- Assembly Bill Will Codify Cuomo’s Climate & Clean Energy Goals

For Immediate Release: May 23, 2016

Assembly Bill Will Codify Cuomo’s Climate & Clean Energy Goals

New legislation creates blueprint for 100% clean renewable energy by 2050

Albany – The New York State Assembly, led by Speaker Carl Heastie and Chairs Steve Englebright (Environmental Conservation), Crystal Peoples-Stokes (Governmental Operations), Michelle Titus (Labor), Amy Paulin (Energy), as well as members of the Climate Change Work Group, introduced groundbreaking legislation today to make Governor Cuomo’s climate and clean energy goals a reality.

The following statement is attributable to Peter Iwanowicz, Executive Director, Environmental Advocates of New York:

“This is, quite simply, one of the strongest, smartest, and most thoughtful pieces of climate legislation the public has ever seen. It may be the best in the country, and we roundly applaud Speaker Heastie, Assemblyman Englebright, and their colleagues for taking the aspirational goals outlined in Governor Cuomo’s State Energy Plan and providing the blueprint for achieving them.

There is a reason that Governor Cuomo’s climate and clean energy goals have been attracting global attention; they are a game-changer. And placing them into law will make New York a true global climate action leader.

At the root of this legislation is the recognition that climate action and growing a 21st century economy go hand-in-hand. The bill establishes that 100% of New York’s energy will come from clean, renewable sources by 2050, and it provides annualized benchmarks to ensure we don’t just hope to meet them, but must meet them. Environmental Advocates is, of course, excited about cleaner air, less pollution, and healthier communities. But it goes much deeper than that.

The bill is a reality check driven by incorruptible economic and public health data. In it, there’s a true commitment to disadvantaged communities, job training, and workers’ rights, all of which are crucial, for instance, to helping communities recover economically who have often been left holding the bag when the fossil fuel industry pulls up and departs – something happening increasingly more often. It also ends the era of government making bad decisions that harm people, particularly when it comes to disadvantaged communities who bear the brunt of pollution, and instead prioritizes resources and investment in those communities on the front lines of climate change.

The fossil fuel industry has a predictable strategy of pitting good jobs against a clean environment and healthy communities. Unfortunately, they’ve often got their way. But the facts bear out that clean air is inextricably linked to growing economies, and the energy job growth we’re witnessing worldwide rests in the renewable sector, not fossil fuels. Still, few states have created the programs to capitalize on these opportunities, and with this legislation, New York will be setting the standard.

The introduction of A10342 is the official start of what we recognize will be a lengthy and challenging process. But with Governor Cuomo’s leadership in codifying his climate and clean energy goals, and a public that is wholly in support of aggressive action, this is a truly pivotal moment. We are grateful to Speaker Heastie, Assemblyman Englebright, and many others for their tireless leadership on this issue.”