NY Energy Democracy Alliance response to Governor Cuomo's State of the State


The Energy Democracy Alliance, a grassroots network of community-based, environmental, and environmental justice organizations in New York State, released the following statement in response to Governor Cuomo’s State of the State address:

“As international leaders finalized a new climate agreement in Paris in early December, it was clear that to prevent a global temperature rise above 1.5 C degree, we need to vigorously move towards a decarbonized economy. It is equally clear that economic inequality and racial injustice must be reversed, and that energy policy can be a key driver in creating jobs, affordable housing, public health improvements, and economic opportunity.

Governor Cuomo’s signature clean energy initiative, Reforming the Energy Vision (REV), begins to move New York State toward a decentralized clean energy economy that prioritizes investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency that can create jobs for New York residents. Therefore, we applaud the Governor’s commitment, reiterated in the State of the State address today, to achieve 50% renewable energy production by 2030 and to make New York State coal free by 2020. And we support his announcement to invest $15 million in training for renewable energy jobs, create an economy-wide $15 per hour minimum wage, and expand utilization requirements for minority and women-owned businesses.

The Governor placed a high importance in his speech on tackling income inequality, providing good jobs, and pursuing justice. The transition to a renewable energy system provides incredible opportunities to achieve that agenda, but only if the transition is pursued in an equitable, democratic, and accountable way. As the 2016 legislative session opens, the Energy Democracy Alliance urges the Governor, the legislature, and state agencies to pursue economic opportunity and environmental projection for all New Yorkers by prioritizing the needs of the most vulnerable communities in the state.

We call for a Renewable, Equitable, Accountable, and Local (R.E.A.L.) energy vision. We need a clean energy transition that enables attainment of a 100% RENEWABLE energy production goal while denying corporate bailouts to nuclear and fossil fuel generators; EQUITABLE reinvestment of Clean Energy Funds in environmental justice and low income communities of color; a democratically ACCOUNTABLE utility regulation system; and LOCAL control of clean energy planning and economic development initiatives and assets that build community wealth.

We look forward to working with policy makers and local communities to make the energy vision R.E.A.L.!”