Peaker Power Plants and Environmental Injustice

Roger Caiazza

The PEAK coalition has stated that “Fossil peaker plants in New York City are perhaps the most egregious energy-related example of what environmental injustice means today.”  The influence of this position on current New York State environmental policy has led to this issue finding its way into multiple environmental initiatives. Furthermore, this initiative has spread into other areas of the country.  However, the presumption of egregious harm is based on selective choice of metrics, poor understanding of air quality health impacts, and ignorance of air quality trends. 


There is no question that disadvantaged communities suffer disproportionate environmental impacts but it is important to understand what causes the harms and balance expectations and potential solutions.  I believe the concerns about fossil peaker plants are misguided.  Moreover, there is no currently available technology that has been proven at the scale necessary that can replace fossil-fired generation in New York City safely, reliably, and affordably. If safety, reliability, and affordability are not prioritized, then it could easily result in an electric system that does not maintain current standards.  More importantly, problems associated with them impact disadvantaged communities more than other communities so those concerns must be considered when decisions are made about peaking power plants. 

Peaker Power Plant Background

I have written multiple articles about peaking power plants and alleged health impacts of these facilities in response to opinion pieces, reports, and policy proposals

I believe that the PEAK Coalition report entitled: “Dirty Energy, Big Money” is the reason that environmental justice organizations vilify all New York City peaking power plants.  I have described this work in three posts.  I published a post that provided information on the primary air quality problem associated with these facilities, the organizations behind the report, the State’s response to date, the underlying issue of environmental justice and addressed the motivation for the analysis.  The second post addressed the rationale and feasibility of the proposed plan to replace these peaking facilities with “renewable and clean energy alternatives” relative to environmental effects, affordability, and reliability.  Finally, I discussed the  Physicians, Scientists, and Engineers (PSE) for Healthy Energy report Opportunities for Replacing Peaker Plants with Energy Storage in New York State that provided technical information used by the PEAK Coalition.

A post describing my comments on the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) decision to deny the NRG Astoria Gas Turbine Power Replacement Project Title V Permit Application summarizes issues and implications of premature retirements.

In February 2023 I wrote an article about the risks of the zero-risk philosophy of environmental justice advocates who vilify peaking power plants.  However noble the concept of eliminating any risks from any source of pollution, if it is construed to mean that anything that might be contributing to bad health must be prohibited, then society basically cannot function.  Peaking power plant issues were discussed as an example of this problem in the article.  The over-arching concern in the article is that the Environmental Rights Amendment to the New York constitution will inevitably set a high hurdle for permitting a new facility or keeping an existing source in operation.  The amendment states: “Each person shall have a right to clean air and water, and to a healthful environment.”  It is likely that a debate about what constitutes clean air will ensue for every permit application.

Air Quality and Health Metrics

The Clean Air Act established the primary metric to protect human health and welfare codified in a scientifically-based regulatory program.   The National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) “provide public health protection, including protecting the health of ‘sensitive’ populations such as asthmatics, children, and the elderly”.  My air pollution meteorology career is based on the presumption that air quality that meets the NAAQS is acceptable.

Over my career air quality has improved markedly.  The Environmental Protection Agency keeps track of air quality trends in the country.  The following graph shows air pollution concentration averages.

There is no graph available for the Northeastern US but the data show similar decreases.

For the most part New York air quality reflects national and regional trends.  According to the EPA nonattainment/maintenance status summary, there are multiple counties In New York that do not attain the NAAQS for ozone and New York County does not meet the coarse particulate matter standard.  Note that all of New York State meets the inhalable particulate (PM2.5) NAAQS.  All the other pollutants are in attainment. 

Despite the fact that there have been significant improvements and New York is mostly in attainment with the NAAQS there is another approach to air quality health impacts that regulators and activists have used to claim more reductions are necessary.

Even though New York City is in attainment for inhalable particulates, this pollutant is used as a rationale for shutting down peaking power plants because of claims that reducing inhalable air quality impacts is beneficial.   For example, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s (DOHMH) Air Pollution and the Health of New Yorkers report is often referenced in this regard.  The DOHMOH report concludes: “Each year, PM2.5  pollution in [New York City] causes more than 3,000 deaths, 2,000 hospital admissions for lung and heart conditions, and approximately 6,000 emergency department visits for asthma in children and adults.” These conclusions are for average air inhalable particulate pollution levels in New York City over the period 2005-2007 of 13.9 µg/m3.

In my comments on the Draft Scoping Plan I explained that the following paragraph from Scoping Plan Appendix G: Section II summarizes the fundamental assumption for these health impacts:

Nevertheless, the health impact functions included in COBRA were developed from a specific population exposed to specific levels and compositions of PM2.5, and conditions in NYS have changed since these functions were developed. For example, the health impact function from the Krewski study was based on examining mortality impacts from 500,000 people in 116 U.S. cities between 1980 and 2000. The levels and compositions of PM2.5 have decreased substantially since 2000, as discussed above, with sharp declines in ammonium sulfate, making ammonium nitrate and secondary organic aerosols relatively more important components of PM2.5 However, the synthesis of the research into PM2.5 impacts on public health conducted for EPA’s draft Integrated Science Assessment for Particulate Matter indicates that the literature provides evidence that the health impact functions may be linear with no threshold below which reductions in exposure to PM2.5 provides no benefits. In other words, even though PM2.5 concentrations have been reduced in NYS in the time since the health impact functions were developed, the evidence suggests that the functions can adequately estimate changes in health impacts even at relatively low levels of PM2.5 Similarly, EPA’s draft Integrated Science Assessment finds that the literature is unclear as to whether changes in the composition of secondary PM2.5 species results in differential changes to health impacts. For this reason, this health analysis, along with most other similar benefits analyses, uses the total change in PM2.5 concentrations to evaluate health impacts rather than looking separately at impacts by the different PM2.5 species.

In brief, the Scoping Plan air quality health assessment depends on a linear no-threshold model.  Originally used for radiation assessment, it suggests that each time radiation is deposited in the susceptible target there is a probability of tumor initiation.  Note, however, that its use in radiation assessment is controversial

It is important to note that these relationships are not Clean Air Act mandates despite the fact that they are used constantly to justify further emission reductions.  Furthermore, their use in air quality assessments is also controversial.  The epidemiological data used by the Environmental Protection Agency have never been independently reviewed and another health impact study of all deaths in California between the years 2000 to 2012 (more than 2 million) reported no correlation between PM2.5 and death.  Furthermore, I also submitted comments on the Draft Scoping Plan where I showed that the 2018-2020 average PM2.5 concentration was 7.4 µg/m3 which is substantially lower than the DOHMOH goal of 10.9 µg/m3.  If the epidemiological linear no-threshold model is correct, then because inhalable particulate levels have come down uniformly across the country then there should be significant observed health benefits across the country and in New York City.  DOHMOH has not verified their projections against observations.  Until such time that the projected health impacts using this approach are validated with observed data, I will be skeptical of this metric.

Air Quality Impacts of Peaking Power Plants

Even if you accept the inhalable particulate health benefit premise, I don’t think that the arguments made in Dirty Energy, Big Money make a convincing case that the peaking power plants are the primary driver of air quality environmental burdens on neighboring communities.  The ultimate problem with this approach is that the argument relies on environmental burdens from ozone and particulate matter air quality impacts.  However, ozone is a secondary air pollutant and the vast majority of ambient PM2.5 from power plants is also a secondary pollutant.  As a result, there is a lag between the time emissions are released and creation of either ozone or PM2.5. By the time the precursor pollutants convert to ozone or PM2.5 they have moved out of the neighborhood. That means that the peaking power plants do not contribute to the air quality impact problems alleged to occur to the environmental justice communities located near the plants.  In fact, because NOx scavenges ozone the peaker plants reduce local ozone if they have any effect at all. 

Other Consequences

The alleged effects of peaking power plants also is a consideration in the Climate Leadership & Community Protection Act.  Chapter 6. Advancing Climate Justice in the Final Scoping Plan states:

Prioritizing emissions reduction in Disadvantaged Communities should help to prevent the formation or co-pollutant emissions despite a reduction in emissions statewide. A broad range of factors may contribute to high concentrations of pollutants in a given location that create a hotspot. The result can be unhealthy air quality, particularly for sensitive populations such as expectant mothers, children, the elderly, people of low socio-economic status, and people with pre-existing medical conditions.

This contention is based on the arguments in Dirty Energy, Big Money.  I have seen indications that there are people who believe that GHG emissions themselves have some kind of air quality impact exacerbated in disadvantaged community hot spots.  That is simply wrong – there are no health impacts associated with carbon dioxide emissions at current observed ambient levels.  Dirty Energy, Big Money and the Scoping Plan arguments are based on co-pollutant emissions (NOx and PM2.5) that allegedly cause impactful hot spots that result in unhealthy air quality.  Note that all facilities in New York State have done analyses that prove that any locations with higher concentrations in the vicinity of power plants do not contravene the NAAQS.  Trying to make the cap and invest program, that is appropriate for controlling GHG emissions to mitigate global warming, also address a neighborhood air quality problem already covered by other air quality rules is not in the best interests of a successful cap and invest program.


The argument that peaking power plants are a source of egregious harm to disadvantaged communities is based on selective choice of metrics, poor understanding of air quality health impacts,  unsubstantiated health impact analysis, and ignorance of air quality trends. 

I maintain that the appropriate metric for determining the impact to human health and welfare is the NAAQS process.  Using a linear no-threshold model approach is not an appropriate metric for permitting decisions related to peaking power plants.  Appeasing activists who demand zero-risks ultimately means that no emissions will be allowed and that will shut down society.

The argument that peaking power plants affect neighborhoods as portrayed is flawed.    The air pollutants that are alleged to be the cause of a significant health impacts in disadvantaged communities near peaking plants are the secondary pollutants ozone and PM2.5.  Because it takes time for the conversion from precursor pollutants, they are unlikely to affect adjacent neighborhoods simply because they are blown downwind during the conversion phase. 

Inhalable particulates (PM2.5) are frequently cited as the primary cause of health impacts but independent studies offer contrary results.  Taken to the ultimate level this concern would ban camp fires.  When the wind shifts and the smoke blows towards a camper, they got a dose of inhalable particulates.  If one person stays in the smoke for days, then there will be a health impact.  On the other hand the campers that sit around a campfire and get a dose of smoke several times a year get much less of a health effect.  The linear no-threshold approach gets its estimates of health impacts by multiplying low health impacts by many people.  In this case if there are a million campers and if the impact is one millionth of the impact to the guy who stayed in the smoke for days, then it is presumed that one out of a million people would get sick the same way. 

The biggest flaw in the argument is that activists argue that the health-related impacts are increasing at the same time that PM2.5 concentrations in the atmosphere are decreasing.  All the air quality trends are going down.  If proponents can show that there have been substantial benefits associated with the observed concentration reductions then I might be more sympathetic to the arguments.

At some point regulators are going to have to step and be the adults in the room.  It is entirely proper to consider environmental justice considerations in disadvantaged communities.  However, that consideration cannot be the final word on the continued operation of peaking power plants.  This overt deference to environmental justice concerns could easily lead to impacts on the reliability, affordability, and safety of the electric grid.  If problems ensue the communities that will be impacted the most will be the ones this mis-guided deference is intended to protect.


Roger Caiazza blogs on New York energy and environmental issues at Pragmatic Environmentalist of New York.  He is a retired electric utility meteorologist with over 45 years-experience analyzing the effects of meteorology on electric operations.  He has been involved with peaking power plants in particular for over 20 years both from a compliance reporting standpoint and also evaluation of impacts and options for these sources.  This represents his opinion and not the opinion of any of his previous employers or any other company with which he has been associated.


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March 19, 2023 6:52 am

Since there is no evidence that PM2.5 causes health problems, the claims of deaths being caused by the small particles are completely bogus.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  MarkW
March 19, 2023 8:54 am

Violent crime, alcholoism, fentanyl, bad food, lack of healthy exercise cause far more death and health problems than PM2.5.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  MarkW
March 19, 2023 10:58 am

Here is a solid, irrefutable proof that low levels of PM2.5 are not a concern and that high levels are a concern. Both these facts have been tested millions of times.

1. At the end of the glacial maxima and retreat of the ice, rock flour ground by motion of multi-kilometer thick ice over bedrock was exposed. This became airborne in such quantities that it formed up to100m thick deposits of loess (fine silt) in Asia, Europe and North America.. Added to this, desert regions as they exist today continue to blow dust across oceans (even New York gets a supply from the Sahara almost every year!)

2. How do we deal with it? In our (and all other creatures lungs), there are fine hairs, or pairs of hairs in each cell that are motile and each cell emits mucous. When such particles come into the lung they are trapped in the mucous and the cilia initiate a directional rhythmic sweeping motion causing the mucous to flow upwards to the trachea where it is coughed and spit out. The hairs are 1 to 10 microns long! Our hominid forbears wouldnt have made it through multi glaciations and interglacials dust from deserts and the streets of New York without these PM fighters.

3. Now, like the author’s campfire smoke example, you can overpower these hardworking cilia. A smoker has to go at it for 10-20 years before the cilia become damaged enough to stop working. This is the well known condition called emphysema. The mucous keeps flowing but it can’t go anywhere.

4. The important thing re there being a threshold below which there is no harm, is because the cilia can do its work and there is no accumulation in the lungs (the smoker example shows that we are highly likely to be well below harmful levels with current regulations.

Kit P
March 19, 2023 7:04 am

One quibble with Roger is that his career spanned 40 years not 60 years. Maybe air quality affected peoples health 60 years ago but not in 1990. The table of improvement starts in 2000.

Did EPA celebrate victory with a brass band parade and cake and ice cream? No they invented problems such as PM2.5 and climate change.

I was a radiation worker. The linear no threshold theory can not be proven or any more than low levels of radiation is beneficial.

I am old. If the primary statistical factor in a death is living a long time, can I be ‘killed’ by anything? I would suspect young people working for the government would have a different answer.

By the time we had the first month of covid statistics, two things were clear. The rate of for old people was very large and goverment was inept.

What kind of advice was stay home until it is too late?

As far as environmental justice is concerned, I grew up in the intercity with a coal plant downtown. It snowed grey. I joined the navy and learned to operate nuke reactors. Large nuke and coal power plants are built away from cities.

There is still a need for smaller plants in or near the cities in case an ice storm takes out the power lines. These plants rarely run and therefore are not a health problem.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Kit P
March 19, 2023 1:08 pm

“No they invented problems such as PM2.5 and climate change.”

The smoking issue taught them that tobacco smoke particles are ~2 microns. This is just another anchor to the successful anti smoking litigation. We also got the 2°C global warming limit, since reduced to 1.5°C.

Proof that PM2.5 at moderate levels is easily dealt with in the lungs of people and other creatures

Reply to  Kit P
March 19, 2023 4:48 pm

I could not find ambient data going back further without a lot of work. You know what it would show. If the epidemiological models were right there shouldn’t be any asthma now.

Kit P
Reply to  rogercaiazza
March 20, 2023 9:11 am

My problem is not with studies but confirmation basis.

As I said, I grew up in the inter city and we did not have a car. I ran every where as fast as I could. If it was cold, I got tightness in my chest.

I joined the navy and was a radiation worker. Got annual physicals including lung capacity until I got chained to a desk because of advancements.

Old people should get annual physicals and I do. About 2010, my family doctor said I had asthma and gave me an inhaler ignoring 50 years of evidence that I did not.

I am now an asthma statistic. There are people I know closely that had asthma I did know about

Kit P
Reply to  Kit P
March 20, 2023 9:18 am

(continuing statement) until they has a triggering event. The events were marine boot camp, wild fire that caused street lights to come on during the day, pneumonia, and covid.

March 19, 2023 7:09 am

It’s interesting that there are a whole class of popular “air purifiers” that use ozone to eliminate inside odors, thereby purposely exposing users to indoor air that exceeds EPA ozone and particulate limits. Particulates are created as reaction products from ozone with indoor contaminants.

Just do a search for best home ozone air purifier. They do work to eliminate odors but in my opinion likely damage lung tissue.

Reply to  Scissor
March 19, 2023 8:16 am

I think most people use HEPA air purifiers these days. I have one on 24 hours a day in my bedroom. Ozone air “purifiers” are bad news.

HEPA filters became popular during the Covid pandemic but unless there was an infected person in the same room, the filter would not have any benefit. A friend bought one for $150 at Costco, found out they did not absorb her cigarette odors and then gave it to us for free. A rich friend. Our doctors and dentists use similar HEPA filters. Replacement filters are reasonably priced at Amazon. I bought four for the next few years. (Now the air purifier will probably break)

Are ozone air purifiers effective?

Not only are ozone generators ineffective at cleaning indoor air, but inhaling ozone poses serious health risks for humans and animals. This fact sheet discusses these health risks and provides effective, alternative solutions to address indoor air quality problems.

Last edited 8 days ago by Richard Greene
Peta of Newark
Reply to  Richard Greene
March 19, 2023 9:10 am

I will disagree with that – as far as the purifiers that ordinary punters can get hold of.

Reason being the rest Room of one of the ‘coffee shops’ I like to frequent and call in upon while ‘exploring’
For UK folks: Wetherspoons pubs

UK folks will also know (if they visit any Wetherspoon, the pubs really do try to make and keep their Rest Rooms clean, tidy and nice. They really do.

But this particular one and for reasons unknown, had been done out as a ‘Wet Room’. It had been totally waterproofed so as when, classically, a disabled person ‘makes a mess’ in the bathroom and gets water everywhere, it’s easy to clear up and keep clean.
The classic sign of a Wet Room being a rubberised non-slip floor, done all in one piece and ‘rolled’ up the walls for 4 or 5 inches.

But this rest-room stank. It always stank. It always smelled of damp and mould.
It was relentlessly spotless but maybe that was it, they used too much water and it never dried out, added that it had no windows to the outside for fresh air.
Until one day I ventured in there and it was Fresh As A Daisy.
say what.
Nothing seemed any different in there so why didn’t it stink any more

Until you spotted a small white ‘appliance; fiited to to the wall at the far end about 6″ below the ceiling. About the size of a 1.5litre Coke bottle.
It made an imperceptible whirring noise, a ‘computer fan’ was in there obviously but what else.

I noted its manufacturer and model number and straight up there it was on the Interweb – £350+VAT gets you a professional UV air steriliser

As I’ve come to realise, there is and just like LWIR in the GHGE, there are various sorts of Ultra Violet – AVA, UVB and UVC

If me or you go and buy one of these air cleaner filter sterilisers, they will be using Light Emitting Diodes as their source of UV.
And they’ll be engineered so as to emit a gentle blue glow while working so the customer thinks they are.

At best, LEDs can make UVA – at between 315 and 400nm but to destroy nasty smells and kill bacteria, you need UVC at 250nanometres or less
Which you will never get from an LED and you will *never* let it escape from your appliance. Even tiny amounts will give you what (arc spark) welders get and will blind you.

Me and you can get UV sterilisers and they really do work BUT, they need to have a ‘tube’ inside them (not be LED based) and because of that will be quite power hungry.
Check that when you get them and they will make an Ozone smell.
Very low levels of Ozone are actually good for you but as with many things, the poison is in the dose.

The offending rest room was quite large with 7 sit-down cubicles (one of them double sized disabled), as many handbasins, a generous area with a ThingOnTheWall for changing your baby and a pair of hot air hand dryers – not at all cramped yet this one little thing on the wall cleared the room of previous interminable stink.
quite amazing really

edit to PS’
If you really don’t like the Ozone and or its smell (it ain’t nice), put the cleaner on a timer so it runs for about an hour while you’re out at work, shopping, exploring or whatever.
Ozone has a half life of about 30 minutes so if you come back 3 or 4 hours later, you’ll be completely none the wiser.

Last edited 7 days ago by Peta of Newark
Reply to  Peta of Newark
March 19, 2023 11:08 am

I don’t spend any time in public bathrooms and if I did it would not be for over a minute

Rick C
Reply to  Richard Greene
March 19, 2023 9:33 am

After a fire in our office building a few years ago the clean-up company brought in commercial ozone generators which ran for a couple days. We were instructed not to allow anyone in the building during this process. It was quite effective at eliminating smoke odor which had permitted everything. The same tech along with UV light is supposed to be good at eliminating viruses, bacteria and mold spores, but is not supposed to be used in occupied buildings.

Reply to  Rick C
March 19, 2023 11:09 am

HEPA filters don’t eliminate odors.

March 19, 2023 7:21 am

Note the plunge lower of real pollutants on the graph for the Northeast US.

Exactly in the opposite direction of the steady increase in the beneficial gas, CO2
which is well mixed in the global atmosphere.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  meteormike
March 19, 2023 9:01 am

That plunge is mostly because we exported most industries- pretty much all heavy industries. I grew up in a paper making town. My family house was up on a small hill about a quarter mile from a paper factory which we could see from the front porch. Back in the ’50s and ’60s the smokestack pumped out pure black smoke- not all the time, but much of the time. And the river next to it was extremely toxic. The factory shut down decades ago and is now going to be turned into a marijuana production facility- a new, booming industry for the region. 🙂

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
March 19, 2023 10:43 am

Last time I went through MA on I-91, I was amazed at the number of billboards advertising “Weed”.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Frank from NoVA
March 19, 2023 12:44 pm

funny you mention that- I went into a weed store yesterday in Northampton, MA- directly across the street from the city police station- I’ve never bought in a weed store but I just wanted to ask questions

Dennis Gerald Sandberg
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
March 19, 2023 11:34 am

Agree. Any additional “improvement” in our air quality is bad news. Our deindustrialization is already excessive. The business model that says mine nothing, manufacture nothing, import everything to “save energy” and reduce pollution by giving our heavy industry to China has consequences. They get the jobs and profit; we get underemployment and inflation and virtue signaling flags to wave (made in China). Unsustainable.

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
March 20, 2023 8:36 am

The “marijuana industry” encourages customers to inhale tiny, gummy, hot particles that have the added danger of making it difficult to think straight.

Wacky tobacky is an INTENTIONAL pollutant.

But what the heck? Everything can eventually be blamed on someone else.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  tom_gelsthorpe
March 20, 2023 8:40 am

It’s good for you if it’s good stuff- home grown- but not inhaled which isn’t great for your lungs. Better to make cookies or brownies with it.

John Oliver
March 19, 2023 7:48 am

It’s all academic anyway at this point. These radical progressives that have seized power in the developed nations of the western world have no interest in participating iin a evidence based debate. They have already decided the course of action; and that is the biggest the biggest interference in free markets the world has ever seen. The future as it stands now is woke tyranny and socialism which will result in economic collapse and civil war plus geopolitical instability that could kill us all.

Dennis Gerald Sandberg
Reply to  John Oliver
March 19, 2023 11:36 am

Agee, it’s only a question of timing. Surely less than 20 years.

March 19, 2023 7:58 am

I read this article and the prior article on Caiazza’s website yesterday, and, as usual, they were among my favorite articles on my recommended reading list today. Honest Climate Science and Energy Blog

The second new article was called “Climate Act and the Broken Window Fallacy”. After 43 years writing an economics newsletter, ECONOMIC LOGIC. I am qualified to judge the economic ideas in that article. And they are on the mark.

The Caiazza website is about New York, but I’m not interested because I was born in NY and remained there for my first 23 years. I’m interested because what’s happening in New York is a canary in a coalmine for other states.

More important:
I visit about 45 climate and energy blogs every morning
There are only a few authors consistently good with every article.
Roger Caiazza is one of a few great authors.

I prefer reading his articles on his website because the large font is easier to read for his longer than typical articles, because I have a serious vision disability. You ought to bookmark his website.

Pragmatic Environmentalist of New York – Balancing the risks and benefits of environmental initiatives

Last edited 8 days ago by Richard Greene
Reply to  Richard Greene
March 19, 2023 4:46 pm

Thanks for the compliments

Reply to  Richard Greene
March 20, 2023 9:07 pm

Thank you – and bookmarked!

Joseph Zorzin
March 19, 2023 8:51 am

“There is no question that disadvantaged communities suffer disproportionate environmental impacts but it is important to understand what causes the harms and balance expectations and potential solutions.”

Why do we need to use the word “disadvantaged” when we really mean “poor” or “low income”? It seems to me to be just another woke term with implications that just confuse the issue. No doubt some such communities face more severe environmental impacts, but I think most don’t. But the way that sentence reads it sounds like most do- not some. Just nitpicking here.

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
March 20, 2023 9:09 pm

But why are they “disadvantaged”? I suspect because they are none too smart, and vote Democrat because it’s just too hard to think for themselves. And yes… the result is that they are taken advantage of. They are the legitimate prey of Democrats.

Beta Blocker
March 19, 2023 9:39 am

Revisiting a prior comment I made a few weeks ago, I noted that Roger Caiazza discusses his attendance at New York state assemblyman Al Stirpe’s town hall budget in this March 1st article. New York State’s climate act was one topic on Assemblyman Stirpe’s meeting agenda. Here is a list of the pending NYS legislation Roger opposes:

— All components of the NY Renews Climate Jobs, and Justice package including the Climate and Community Protection Fund as well as the following specific bills:
— A4592/S2016. “NY Home Energy Affordable Transition Act”; Aligns utility regulation with state climate justice and emission reduction targets; repeals provisions relating to continuation of gas service; repeals provisions relating to the sale of indigenous natural gas for generation of electricity. 
A4306/S732. DEC to establishes a carbon dioxide emissions price for electric generation from carbon-based fuel; creates a carbon dioxide emissions fund; distribute revenue to low-income individuals and communities and to support mass transit.
A920/S562. The “all-electric building act”; provides that the state energy conservation construction code shall prohibit infrastructure, building systems, or equipment used for the combustion of fossil fuels in new construction statewide no later than December 31, 2023 if the building is less than seven stories and July 1, 2027 if the building is seven stories or more. 
A279/S4134. “New York State Build Public Renewables Act”; requires the New York power authority to provide only renewable energy and power to customers; requires such authority to be the sole provider of energy to all state owned and municipal properties; requires certain New York power authority projects and programs pay a prevailing wage and utilize project labor agreements.
S4854. Requires agencies to develop recommendations regarding the establishment of microgrids at critical facilities. 
A4393/S2007. Establishing a one hundred percent clean renewable energy system for electricity by two thousand thirty-four; such energy system shall include solar, wind, geothermal and tidal sources.
A4866. “fossil fuel facilities replacement and redevelopment blueprint act” requires NYSERDA, DPS and DEC to prepare a blueprint to guide the replacement and redevelopment of the oldest and most-polluting fossil fuel facilities and their sites by 2030.
A411/S3581. Declares a climate emergency and places a ban on fossil fuel infrastructure projects but shall not apply to repair or maintenance of existing infrastructure.

One has to read the texts of these pending bills to appreciate just how far and how fast their enactment would accelerate New York State’s anti-carbon Net Zero agenda.

These bills are likely to pass in the New York State legislature and will enable a quick expansion of the NYS 2019 Climate Act. As will the recently passed NYS constitutional amendment guaranteeing every New Yorker a clean environment.

This legislation makes it all but impossible for any state or local regulatory agency affected by these laws to listen to rational arguments for keeping New York City’s peaker plants in operation. Or to keep any other fossil-fuel power plant in the state in operation. All of those fossil plants will eventually be shut down, the only question being how soon it happens.

Last edited 7 days ago by Beta Blocker
Reply to  Beta Blocker
March 19, 2023 4:45 pm

The ultimate stupid legislation document is up next.

John Hultquist
March 19, 2023 9:40 am

 Many folks enjoy camping and when allowed will have a “campfire” large enough to roast a small pig. Of course, a campfire doesn’t produce smoke, particles, or ozone – only heat and light. New York City folks are likely unfamiliar with such fires. 😊🤣

Frank from NoVA
March 19, 2023 11:16 am

NYC is a densely populated urban load pocket, whose supply will always be limited by its transmission and local peaking capacity. Re. the latter, I wasn’t able to glean much detail on the peakers themselves from the PEAK Coalition’s attached hit piece (i.e., are they diesels or turbines, gas or kerosene fired, etc.), other than that many of them are old (what sane person would modernize their generation fleet given NY’s awful regulatory environment?), which makes it difficult to assess claims of environmental harm, particularly (no pun intended) the PM2.5 nonsense.

PS to NY’s environmental hand wringers: Eliminate the peaking units if that makes you feel good about yourself, but you might really want to consider the impact on air quality of having countless trucks idling in traffic at all hours of the day due to the decrepit condition of your major roads and bridges.

Reply to  Frank from NoVA
March 19, 2023 1:53 pm

One of the problems in the PEAK Coalition report is that they don’t distinguish between the NYC peaking turbines (simple cycle turbines installed in the early 1970’s and the steam boiler units. The uncontrolled natural gas and kerosene fired turbines are being phased out unless they improve their emission performance so any effects of these low-level sources will be reduced. The Peak analysis does not acknowledge that the steam boilers with stacks have different air pollution impacts and is demanding that they get shut down too. In either case no sane person is going to invest in further upgrades given that they are all supposed to be shut down by 2040. The operators have no obligation to serve so when continued operation gets to be too much of a hassle or unprofitable then they will say see ya. If the NYISO says they have to continue to operate they may say here the keys.

The other point is that diesel trucks are a real issue. Now a rational strategy would be to convert trucks to compressed natural gas which eliminates the PM emissions but because there still would be NOx emissions that is off the table to the hand wringers. If you compare the time to convert and the likelihood of success of Battery heavy duty trucks then ignoring the CNG truck option is absurd.

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  rogercaiazza
March 19, 2023 3:23 pm

Thanks, Roger. I don’t see any problem with keeping diesel-powered trucks for long-haul service, while maybe using CNG-powered trucks, garbage haulers, buses, etc. for local service. Both diesel and CNG are certainly better than the electric and/or hydrogen alternatives. It’s quite ironic that NYS shut down truly ‘dispatchable emission free resources’ (DERFs) like Shoreham and Indian Point.

Reply to  Frank from NoVA
March 19, 2023 4:44 pm

“Ironic”? Bat crap crazy is more like it

March 19, 2023 1:54 pm

Roger, I don’t know how you do it. Dealing with these horrible people and still maintain your sanity. They make me sick.

Reply to  Bob
March 19, 2023 4:45 pm

When I see stupidity I have to vent by writing something.

March 20, 2023 6:58 am

Say, I’ve got a swell idea! Let’s make the perfect the enemy of the good.

Reply to  tom_gelsthorpe
March 20, 2023 4:11 pm

For this to be true, there would have to be something that is good in these plans.

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