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June 9, 2021

Contact: Daniel Goulden, (347)-563-6867, info@publicpowerny.org

New York’s legislature passed on the opportunity to be the national leader that started the decade of the Green New Deal. Its inaction for yet another year on climate means more setbacks in meeting the targets of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA), more deference towards fossil fuel projects seeking approval from the state, and further harm to Black and Hispanic communities which bear the brunt of the climate catastrophe. 

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports that limiting warming requires “rapid and far-reaching” transformations, including within our energy systems. The landmark passage of the CLCPA, with its goal of a 70% renewable energy grid statewide by 2030, was a first step. However, since NY gets less than 6% of its power from wind and solar combined, we are nowhere near close to meeting that goal. Senate and Assembly leadership’s failure to pass the NY Build Public Renewables Act nor any major climate bills this session is tantamount to climate denial

Senate and Assembly leaders claim to be environmentalists concerned about the climate crisis but a report compiled by the NYC-DSA Ecosocialist Working Group shows their true colors. When action would have mattered most, fossil fuel interests and corporate polluters bought off Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins, Assembly Speaker Heastie, Assembly Corporations Chair Amy Paulin, Assembly Energy Chair Michael Cusick, and Senate Energy Chair Kevin Parker with over half a million dollars. 

The drought watch in Upstate New York and Tropical Storm Isaias’ impact on New York City and Long Island are harbingers of climate change’s devastating impact on the state, especially on Black and Hispanic communities. The investor-owned utilities and public-private partnerships that govern New York’s electric infrastructure fail to serve these communities and capitalize on the climate crisis by raising their electric bills, increasing existing racial disparities. Legislators vowed comprehensive reforms that would have addressed these racial inequalities but their inaction places these communities under ‘considerable risk’ this summer from hurricanes and urban heat island effects during heat waves

As we reflect on the legislature’s hypocrisy and climate denialism, we vow to ensure that the Build Public Renewables Act is passed next session. We will build power with environmental justice communities and organized labor across the State. It is only through the people’s pursuit of a more just, democratic, and equitable energy system that we will address the climate emergency. 


About the Public Power NY Coalition: The Public Power NY Coalition is a statewide movement of community and advocacy organizations fighting for an environmentally sustainable energy system that’s also racially, socially, and economically just. We believe energy and a habitable planet are human rights, and that we need to avert the climate crisis by eliminating the use of fossil fuels and transitioning to 100 percent renewable energy. We aim to accomplish these goals by taking over our for-profit energy system and bringing it under public, not-for-profit, local, and democratic ownership and management.

For more information please contact us at: info@publicpowerny.org 

See our Website: https://publicpowerny.org/