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GREEN NEW YORK BEGINS: New Yorkers & Electeds Launch “Biggest Public Clean Energy Buildout in History”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 29, 2023
Contact: Harrison Carpenter-Neuhaus, 786-214-1204, info@publicpowerny.org

After report shows state won’t reach climate goals, activists and electeds behind Build Public Renewables Act demand Governor Hochul follow mandate for historic public power buildout

*READ THE REPORT*

NEW YORK, NY (November 29, 2023) —  On Wednesday, 70+ New Yorkers and elected officials rallied in Manhattan to launch the next stage of the Public Power NY campaign: to make the massive buildout of publicly-owned renewable energy infrastructure mandated by the Build Public Renewables Act a reality.

With a report released Monday showing that Governor Hochul’s market-led renewable energy plan will fail to meet Climate Community Protection Act (CLCPA) goals even in a best-case scenario, organizers and elected officials with the Public Power NY coalition — including Sen. Julia Salazar, Sen. Kristen Gonzalez, AM Emily Gallagher, UAW organizer Claire Valdez, and organizations including the NYC Democratic Socialists of America and SANE Energy Project — officially kicked off the Green New York campaign.

Electeds and New Yorkers holding "public power over profit" signs at Battery Park rally

“2023 is officially the hottest year in human history thanks to decades of lobbyist-fueled climate denial and inaction,” said Senator Kristen Gonzalez. “Last year, we passed the nation’s biggest climate change and green jobs bill. Now, New York must lead the country in building publicly-owned, 100% renewable energy infrastructure for working-class New Yorkers,  lowering energy costs and creating thousands of new union jobs.”

“Research once again confirms what we’ve said for years: for-profit corporations won’t fight the climate crisis, but a massive, labor-led buildout of publicly owned energy will,” said UAW organizer Claire Valdez. “Let’s make the smoke-filled skies and flooding streets New Yorkers faced in recent months the last time we have to say this. The era of Public Power starts today.”

The Green New York campaign will continue the fight to build a just transition in New York that started with the BPRA. From grassroots organizing in communities across the state, to organizing within the halls of Albany and deepening ties with the labor movement, New York’s public power movement is committed to building on this year’s legislative victory to bring the Green New Deal to life.

“The New York Power Authority is now positioned to move us forward by not only developing solar and wind power, but designing and building carbon-free, resilient, and affordable thermal energy networks, or TENs,” said Jeanne Bergman, Sustainability Advisor at Sane Energy Project. “We must end our reliance on dangerous and polluting gas and create thousands of good union jobs while saving money on our monthly bills. NYPA must seize the opportunity to become the nation’s leading developer of thermal energy networks as it builds its portfolio of renewable energy.”

The BPRA, passed in the state budget in May after a four-year statewide campaign involving thousands of people, mandates that the New York Power Authority (the largest public power provider in the country) assess New York’s progress towards its legally binding climate targets and build enough publicly-owned renewable energy to make up the gap.

These publicly-owned renewables include provisions to lower energy bills, prioritize the phaseout of polluting gas plants in Black and brown neighborhoods, and create green union jobs at an unprecedented scale — earning the BPRA praise as “the first major statewide Green New Deal policy.”

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The Public Power NY Coalition is a statewide movement of community and advocacy organizations, and thousands of New Yorkers fighting who in May passed the Build Public Renewables Act, which has been called “the biggest Green New Deal Victory in US history.”

BPRA enables New York to unleash the New York Power Authority, the country’s largest public power provider, to build publicly owned, 100% renewable energy; slash energy costs for those who need it most; and create tens of thousands of green union jobs that will finally unionize the green energy sector. The bill was endorsed by unions representing over 1 million members in New York including 1199SEIU, NYSUT, PSC-CUNY, UUP, and UAW 9A.