Activists, Politicians Demand Leadership Pass New York Build Public Renewables Act
The bill could become the first major climate legislation passed in New York since 2019
For Immediate Release, 5/31/2022
Link to Google Doc
ALBANY, NY – On May 31, 2022, a delegation from New York City Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) and Public Power NY gathered with Senators Jabari Brisport, Robert Jackson, and Assemblymembers Zohran Mamdani, Jessica González-Rojas, Robert Carroll, Linda Rosenthal, and Jo Anne Simon to demand that Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Speaker Carl Heastie, and Governor Kathy Hochul pass the New York Build Public Renewables Act (S6453A/A1466B).
NYC-DSA has spent years organizing to amplify support for the Build Public Renewables Act (BPRA). If enacted, this transformative climate legislation would allow the New York Power Authority (NYPA) to build enough renewables to power 75% of the state. Scaling up the public entity means it could sell low-cost, clean energy directly to New Yorkers—who currently pay the second-highest utility rates in the country—and lay the groundwork to make the state’s energy grid 100% renewable by 2040. In the process, it would create tens of thousands of green, union jobs.
“New York used to be an energy leader, but our state has fallen behind,” said Assemblymember Zohran Kwame Mamdani, DSA Socialist in Office and representing the 36th Assembly District (Astoria, Ditmars-Steinway, and Astoria Heights). “Only 4% of our energy comes from wind and solar power, one fifth as much as Texas. Meanwhile, fossil fuel corporations are wreaking havoc on our planet, our electrical grid is failing, and the working class is being crushed by exorbitant utility rates. We are facing an existential crisis. If we want to ensure a liveable future for the next generations, BPRA must be brought to the floor of both houses of the legislature before the end of our legislative session this Thursday. No excuses. No ‘maybe next year.’ Now.”
“Immediate action is vital for our survival,” said Aaron Eisenberg, organizer with NYC-DSA and Public Power NY, “The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report says if we don’t immediately reduce emissions, it will be impossible to limit global warming to 1.5°C. And on the state level, New York has only eight years remaining to grow its renewable energy share from 25% to 80%, as mandated by the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA). Enacting BPRA is imperative for achieving both goals.”
About NYC-DSA: New York City Democratic Socialists is the local chapter of Democratic Socialists of America—the largest socialist organization in the United States with over 85,000 members. NYC-DSA is run by its 5,000+ members and activists who are working together to build a democratic socialist organization in the five boroughs.
Contact: Lawrence Wang