New York budget lays groundwork for Cap-and-Invest plan to charge polluters, but details are lacking

The bill determines how the money generated by the program will be spent, but does not include protective measures for disadvantaged communities., environmentalists warn.

Adi Talwar

Power plants in the South Bronx and (in the background) Queens.

Parts of Cap-and-Invest, a state program that will charge companies for carbon pollution, has become New York State Final budget for next year. While the spending bill doesn’t mention him by name, it lays the foundation for how money generated by the program would be spent in the future.

The text of the bill guarantees that no less than 30 percent of the proceeds will go to a rebate initiative that Gov. Kathy Hochul promised earlier this year would help “cover utility bills, transportation costs, and decarbonization efforts” for all New Yorkers as the state continues to move away from fossil fuel use to reach its lofty climate targets.

Specifically, 3 percent of the funds will go toward reducing the “potential increase in costs” small businesses face as they transition to clean energy, while the remaining two-thirds will go toward a climate investment fund that would help address climate change mitigation efforts.

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