New York

You Can Win Bold Climate Laws in Your State

New York State passed the Build Public Renewables Act in May 2023. In this resource, Olúfẹ́mi O. Táíwò spoke with three organizers from the NYC-DSA Ecosocialist Working Group who campaigned for the legislation. Socialists in New York City spearheaded the Build Public Renewables Act (BPRA) to authorize and mandate the public power authority, the New York Power Authority (NYPA), to build, develop, and own renewable energy in the state to meet the climate goals set in 2019 to decarbonize the state’s energy system. DSA also wanted to create discounted utility rates for low- to moderate-income communities because people are struggling to pay their energy bills, as well as close down all of NYPA’s gas peaker plants, which are primarily located in Black and brown neighborhoods. The campaign built relationships with environmental justice organizations like WE ACT, other DSA chapters, groups like Sane Energy Project, For the Many, Food & Water Watch, and Sunrise NYC—and it was tougher to power map to get labor unions to support the bill and get it over the finish line. DSA-endorsed legislators were crucial to pushing the policy inside the state legislature. This long-form interview includes many other descriptions of the campaign.

The Fossil Fuel Industry’s Own Poll Found Most New Yorkers Support a Gas Ban in New Buildings

Polling commissioned by oil and gas companies shows that New Yorkers support climate action and want to phase out residential gas. 74% of New Yorkers support the state “aggressively moving to reduce greenhouse gas emissions”. 65% of New Yorkers support the goal of having 1 to 2 million New York homes heated with electric heat pumps rather than natural gas or oil-fueled furnaces by 2030. 65% of New Yorkers support the goal of electrifying 85% of New York homes and commercial buildings with electric heat pumps by 2050.

Green Dash Northeast

Green Dash Northeast is a free tool that displays state-level data related to emissions and energy in the Northeast. This tool may be useful for staff at environmental NGOs, state and local governments, and community-based organizations seeking to better understand the status of climate and energy initiatives throughout the region. Green Dash Northeast aggregates publicly available data to present useful emissions and energy-related metrics. Metrics are displayed consistently for all Northeastern states, which allows for meaningful comparisons between states and additive regional values. Categories of data include: greenhouse gas emissions, electric energy, energy efficiency, non-electric fuels, battery storage, clean energy jobs, energy burdens and rates.

Voters Support New York’s Proposal to End Fossil Fuels in New Construction

Most New York State voters support the end of gas in new construction projects. 66% of New York State voters support ending gas in new construction projects (including 85% of Democrats and 43% of Republicans). Fewer than 50% of New Yorkers believe their political leaders have done enough to address climate change. More New Yorkers are concerned about “the cost of home energy bills” (85%) than “climate change” (74%) or “the air quality in their residence” (55%).