Governor Cuomo has set several energy goals for New York State in 2017 which are worth keeping your eye on. These goals would lead New York on the path to becoming 100% renewable, promote electric vehicles, reduce carbon emissions, and promote renewable energy, especially wind.
- The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative: Governer Cuomo wants to continue the success of RGGI, a capt and trade program among the East Coast states which is aimed at reducing carbon emissions. New York joined RGGI in 2009 and since, its carbon emission have fallen below the levels set for the cap. Governor Cuomo now wants an increased reduction of 30% between 2020 and 2030. This new cap will require approval from other states in RGGI but if passed, will mean more aggressive carbon reduction goals for New York State.
- Offshore wind: Governor Cuomo recently called on the Long Island Power Authority to approve a 90-megawatt wind power project 30 miles off Long Island. Due to his support of the wind power project, the Long Island Power Authority approved the project within weeks. The South Fork Wind Farm won’t be visible from the shore, which is a major concern of many skeptics of the project. The Cuomo administration plans to finalize its Offshore Wind Master Plan later this year and the project should be complete by 2022.
- Electric vehicles: Governor Cuomo has always been a promoter of electric cars. Recently, he unveiled a proposal to install new charging stations for electric cars, including 500 at workplaces and 69 at rest stops along state highways, which currently has charging stations at 4 rest stops along its 570-mile route. Governor Cuomo also announced a $3 million plan to help municipalities buy electric vehicles. These changes will help New York State be a leader among states in electric cars.
- Renewables study: Another one of Governor Cuomo administration’s goals is to lead New York State on the path to being 100% renewable. To do this, the governor is directing the state Department of Environmental Conservation and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority to study how this can become a reality. A 2013 report by Stanford, Cornell and the University of California, Davis, found that it would be feasible to meet all of the state’s energy needs with renewable sources by 2030.
- Codifying energy goals: In the state budget, the NY Renews coalition is pushing for inclusion of the Climate and Community Protection Act, which would make Cuomo’s clean energy goals part of the law. If these goals are incorporated into NYS law, it would be a great step for renewable energy and sustainability all across the state.
Photo source: flickr.com
Written by Alyssa Lemire, Class of 2017