Bill aims to hold oil companies responsible for emissions

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)— Environmental advocates say global warming is causing more intense weather events and destruction. They want the governor to sign a recently passed bill that would make big oil companies contribute money to infrastructure recovery program.

“If you, a company, is responsible for 1 billion tons of greenhouse gases between the years of the end of the year 2000 and the end of the year 2018, you’re in the program,” said Blair Horner, Executive Director of NIPIRG.” And then you’re assessed a certain amount. So the money would be used for damages— bridges that get washed out, roadways that are damaged by more intense storms.”

Horner explained just how much the companies would have to pay.

“The bill specifically says $3 billion dollars a year, for each of the next 25 years,” explained Horner. “And it’s designed in such a way that the costs should not be passed down to the public.”

The Business Council of New York State disagrees and does not support the legislation.

“We think it’s going to be subject to legal challenge, so it will be years before it’s actually implemented,” said Ken Pokalsky of the Business Council. “Two, it’s designed as a claim for damages, but the way it’s being implemented, it’s going to look like a tax and we think the companies are going to treat it like a tax. We think it will be a passed through expense to consumers.”

The bill has yet to be delivered to the Governor’s desk. If it’s signed into law, it will take effect immediately.

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