ALBANY, NY – Local elected officials held a press conference outside Governor Cuomo’s office today publicly launched a letter to Governor Cuomo signed by more than 100 local elected officials from 23 counties across the state. The letter comes from Elected Officials to Protect New York, a statewide network of hundreds of local elected officials committed to protecting public health, local economies, and the environment.
The letter calls on Governor Cuomo and the state to:
Significantly increase state funding, support, procurement, and permitting to deploy large-scale renewable energy across the state.
Invest in large numbers of good, clean energy jobs in low-income communities and communities of color.
Increase investments in NYSERDA programs, local governments, and community-based organizations across the state to deploy renewable energy, energy efficiency, heat pumps, electric vehicle charging stations, and other needed infrastructure and create incentives for communities to welcome and host grid-scale renewable energy projects.
Reject permits for all new fossil fuel infrastructure, including new gas-fired power plants and small gas pipelines for residential gas expansion.
Work with utility providers to create a more resilient 21st-century electricity grid to handle increased renewable interconnections, electric vehicles, and electrification.
“Local communities across the state are eager to implement the goals of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act,” said Greg Young, Gloversville 5th Ward Supervisor and co-chair of Elected Officials to Protect New York. “This will require technical expertise as well as a 21st century electrical grid with the capacity for electrified vehicles and heating.”
The local officials say that a ramp up in funding, programs, local infrastructure and updates to the electricity grid are needed in order to help the state and their communities to meet those goals.
“Last year, we committed to 100% renewable energy by 2040. To do that, we must immediately stop all new fossil fuel investment and instead ramp up the production of renewable energy. Climate change is here,” said Rochester City Councilmember Mary Lupien. “We have to do all in our power to reach our goal.”
New York State has made significant strides in setting strong climate goals, most notably with the recent passage of the Climate Leadership and Communities Protection Act which requires the state to achieve carbon free electricity by 2040 and 85% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions below 1990 levels by 2050.
“Residents of South Albany bear the brunt of pollution from fossil fuel extraction,” said Albany County Legislator Sam Fein. “We must invest in renewable energy that will protect the air we breathe, address the fast approaching climate crisis, and create good jobs for Frontline communities like these”
“As an energy policy expert and as an Albany County legislator, I see first hand the challenges we face at the local level as we seek to address the challenge of climate disaster by moving off fossil fuels to renewable energy and making our existing buildings and transportation systems more energy efficient,” said Albany County Legislator William Reinhardt. “The passage of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) is a great first step in confronting the global climate challenge and demonstrating leadership by New York State. It is now time for the State to implement those policies and actions that will allow New York to achieve the promise of the CLCPA to reduce greenhouse gases, create the economic transformation, green jobs and social equity achievable through a Green New Deal for New York, and to improve the health and welfare of all New Yorkers.”
“We need New York State to take continue to push forward with even more specific climate resiliency goals. For example, in Tompkins County, we have several plug in hybrid and fully electric vehicles,” said Anne Koreman, Tompkins County Legislator. “Counties across New York now need help to design, fund, and install a robust EV charging network for our vehicles and for all residents of this state.”
The elected officials will be working with elected officials across the state to urge Governor Cuomo to take these crucial steps. Elected officials can sign the letter and the signatories are viewable at nyelectedofficials.org.
August 12, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Ramona du Houx,
Elected Officials to Protect America