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Contact: Lee Ziesche, info@publicpowerny.org, 954-415-6228

New Yorkers win historic victory for Public Power

Public Power NY: “Passage of the Build Public Renewables Act through the budget is a historic victory that will speed the transition to a sustainable energy system, save New Yorkers money, and be a model of bold climate action for the country”

Albany, New York – The New York State legislature approved a budget that will allow the New York Power Authority to build, own, and operate renewable energy projects, and includes most of the provisions of the Build Public Renewables Act (BPRA) that Public Power advocates have been fighting for over a four-year long campaign. 

The Public Power NY Coalition released the following statement: 

“New Yorkers have won the most transformational climate and green jobs bill in the nation. 

The passage of the Build Public Renewables Act is a historic victory that will improve the lives of New Yorkers and be a model of how to rapidly ramp up the production of renewable energy for the country. 

An unprecedented movement of New Yorkers, unions, and environmental justice groups from  Long Island to Buffalo came together to fight back against Hochul’s attempts to weaken the bill. And together, we won. 

The Build Public Renewables Act will create a new era of green union jobs in renewable energy production, slash rising energy bills, and shut down polluting fracked gas power plants in Black and brown communities – finally fulfilling the promise of the Green New Deal. The new policy will enable New York to meet its bold climate goals set in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) with a publicly-owned system that is accountable to New Yorkers, not shareholders. 

Ninety years ago, FDR established the New York Power Authority to create power for the people. Over the decades, FDR’s vision for NYPA has been diminished. Today we reclaim that power, ensuring NYPA serves us, and that renewable energy is a public good. 

Unfortunately, Governor Hochul and her handpicked NYPA interim CEO Justin Driscoll vehemently opposed provisions that would make NYPA more accountable to New Yorkers, and were able to strip them from the version of the bill included in the budget. They also weakened the mandate to build new projects after 2035, which means that strong leadership is now even more important.

NYPA needs leadership that understands the potential of public power and will use NYPA’s resources and capacity to ensure that affordable renewable energy gets to New Yorkers who need it most and that New York meets its climate goals. Driscoll has proven he is not the leader NYPA needs, and we will mobilize the powerful movement that passed this bill to oppose his confirmation.”

Governor Hochul’s nomination to head NYPA, Justin Driscoll, has come under fire for donating to Republicans and choosing to use the Authority’s resources to give discounted renewable energy to Amazon and put solar panels on prisons.

A number of Senators have already publicly declared they would vote against his confirmation, setting up another possible showdown over a Hochul nominee, following the unprecedented rejection of Hector LaSalle for Chief Judge.


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