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Law would require fossil fuel giants to pay NYS $30B

May 30, 2022 12:45 am

Kate Lisa is reporting for Capital Tonight Under legislation introduced by state lawmakers last week, fossil fuel companies that have emitted significant greenhouse gases leading to the climate crisis would be required to pay a combined $30 billion to the state for environmental upgrades. The Climate Change Superfund Act would require coal, oil and natural gas companies to pay a share of the cost of green infrastructure projects to remediate environmental harm and remove the burden from taxpayers who did not contribute to the emissions. Companies would pay damages based on their share of total greenhouse gas emissions since the year 2000. The state Department of Environmental Conservation would use industry-specific formulas for each fossil fuel company to calculate their emissions and identify those responsible. Proving negligence or wrongdoing is not required for companies to be obligated to pay damages. The proposed law would create the Climate Change Adaption Cost Recovery Program ⁠— equivalent to a state superfund program to clean up toxic waste sites. "Who should pay? The oil companies should pay because they're the ones who are behind the problem," New York Public Interest Research Group Executive Director Blair Horner said. "They caused a problem, they created waste, and they need to be on the hook for it." The funds collected would be placed in a new Climate Change Adaptation Fund to be used for green infrastructure projects. Potential upgrades include repairing damage from extreme weather events and upgrades to stormwater drains, roads, bridges, electrification and public transportation. Infrastructure projects to curb climate change are estimated to cost New York $10 billion annually by 2050. If the act is signed into law, the DEC, state Department of Taxation and Finance and state attorney general's office would be responsible for enforcement. Read the full story at nystateofpolitics.com.