New York Build Public Renewables Act Passes Senate
All eyes are on Assembly and Hochul to pass the bill for the most significant climate action in three years
For Immediate Release, 6/1/2022
Link to Google Doc
ALBANY, NY – The New York Build Public Renewables Act (BPRA) has successfully passed the New York Senate, a massive step forward in New York’s fight against the climate crisis. The New York City Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) has led the push to enact BPRA as part of its Green New York platform, and DSA expects it to move quickly through the Assembly Ways & Means Committee and full Assembly before the June 2nd deadline.
“It’s gratifying, after all our work at DSA, to see the Senate finally moving forward on this climate bill after three years of inexcusable inaction,” said Julia Salazar, New York State Senator for the 18th district and co-prime sponsor. “New York is only at 4% wind and solar generation–less than one fifth of Texas. We’re calling on Speaker Carl Heastie to bring it to a full floor vote in the Assembly, so we can begin the urgent work of meeting the state’s 100% renewable energy transmission goal by 2040, as set by the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.”
DSA is demanding Carl Heastie immediately take up the bill and have it pass out of the Assembly and for Governor Kathy Hochul to sign BPRA into law once it lands on her desk. Her signature would mark the final step in DSA’s years-long campaign to expand renewable energy in New York and build a green, liveable future for the working class. If enacted, BPRA would enable the New York Power Authority (NYPA) to produce, scale up, and distribute renewable energy. NYPA would become the sole provider of energy to state and municipal buildings in New York. It would also be able to sell low-cost renewable energy directly to customers wholesale, reducing rates and democratizing supply. It would create more than 50,000 well-paying union jobs. Private, profit-driven fossil fuel companies would lose their grip on New Yorkers, who have faced steep rate hikes in recent months.
“My fellow members of NYC-DSA’s Green New York slate and I have made the Build Public Renewables Act a centerpiece of our campaigns,” said David Alexis, who is running for District 21 in Brooklyn. “I have been organizing for years to address the climate crisis that caused myself and my daughters to develop asthma. When I am elected I will ensure bills like BPRA are implemented and built upon. We have the support of a mass movement, and we’re taking the climate fight to Albany—challenging climate deniers who have placed corporate profits over working-class people for years.”
“The world’s leading scientist have warned us that we’re running out of time,” said Kristen Gonzales, who is running to represent District 59. “We can’t wait for politicians to act only when their job is on the line. Our leaders must take action on the climate crisis now by passing the Build Public Renewables Act now to move our state to renewable energy, create tens of thousand of green, union jobs, and secure our boroughs’ futures. If they won’t, we need to elect working-class champions who will.”
As a key member of the Public Power NY coalition, NYC-DSA has championed BPRA by organizing across the state to mount public pressure on Albany. The bill is the central issue for the Green New York slate of climate activists DSA aims to get elected this year. With overwhelming evidence pointing to fossil fuel companies, corporate utilities, and Wall Street hedge funds as major contributors to the climate crisis, DSA is urging lawmakers, including those who receive donations from oil and gas companies, to place their constituents over lobbyists.
“BPRA’s passage through the Senate is a testament to the Public Power NY Coalition, which has pressured and lobbied elected leaders, staff, and labor to take real action on climate,” said Stylianos Karolidis, NYC-DSA organizer. “We must move quickly to save our future. The recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report showed we have only 36 months to act. It’s time to seize the opportunity for New York State to lead the nation in building renewables. Carl Heastie: Pass Build Public Renewables now.”
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