In October of 1973, OPEC imposed an embargo on oil from its member companies, placing the economies of the world at risk.  Domestic oil producers began operating under new rules that required, among other restrictions, “sharing” of low priced crude with companies without such market advantages and skewing refinery output toward heating fuels to protect citizens in the coming winter.  And of course to assure chaos and deflect blame, price controls were imposed to created shortages, long lines and deep resentment of the oil industry.  Then Nixon left and Ford took over, ran and lost, and in 1986, Jimmy Carter became president declaring MEOW.  This problem represented to him the Moral Equivalent of War. Perhaps no one bothered to work on the acronym prior to his coinage.  Nixon’s demise sent democrats into office in many states and DC, too, leading to an “Excess Profits Tax” on oil companies other wise known as a big sales tax on fuel.  No one was happy.

In 1979, another OPEC embargo, this time with all countries de-facto members of the group; production up, no shortages and prices began to stabilize, the economy started to recover and in a year or so, interest rates came down, and Reagan deregulated energy.  Happy again.

The question of the US being at risk because of dependency produced some solutions, continuing through the presidencies Clinton/Bush.  Then an explosion in supply, fracking, and the US, an importer of more than half its daily use of crude, became a net exporter and the world’s largest producer.

The problem now is climate change that may have a multifactorial etiology but carbon from fossil fuels was portrayed as the only or principle cause, so its use must be discouraged (taxed).  We are swimming in energy at very low prices, excluding negative externalities, that NYS’s fossil fuel apparatchiks are resistant to calculate in a cost/benefit study required by law.  No one is happy. China is the largest producer and user of coal in the world, and India generates 70% of its electricity from coal.  The USA is a much smaller contributor to carbon emissions.

In a recent portrayal, Gabriel Byrne suddenly becomes Prime Minister of Great Britain at the demise of the current one.  For reasons known only to the script writer, Byrne starts sprouting climate change to the Indian ambassador who reminds him India needs the energy to prosper, Great Britain  having exploited Indian coal to become a great economic power but now wants India to cut back on coal use.  No one is happy.


Some bills of interest related to the “green deal”.

A 2261 – Enacts “private environmental law enforcement act”; authorizes any private citizen who has an interest which is or may be adversely affected to commence civil judicial actions for injunctive or declaratory relief to remedy environmental harms under certain circumstances; provides that such action may be commenced against any person for any violation of an administrative or court order compelling an investigation or remediation of an inactive hazardous waste disposal site.  3rd Rdg.

A 1466 – Implements the “New York State Build Public Renewables Act” requiring 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; repeals certain provisions relating thereto.

Track this bill

S- 4816 – Relates to tax on sales of motor fuel and petroleum products; repeals certain provisions of law relating thereto. Budget Committee (Senate Finance)

This bill is an extensive overhaul of Articles 12A and 13A of the tax law to structured to discourage the use of carbon based fuels.

s -4097 – Directs the commissioner of the department of environmental conservation to promulgate rules and regulations establishing targets for the sales of zero emissions medium and heavy duty vehicles in the state.  Currently on Senate Committee Agenda