Words by Tess Becker
New Yorkers just had a massive win for clean energy after climate campaigners successfully pushed Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul and the state Legislature to include "historic" provisions in the state budget.
The provisions will build publicly owned renewable energy systems and end the use of fossil fuels in new public buildings. What's more, these provisions are without loopholes that could allow municipalities to opt out.
The New York Power Authority (NYPA) is the largest state public utility in the country and phasing out energy sources like natural gas will be a gigantic victory for green energy and climate action.
These measures are all a part of the Build Public Renewables Act and it will ensure that all state-owned properties that ordinarily receive power from NYPA are run on renewable energy by 2030.
“It’s a historic win for the climate and for clean jobs,” said Lee Ziesche, organizer with Public Power New York, a coalition that has been fighting to pass the legislation for the past four years. “It’ll create a model of public power for the whole country, and it’s really showing that our energy should be a public good.”
The Act will also require municipalities like public housing, hospitals, and schools to be run on renewable energy by 2035.
“NYPA needs leadership that understands the potential of public power and will use NYPA's resources and capacity to ensure that affordable energy gets to New Yorkers who need it most and that New York meets its climate goals,” said Public Power NY.
At Smiley Movement, we like to elevate the work of charities across the world. Here are three charities whose causes align with the themes in this article.
Beacon Food Forest. This is one of the largest food forests in the US. Find out more and support them here.
Cultural Survival. They are an indigenous-led nonprofit focused on empowering indigenous Americans and helping the planet. Find out more.
American Forests. A conservation organization focused on preserving and protecting American forests. Support them here.