Full Title: Program to Unleash Renewable Energy and Create Jobs in New York State
Author(s): Buffalo Clean Energy
Publisher(s): Sierra Club
Publication Date: 2/2012
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New York State has adopted some progressive energy policies and, according to the NY Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), it is the most energy efficient state in the continental US.1 New York has tremendous hydropower resources that give it a head start in the transition to a low carbon economy. Yet it is seriously faltering in its efforts to make that transition and risks falling farther behind other states and jurisdictions as its policies fail to keep up. CLEAN-FIT programs have not been embraced by the political establishment in New York State. Reasons include the strength of the utility and fossil fuel industries, and a backlash against the financial impacts of the “6-cent law” (a 1980’s state initiative that primarily encouraged natural gas co-generation of electricity). In the 2012 legislative session, a strong effort will be launched in New York to pass a Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC) bill — a positive development, yet one that would leave New York far short of where it needs to be in the race to cut greenhouse gas emissions by switching to renewables. Labor, environmental and clean energy organizations need to stake out a position that maximizes the chance for New York to adopt a CLEAN-FIT program. Their position relative to SRECs should be one of support, qualified by maintaining space for the more comprehensive goal of adopting a CLEAN-FIT program for New York State.