Next time you hear double-dipper Bob Duffy gassing about creating jobs in Upstate New York, ask him how this helps.
State lawmakers are in talks over a plan to lower New York's cap on carbon emissions, a move that would likely boost costs for coal-fired power plants and revamp the state's participation in a regional climate-change program.
Under pressure from environmental groups, lawmakers and Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office have discussed lowering the limit through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a nine-state cap-and-trade program in which carbon allowances are auctioned off to power producers.
Let's think about this for a moment. If you're a struggling Finger Lakes homeowner, your second-highest-in-the-US electric rate will go up again. If you're a swell who's invested in carbon credits, however, your net worth will increase.
"One of the most serious things that has been looked at this year is adjusting the cap, and by adjusting the cap the credits themselves will regain value," said Assemblyman Kevin Cahill, a Kingston Democrat who chairs the chamber's energy committee.
And if you happen to still have a job in a coal fired power plant, don't worry.
The legislation would likely have a significant impact on the state's coal plants, particularly financially troubled facilities in Lansing, Tompkins County, and three others in western New York.
You and your fellow taxpayers will be forced to hand over more cash to your local government, which by the tortured logic of the state legislature, will make it all better.
Current discussions, however, center around providing state aid to municipalities should a power plant close, according to the bill language. Forty percent of the additional revenue from the emissions auctions would be earmarked for communities that are "substantially adversely impacted by the loss of property tax revenues" or a payment in lieu of taxes agreement "due to the closing of a major electric generating facility."