., use of energy and capital expense (capex).So, get off CO2, and the greenies will still be upset!Sure, the greenies will try to win with their scam.Otherwise, the main issue will likely be the physical chemistry that says what the basic efficiency is. E.g., have to compete with just burning the CH4 with O2 from the atmosphere, likely in gas turbines.IIRC GE has been selling a lot of such gas turbines: GE and their customers can do those efficiency calculations.

  20. JamesHRH

    Because it’s my theme for the post, small nukes are the future too.Government would be way better off incentivizing rather than doing.

  21. Richard

    Thanks, From CA “ While these projections bode well for greenhouse gas reductions, they also indicate increasing electricity needs: only 3.29 Mega-watt hours were needed to charge EVs in 2017, whereas 78.74 will likely be necessary by 2030.” Apparently, you need the equivalent of a house in every neighborhood to handle the equipment.

  22. sigmaalgebra

    With a lot of consumer EV charging, the last mile of the electric power grid and the consumer circuit breaker boxes stand to need some upgrading.

  23. ShanaC

    There’s a lot we don’t know about the switchover – but there’s a lot we didn’t know about building first generation grids of coal either when we built them. At the end of the day, the projected numbers are working out, there’s an ecosystem developing around the bonding because of the issues raised with Xcel’s bid process and the amount of demand it unleashed.The larger point is we’re not arguing about the cost structure here and now.The Xcel bid and Colorado plan suggests that the NY plan could force NY’s energy costs to some of the lowest in the nation and create some interesting power innovation if they structure the regulatory carrot/sticks correctly as people try to figure out ways around aspects of the regulation to suit their needs and lives. Beyond the climate issue, what would could see is NY being very power rich, which could be interesting. (never though of NYS as exporting power. apples, yeah, power, huh)

  24. Tom Labus

    I find it amazing that no Pol has run with this. Or even danced with it a bit.

  25. Vasudev Ram

    Got it, thanks.

  26. Mark Gavagan

    “to escape Texas”

  27. Susan Rubinsky

    Yup. Very small. Just goes to show you that we have far to go with fuel cells.

  28. Susan Rubinsky

    hahahahaaa. me bad. sometimes.

  29. Girish Mehta