It is time for New York to pivot from envisioning climate solutions to passing and implementing tangible policies. The policies Governor Hochul laid out in her State of the State have the potential for real impact and can be implemented swiftly with support from the legislature.
We were especially pleased that the Governor voiced support for elements of the NY HEAT Act, including repealing the 100-ft. rule and the obligation to serve. This is a promising step, and we will continue to fight for the NY HEAT Act to be included in this year’s final budget.
We are also thrilled with the Governor’s “Renewable Action Through Project Interconnection and Deployment” proposal, which will help streamline the siting process for transmission lines. It is sensible to move the Office of Renewable Energy Siting into the Department of Public Service to enable ORES to utilize the skill and experience of DPS staff and ensure we have the power lines needed to deliver clean energy across the state.
We also applaud the Governor for:
- Proposing policies that will make energy more affordable, like the “Statewide Solar for All”, “Smart Energy Savings”, and “NY Grid of the Future” initiatives;
- Allocating Bond Act funds for voluntary buyouts programs, which are a critical tool for the health of people who live in flood-prone communities;
- Updating the Coastal Erosion Hazard Area Maps and boosting flood-control structures and other green infrastructure projects; and
- Establishing a goal of planting 25 million new trees across the state by 2033.
The environmental priorities the governor spoke about today are a positive step forward. There is much more that needs to be done. We look forward to advocating for a fully funded Clean Water Infrastructure Act, a robust and effective cap-and-invest program, a Clean Fuel Standard for transportation, and increasing offshore wind energy targets, among the other policies outlined in our 2024 State Agenda.