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Long Island lawmakers, union workers push back on Gov. Hochul's plan to go all electric by 2027

Long Island lawmakers, union workers blast governor's plan to bring all-electric grid to New York 02:08

SMITHTOWN, N.Y. - Long Island lawmakers and union workers gathered in Smithtown on Friday, blasting the governor's budget plan to bring an all-electric grid to the state within five years. 

"This is pleading with the governor right now to take out banning of natural gas and mixed fuels," said St. Sen. Mario Mattera. 

Gov. Kathy Hochul is proposing getting rid of oil, propane and natural gas by the year 2027, making future construction all electric. 

"We already pay some of the highest electric rates in the country. That's not appropriate for economic development on Long Island," said Mitch Pally of the Long Island Builders Institute. 

Hochul's plan prohibits the use of gas or oil in new buildings. 

"We need to phase in greener technology," said St. Sen. Lexis Weik. 

Weik wants to slow the pace. 

"The clean energy economy that we are building, weaning ourselves off fossil fuels, but we can't do it overnight," said Matt Cohen of the Long Island Association. 

Citizens Campaign for the Environment wants people to switch to all electric, but only when renewable energy is available to power that electric. 

Kari Mau, of Syosset, has solar panels, and approves of Hochul's ambitious plan. 

"In the end, it would work out better in the long run because it's a lot more sustainable," Mau said. 

Don Hendler, of Manhasset, drives an electric car. 

"We can't get enough electricity to charging stations, and we can't build charging stations fast enough," Hendler said. 

Oliver Fernandez, of North Bellmore, is worried that the electrical system is vulnerable to storms. 

In addition, there are supply issues for rare earth metals needed for renewables. Wind and solar energy can be intermittent. 

"But we definitely have to do something," Hernandez said. 

The governor says she is listening and will work with legislators to "finalize a budget that serves all New Yorkers." 

The lawmakers lobbied to let the state Climate Council do its job, come back next year to revisit the issue and decide when New York can realistically go all electric.

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