ALBANY, NY (Erie News Now)--SOME ENVIRONMENTAL ADVOCATES RALLY ACROSS THE STATE FOR LEGISLATION IN ALBANY THAT INTENDS TO ENSURE THAT STATE REGULATION AND OVERSIGHT OF GAS UTILITIES REALIZE CLIMATE JUSTICE MANDATES FROM THE CLIMATE LEADERSHIP AND COMMUNITY PROTECTION ACT.  

THEY ARE HOPING LAWMAKERS WILL MAKE THIS BILL A PRIORITY IN THE NEXT STATE BUDGET.  

“NY Heat is a really important policy that will one, help New Yorkers save money on their energy bills, and two, help the state have a plan to stop expanding a very expensive and dangerous gas system,” said Liz Moran, New York policy advocate with Earthjustice.  

THE LEGISLATION INTENDS TO SAVE NEW YORKERS MONEY BY CAPPING UTILITY BILLS FOR NO MORE THAN six PERCENT OF AN INDIVIDUAL'S INCOME. THIS CAP INTENDS TO PROTECT LOW TO MODERATE INCOME HOUSEHOLDS. 

SOME LAWMAKERS SAid THIS LEGISLATION IS ALSO IMPORTANT TO HELP MOVE NEW YORK CLOSER TOWARDS IT’S CLIMATE GOALS.  

“I think this legislation is critical for reaching our climate goals, you know gas infrastructure, you build a pipeline or the pipe in the ground and it's there for years and it's there for years, for decades and it really stalls climate progress,” said Sen. Jabari Brisport (D-25th Senate District).

SOME ENVIRONMENTAL ADVOCATES SAid OFTEN ECONOMIC INTERESTS ARE WEIGHED AGAINST ENVIRONMENTAL ONES, BUT THIS IS A POLICY THAT CAN DO BOTH.  

“We can save ratepayer dollars while we move off fossil fuels, that’s a big deal,” said Alex Beauchamp, northeast region director at Food & Water Watch.