More than 50 lawmakers are petitioning Gov. Kathy Hochul to include a proposal in next year's executive budget to limit new natural gas hookups and transition the state away from expanding its gas infrastructure in efforts to satisfy its climate goals.

Lawmakers sent the governor a letter this week urging she make the NY Home Energy Affordable Transition (NY HEAT) Act a priority and include it in her budget proposal to be released in early 2024. The measure, sponsored by Sen. Liz Krueger, D-Manhattan, and Assemblywoman Pat Fahy, D-Albany, would end the subsidy that requires ratepayers to cover the cost of hooking up new customers who live within 100 feet of an existing line, and end the mandate utilities must supply natural gas to any customer who requests it.

"Real climate action looks like policies that disarm the climate bomb that's driving these devastating impacts," lawmakers wrote. "... We welcome the opportunity to collaborate with you on this legislation to ensure New York is a leader in addressing climate change. Now is the time to act."

The proposal would cut back on creating new gas infrastructure in the state, but does not bar utility companies from building new hookups to attach buildings to natural gas.

They're hopeful Hochul will heed their request after her support in the 2023-24 budget to mandate all-electric buildings be constructed in New York by the end of the decade, starting with buildings under seven stories in 2026.

The bill proposes to cap utility bills at 6% household income for low- and moderate-income New Yorkers. Lawmakers estimate it could save affected families up to $75 per month, and ending the state's 100-foot subsidy that expands gas systems costing $200 million annually.

"These would be significant savings for families that already spend three times more of their income on energy bills than other households," according to the letter.

In addition to pushback from utility companies, state Republican lawmakers have long questioned the bill's longterm economic impacts on New Yorkers feeling the affects of higher costs and inflation.

Utility companies would spend an estimated $150 billion to replace gas pipes over the next 20 years, according to the letter.

The legislation directs utilities to reinvest money earmarked to maintain natural gas infrastructure into neighborhood electrification projects. The measure would also permit the state Public Service Commission and utility companies to downsize New York's gas distribution and transition to a decarbonized system over time as mandated in the state Climate Law, according to Sen. Krueger's office.

Democratic lawmakers are pressing for additional climate action after historic storms and rainfall that ravaged parts of Orange County and New York City this summer, causing damage to homes, roads and bridges.

"We welcome the opportunity to work with you in proactively ending the expansion of dirty and outdated fracked gas infrastructure that is warming our planet and causing these damaging floods and health-harming pollution in the first place," they wrote.