FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Public Power NY Statement on Carl Heastie’s Climate Crisis
June 6th, 2022
Aaron Eisenberg, (914)980-9117
Despite overwhelmingly passing the NY State Senate, having been amended to neutralize all major opposition outside of fossil fuel profiteers, and having 83 YES votes in favor (well over the 76 necessary for passage), the Build Public Renewables Act (A1466D/S6453C) was prevented from coming to a vote by NY State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, who engaged in active climate denial and abandoned his constituents.
Heastie stonewalled the bill despite an unprecedented groundswell of support that included key trade unions lifting their opposition to the legislation and saw #BuildPublicRenewables trend nationally on Twitter and rise to the number one New York trend for two days straight. In choosing to table the bill, Heastie sided directly with fossil fuel and private market interests, led by the Independent Power Producers of New York (IPPNY) and the so-called “Alliance For Clean Energy” New York (ACENY). These two organizations, along with their allied national interests, led a dirty, last-minute smear campaign to protect their future profits at our planet’s expense. By siding with them, Heastie ensured that lawmakers went home without passing any meaningful climate legislation for the third straight year, since the passage of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) in 2019.
Today, Heastie implicitly acknowledged that he made a major error in underestimating support for the bill in the chamber and among the public. He called for a historically unprecedented after-session hearing on the bill, scheduling it for July 28. To our supposed climate allies who stayed “neutral” through this fight, now is the time to redeem yourself. Your neutrality enabled fossil capitalists to sabotage the most transformative climate bill in Albany since the CLCPA. We need the entire climate movement, labor allies, and every New Yorker fighting for a better world to testify in support of the Build Public Renewables Act.
We call on Speaker Carl Heastie to convene a special session the week after the hearing to pass the Build Public Renewables Act. While that would be unprecedented, so is calling this hearing, and so is the climate crisis. As we said before, it is Build or Burn. The Senate chose Build. Speaker Carl Heastie, now is your chance to choose your historical legacy.
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