Assemblymember Carroll Announces His Major Climate Change Legislation – The Build Public Renewables Act Included in the State’s Final Budget

A big win for the green new deal: New York Power Authority authorized to act to achieve a just transition to renewable energy

Albany, NYAssemblymember Robert Carroll (D/WF-44) today announced that the final 2023-2024 budget approved by the Legislature includes the core elements of his bill, A.279 -The Build Public Renewables Act. This represents the success of several years of advocacy on the part of Assemblymember Carroll, many of his Assembly and Senate colleagues, his partners in the Public Power NY coalition, and concerned citizens across the State. Assemblymember Carroll first introduced legislation in 2019 to have the New York Power Authority (NYPA), a State agency established under the New Deal, take a leading role in ensuring the State will meet the targets of the State’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA). 

“After 4 years of advocacy and persistence, key provisions of the Build Public Renewables Act, legislation that originated in my office, will become law. This will ensure New York is a nationwide leader in the just and sustainable transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. It will transform NYPA from a moribund agency to the most dynamic builder and owner of public renewables in the nation. It’s the most important Green New Deal legislation to ever pass and it never would have happened without the committed advocacy of the Public Power NY Coalition. I want to thank the Chair of the Corporations Committee, Ken Zebrowski and Speaker Heastie for their leadership in this major victory in the fight against climate change,” said Assemblymember Carroll.

“We are so proud of the biggest Green New Deal win in US history. The Build Public Renewables Act provides a model to the rest of the nation for how to fight and win climate action with gold standard labor language. This is the culmination of years of work where we took on the fossil fuel industry and won. Our victory is thanks to nothing besides the power of the coalition we built,” said Aaron Eisenberg, Public Power NY.

The budget bill empowers NYPA, to build, own, and operate renewable energy projects according to a strategic plan developed every two years. The projects will fill gaps left by the private sector as necessary to meet the renewable energy and emissions targets of the CLCPA as well as addressing transmission and interconnectivity issues. NYPA is authorized to enter into public private partnerships but must maintain 51% ownership of its projects. “Peaker plants” in New York City, which are some of the dirtiest plants in the State and disproportionately located in disadvantaged communities, will be phased out by 2030. NYPA will provide bill credits to electricity consumers in disadvantaged communities and support workforce training in renewable energy. The legislation also includes strong labor standards to ensure good paying jobs and prevent job dislocation that could result from the transition away from fossil fuels.

“Including the Build Public Renewables Act in the budget, will ensure that we are a nationwide leader in the just and sustainable transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. With this legislation we can be more confident that New York State can meet the CLCPA goals of 70% renewable energy by 2030 and an economy-wide reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of 40% in 2030 from 1990 levels while creating thousands of well-paying green jobs” said Assemblymember Carroll.