2006-05-26 / Community

Relief At The Pump For New Yorkers

Announcing his support of capping New York's state tax on gasoline, Senator Malcolm Smith is calling for immediate and much-needed reductions in pump prices for New Yorkers, while renewing calls for a comprehensive state and national policy to reduce energy consumption and replace fossil fuels in the next ten years.

"While capping state taxes on gasoline offers New Yorkers some short-term relief, the bigger issue is finding ways to reduce consumption and replacing finite energy resources like coal, oil and natural gas with cheaper, renewable energy sources," said Senator Smith.

Senator Smith noted he supported an amendment to the energy tax cut bill that would have dramatically reduced the State's own energy consumption. The amendment was voted down by Senator Republicans.

"There are those who think that we should be raising taxes on gasoline to encourage Americans to use public transportation and conserve energy," said Senator Smith. "While that may work in theory, I have a hard time telling my constituents who are already paying over $3 a gallon for gas to spend more of their hard earned dollars. Instead, our government should provide more incentives to conserve energy and lead by example."

Senator Smith said state government could save millions of dollars a year by putting in place a common sense of energy conservation plan to reduce its own consumption, which costs taxpayers $300 million annually. For example, New York's agencies and authorities each year consume 50 million gallons of diesel fuel and 55 million gallons of heating oil.

"By reducing the size of the state's fleet of cars and gas-guzzling SUVs, banning non-essential travel by state employees, and lowering our thermostats by a few degrees in the heating season and raising it a few degrees in the cooling season, we could reduce our consumption significantly," Senator Smith.

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