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Press Release: January 8, 1999
National Energy Marketers Association Opposes Surprise NY State Energy Tax on Retail Choice

The National Energy Marketers Association (NEMA) held an emergency session of its New York Energy Policy Committee in response to the unexpected imposition of a new energy tax on January 1, 1999. NY State effectively repealed decades old constitutionally based energy tax law with a two word opinion. A counsel working in an administrative office of the state government determined that, effective January 1, 1999, New York State has a sufficiently "restructured environment" to impose a new tax for the first time in its history on electric transportation services.

"Many of our members and our customers have made significant investments to help the state set up its customer choice programs", said Craig Goodman, President NEMA and former Director of Energy Tax Policy under President's Reagan and Bush. "New York was starting to make real progress toward opening its energy markets for competition. This is a real set back!", said Goodman, a national expert on energy tax policy. "There is no reason to impose a regressive energy tax on residential customers and small business throughout this great state". "To impose a new energy tax before NY's retail energy choice programs can be implemented on a wide-spread basis, will effectively undermine the very efforts that the Governor and many other state officials have been working hard to put in place"." Goodman said.

"This is contrary to every policy statement New York has issued about lowering energy costs to consumers and becoming a more competitive environment in which to relocate new jobs, said Goodman. Clearly, many other states understand that the cost of energy is a major factor in the global competitiveness of the businesses located within their state. We urge the State to rescind this untimely and ill considered tax.

The National Energy Marketers Association (NEMA) is a national, non-profit, trade association representing producers, generators, transporters and marketers of energy-related information, services, products, machinery and technology throughout the United States. NEMA is committed to working with regulatory commissions, consumer representatives, legislators and utilities to devise fair and meaningful ways to implement the final deregulation and competitive restructuring of U.S. markets for natural gas and electricity.

For copies of NEMA's response to this new NY State energy tax, contact Craig Goodman at NEMA headquarters in Washington, DC at (202) 333-3288.

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