Unions to Cuomo: Budget Cannot Ignore Green Jobs, Climate Impacts

For Immediate Release: March 17, 2017

Unions to Cuomo: Budget Cannot Ignore Green Jobs, Climate Impacts

Assembly Puts Action Plan on Budget Negotiating Table

New York – As President Donald Trump continues to roll back and renege on life-saving climate and clean air programs, New York unions representing hundreds of thousands of workers and their families are calling on Governor Andrew Cuomo to step up his efforts for the middle class by incorporating the principles of the groundbreaking Climate & Community Protection Act (CCPA) in the SFY2017-18 Budget, including:

  •    Unlocking billions of dollars in renewable energy and infrastructure investment;
  •    Providing resources to frontline, environmental justice, and disadvantaged communities;
  •    Requiring fair labor and training standards on clean energy; and
  •    Creating locally-driven just transition processes for workers and whole communities as New York moves away from fossil fuel power plants.

The state Assembly has brought climate action to the table by including the CCPA in their one-house budget plan; it is now up to the Governor to get it across the finish line, because it will create many new green middle-class jobs.

Governor Cuomo has made several prior climate and clean energy commitments which have drawn him national attention, such as generating half of New York’s electricity by 2030. However, his budget proposal fails to include any significant climate action even as other states like California are taking the lead.

Bruce Hamilton, International Vice President of the Amalgamated Transit Union said, “We’re calling on Governor Cuomo and the NYS legislature to pass ambitious climate policy into law and spur investment in public transit infrastructure and renewable energy development to create good union jobs that contribute to the fight against climate change.”

Frederick E. Kowal, Ph.D., President of United University Professions said, “With the Trump administration kicking down environmental protections at every turn, it is up to states like New York to take the lead in encouraging the growth of clean energy initiatives such as renewable energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Such a progressive focus will result in tens of thousands of new, good-paying jobs that will benefit working families while protecting New Yorkers’ health, and the environment.”

Judy Sheridan-Gonzalez, President of the New York State Nurses Association said, “Retrograde actions by the Trump administration--backtracking on COP 21, deregulating Fossil Fuels, rolling back environmental protections—will lead to many Superstorms like Sandy, more contaminated water like Flint and Hoosick Falls, worsening Asthma and respiratory problems, further poisoning the lungs of our Bronx babies.  It is incumbent upon New York State to step up and protect New Yorkers, with legislation such as the Climate and Community Protection Act, transitioning into 100% renewables with many new good union jobs, while boldly standing forward to save our communities and our salvage our future.”

John Samuelsen, President, Transport Workers Union Local 100 said, “In order for New York to continue to lead the nation in developing a greener, sustainable economy, we need to increase the investments made to our state's infrastructure-particularly our public transportation system.”

Dan Sherrell, Campaign Coordinator, NY Renews said, “Governor Cuomo has a huge opportunity here to lead the country in job creation and climate action by putting the Climate and Community Protection Act in the final budget. If he doesn’t, he’s leaving a lot of family-supporting jobs on the table.”

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