New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is refusing to answer questions about the efficiency levels of his own homes despite mandating that all citizens reduce greenhouse emissions from existing buildings.
De Blasio, a Democrat, announced a series of mandates Sept. 18 forcing citizens in New York City to dramatically revamp their homes and buildings to make them more energy efficient. But he has not answered questions from The New York Times about the efficiency levels of his own properties.
“I cannot tell a lie about being an expert about whether our two very small buildings meet these standards,” De Blasio said at a news conference earlier this month when asked about the efficiency of buildings he owns.
He added: “[W]e have been improving the buildings we’ve been putting energy efficiency elements into them. So, I’d be happy to come back with a clearer answer.”
De Blasio’s press office has not answered repeated requests for additional information about the mayor’s properties. He told reporters Wednesday at a press conference that he would provide more details on his buildings in the future.
The mayor installed a natural gas-powered boiler and hot water heater in one of his buildings, which has not received an Energy Star certification. The Energy Star is part of a federal program that shows an appliance has increased in efficiency.
De Blasio’s press secretary, Eric Phillip, told reporters that there is a difference between the mayor’s buildings and those the mayor’s policies are targeting. One of his buildings is only about 1,500 square feet while another is about 1,200 square feet, according to city data TheNYT obtained
“Comparing these two scenarios is like comparing the emissions and environmental responsibilities of a semi-truck and a bicycle,” Phillip told reporters. De Blasio’s proposed mandate applies to thousands of apartment buildings and factories containing 25,000 square feet.
New York officials have also declared a desire to make the state almost completely dependent on green energy sources like solar power and wind turbines. Researchers argue such policies would be economically disastrous.
Meeting the New York’s so-called 80 by 50 mandate is unrealistic and could cost consumers more than $1 trillion by 2050, Jonathan Lesser, the president of consulting firm Continental Economics, told The Daily Caller New Foundation in August.
Meeting the standard requires electrifying the state’s entire economy on a massive scale, said Lesser. It’s nearly impossible for state officials to construct the number of wind turbines and solar panels necessary to eliminate the need for fossil fuels, he added.
Even with enormous gains in energy efficiency, the mandate would require installing at least 100,000 megawatts (MW) of offshore wind generation, or 300,000 MW of solar power capacity by 2050, which is enormous by today’s standards. The U.S. has only about 11,300 MW of new solar power capacity.
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