FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 30, 2023
Contact: Lee Ziesche, email@example.com, 954-415-6228
HOCHUL MUST NOT BAIL ON OUR FUTURE
Build Public Renewables support goes national as Hochul hides from spotlight
Albany, New York – Congress, organized labor, and an environmental justice movement stretching from the Bronx to Buffalo coalesced this week to publicly demand Governor Hochul pass the full Build Public Renewables Act. They specify that the mandates to build enough publicly owned renewables to meet climate benchmarks, gold standard union labor protections, accountability for leadership, and a timeline for shutting down plants in heavily-polluted communities must all be included – provisions removed in the Governor’s budget proposal.
A delegation of 9 New York Congressmembers led by Jamaal Bowman, including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Dan Goldman, Pat Ryan, and more, publicly called on the Governor to include the full Build Public Renewables Act in the budget, specifically naming the four provisions her “lite” version removes. It is the only legislation Congress has commented on, as announced in the New York Times.
UAW 9A regional direct Brandon Mancilla and ALIGN executive director Lucas Shapiro called for the full Build Public Renewables Act, reaffirming its support from a coalition of unions including 1199SEIU, PSC-CUNY, UUP, NYSUT, and NYSNA, representing over one million New York members in total, in the Albany Times Union. They emphasize its “first-in-the-nation labor standards”—which Governor Hochul’s version would remove.
Environmental justice advocates from WE ACT for Environmental Justice, South Bronx Unite, PUSH Buffalo, and New York Lawyers for the Public Interest called for the full Build Public Renewables Act. They call it’s mandate to build “our renewables safety net,” and in describing its timeline for replacing the most polluting peaker plants: “for communities of color and low income all across the state, this legislation will literally save lives.” Governor Hochul’s version would remove both provisions.
National solar policy advocacy organization Vote Solar called the full Build Public Renewables Act the solution to key roadblocks hindering both public and private renewable energy development in New York, which have kept the state at just 4% wind and solar energy for four years. Deputy Program Director Stephan Roundtree, Jr. says “BPRA represents a major improvement in social equity and government accountability that can’t be won any other way, and can pave the way for the industry in the process”
As volunteers made hundreds of calls to the Governor yesterday reiterating this demand, supporters like actor and activist Mark Ruffalo joined in, who after publicly asking the governor to support, declared: “#BuildPublicRenewables or bust.”
Said Elizabeth Oh, Public Power NY Coalition Coordinator:
“If the Governor hopes that Trump and bail reform are enough to get New Yorkers’ eyes off her attempt to water down transformative climate action demanded by everyone from Congress, organized labor, the environmental justice movement, national solar advocates, and 68% of New Yorkers, she’s mistaken. When we pass the full Build Public Renewables Act, we will lead the way to a future far bigger than any 24 hour news cycle.”
Note to the editor:
About Public Power NY
The Public Power NY Coalition is a statewide movement of community and advocacy organizations, and thousands of New Yorkers fighting to pass the Build Public Renewables Act, the nation’s biggest climate bill. It will enable 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 is endorsed by unions representing over 1 million members in New York including 1199SEIU, NYSUT, PSC-CUNY, UUP, and UAW 9A.
Read our report: Public Power & Climate Leadership: Feasibility of 100% Fossil-Free NYPA by 2030
See our 2 Build Public Renewable Billboards in Albany