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The Build Public Renewables Act is the biggest climate LAW in the US

Crowd of people rallying inside the Albany Capitol building holding signs signs demanding the build public renewables act, with slogans the future must be union made, and kathy hochul: job creator or climate denier?
Photo by Michael Paulson

The Build Public Renewables Act (A00279/S04134) is a New York State law passed in 2023 that will unleash the power of public funding to build publicly owned, 100% renewable energy, create a new era of green union jobs, help slash energy bills for those who need it most, and make New York a national leader in the fight to win a future we’d be proud to pass on to those to come.

The Build Public Renewables Act will build a Renewable New York

BPRA unleashes the power of public funding, including via the Inflation Reduction Act, to build 100% renewable energy, directly.

While New York passed leading climate targets in 2019, its reliance on for-profit corporations to meet them has kept New York stuck at just 4% wind and solar power every year since. That’s a fifth as much as Texas.

BPRA enables the New York Power Authority, the nation’s largest publicly owned power provider, to fix this. Every year, NYPA will perform a review on whether New York is on track to reach 70% renewable by 2030 and 100% clean energy by 2040, per state mandates. If it’s not–such as in every year so far–NYPA will step in to build enough energy to make up the gap, and keep us on track.

The Build Public Renewables Act will ensure that New York’s future is union-made

The energy NYPA builds will create tens of thousands of Green Union Jobs thanks to ironclad prevailing wage requirements, Project Labor Agreements, and buy-American provisions–finally fulfilling the promise of the Green New Deal.

With the strongest labor and just transition language that energy unions have ever seen, the Build Public Renewables Act could be the most powerful tool for bringing full unionization to renewables industry–especially for contractors and subcontractors who are too often left without union protections. That’s why New York unions representing over one million members including 1199SEIU, NYSUT, and UAW 9A pushed for its immediate passage.

The Build Public Renewables Act will keep the people leading our energy system accountable

BPRA will ensure our energy transition is led by the right people: a combination of energy experts, environmental justice advocates, and labor unions. No more leaving the nation’s biggest public power provider to fossil fuel lobbyists and climate deniers. The energy system powering our future must be accountable to all those who live in it

The Build Public Renewables will CLEAN UP OUR AIR

BRPA will shut down some of the state’s most polluting oil and gas plants–which are concentrated in working-class, Black, and brown communities–by 2030, replacing them with pollution-free renewable power.

The Build Public Renewables Act will make energy bills cheaper for those who need it most

Utilities like Central Hudson, Con Edison, National Grid, and NYSEG lobby to keep our bills tied to volatile gas prices and pocket the profits instead of upgrading to more efficient systems that would help New Yorkers pay less. Public power doesn’t need to make a profit–it just has to work, so BPRA will help provide cheaper energy to those who need it most.

The Build Public Renewables Act will do exactly what the vast majority of New Yorkers demand