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PRESS RELEASE | Siena Poll Shows Broad Support for NYISO's Carbon Pricing Proposal

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PRESS RELEASE | Siena Poll Shows Broad Support for NYISO's Carbon Pricing Proposal

September 28, 2020

Rensselaer, NY -- The New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) today, along with the Siena College Research Institute, released a new poll of New Yorkers which found a large majority of respondents are in favor of incorporating a social cost of carbon dioxide emissions into competitive wholesale energy markets. 

The NYISO designed a pending carbon pricing proposal that will help the state reach its statutory clean energy goals. Carbon pricing uses market-based price signals to achieve reductions in emissions from fossil fuel-based generators while strengthening investment signals for clean generation. Multiple studies find that instituting carbon pricing would help New York meet its clean energy goals faster and more cost-effectively, while reducing emissions and maintaining grid reliability.

Key findings from the Siena College poll

When respondents were first asked about the NYISO proposal, a plurality were in favor:

  • 47% support

  • 36% oppose

  • 17% don’t know/no opinion

After learning more about the proposal and its benefits:

  • 71% of respondents were more likely to support the proposal if they knew the proposal would replace the oldest, most polluting plants with cleaner, less polluting generators.

  • 68% of respondents were more likely to support the proposal when told the growth in clean technology would benefit the state’s economy.

  • 62% of respondents were more likely to support when told the proposal would reduce emissions in urban communities most impacted by power plant emissions.

  • 54% of respondents were more likely to support the proposal when told investments in new carbon-free energy would increase.

Respondents were then asked again how they felt about the proposal and support increased significantly:

  • 62% support (+15 pts)

  • 27% oppose (-9 pts)

  • 11% don’t know/no opinion (-6)

The poll, conducted by the Siena College Research Institute, also found that 79% of respondents support the 2030 and 2040 goals laid out in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA). Notably, that support extended across all ideological, race, sex, age, geographic, income and religious crosstabs.

“These results demonstrate that New Yorkers recognize carbon pricing is a compelling tool for meeting New York’s clean energy, economic, and public health needs,” said Rich Dewey, President and CEO of the New York ISO. “As New York looks to incentivize the investment necessary to achieve its climate goals, we need every tool at our disposal. Carbon pricing will speed up innovation, and protect consumers from the risk associated with those investments. Now we know the proposal has broad public support.”

“Capturing the price of carbon pollution in New York’s electricity market will support the state in achieving its decarbonization goals at the least cost to consumers, while serving as a national model on how to use a market-based approach to reach clean energy goals,” said Tom Kiernan, American Wind Energy Association CEO. “By providing an additional long-term market signal for renewable investment through carbon pricing, New York will also harness the numerous economic and job-creating benefits that come from moving toward a clean energy economy.”

“Carbon pricing in NY’s electricity market can complement the 70% renewable energy mandate and help achieve it at a lower cost. It’s a smart policy for New York to pursue,” said Anne Reynolds, Executive Director of the Alliance for Clean Energy New York.

"We are in a climate crisis and we need to act quickly to transition to a green grid,” said Julie Tighe, President, NYLCV. “The NYISO’s carbon pricing proposal will help us reach the CLCPA goals faster while benefitting the state economy. We look forward to working with the NYISO and others to move carbon pricing forward."

These findings were released ahead of the September 30th FERC Technical Conference examining Carbon Pricing in Organized Wholesale Electricity Markets. The NYISO’s President and CEO, Rich Dewey, is among the participants. Mr. Dewey’s opening statement will cover various topics including:

  • The environmental, consumer and development benefits of the NYISO’s carbon pricing proposal.
  • The historical benefits of the NYISO’s wholesale electricity markets.
  • The path to achieving the ambitious mandates laid out in the CLCPA.
  • The power of markets to be a vehicle for change and innovation.

Also scheduled to speak is Rana Mukerji, the NYISO’s Senior Vice President of Market Structures. Mr. Mukerji’s opening statement focuses on the process the NYISO undertook, with its stakeholders, to develop the carbon pricing proposal. Key topics include:

  • The mechanics of how the proposal would work within the NYISO’s wholesale markets.
  • How the NYISO and its stakeholders propose to prevent carbon leakage.
  • Next steps.

Additional resources

Learn more about the NYISO's carbon pricing proposal here.

Crosstabs for the poll are available here.

Rich Dewey's opening statement.

Rana Mukerji's opening statement.

We are an independent, not-for-profit corporation responsible for operating the state’s bulk electricity grid, administering New York’s competitive wholesale electricity markets, conducting comprehensive long-term planning for the state’s electric power system, and advancing the technological infrastructure of the electric system serving the Empire State.

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