Feb. 26 2016 – Divest, Solar, wind

100% Renewables Now NYS
Update – Feb. 25, 2016

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State Legislative Forum on Divestment Mon. Feb. 29
Northeast Direct Pipeline Meeting Thurs Feb. 25th in Bethlehem
Break Free from Fossil Fuels – Albany, Sat. May 14
Cuomo Continues Push to Bail out Upstate Nukes
NYC City Council Passes Legislation to Solarize All City Buildings
Exxon on Trial on March 9th in NYC
Community Solar Forum in Syracuse on March 18
Deepwater Wind Looks to Brooklyn for base for Offshore Wind
And a plug for the GMO Labeling Rally in Albany on March 8


State Legislative Forum on Divestment Mon. Feb. 29


Monday, February 29th, 2016, 11:00 a.m., Legislative Office Building, Rm. 944A. Testify by invitation only. We have scheduled about 20 legislative visits that day on divestment. Bill number is A8011 / S5873. Please RSVP here.


Bill McKibben will testify by skype. Here is a video of his testimony in Vermont. Unfortunately, no one from the State Comptroller office will testify.


Senator Liz Krueger and Assembly Assistant Speaker Felix W. Ortiz have introduced S.5873/A.8011-A, the “Fossil Fuel Divestment Act.” This legislation would require the State Comptroller to divest the New York State Common Retirement Fund from all holdings in the 200 largest publicly traded fossil fuel companies, as defined by carbon content in the companies’ proven oil, gas, and coal reserves (the CU 200). Divestment from coal companies would be completed within one year; divestment from all other fossil fuel companies would be completed by January 1, 2020. The forum will be an opportunity to discuss the need for this legislation from a variety of perspectives, financial, environmental, moral, etc., as well as how New York State can play a part in the global fossil fuel divestment movement.


In NYC, the effort to have the city divest is moving slowly. Four months after the first pension board passed a resolution to do a study of analyzing the climate risk posed by the investments, City Comptroller Scott Stringer has failed to come back to the boards with a proposed scope for the RFP for the study.


Northeast Energy Direct Pipeline Meeting Thurs Feb. 25th in Bethlehem


There will be a stop the “Northeast Energy Direct Pipeline” (NED) meeting at the First Reformed Church Bethlehem ((FRCB) Thursday, Feb. 25 from 6-8 pm at 30/38 Church Rd, Selkirk, NY 12158. This meeting is open to the public. The purpose is to create various committees to focus on various strategies and tactics involving: political figures, fundraising, outreach-lawn signs, web page, Facebook page, letter writing, “door to door” campaigns, public forums, etc.*


There will be a Public Forum about the proposed fracked gas pipeline Saturday, March 12 in Knox, NY from 2-4 pm at the Knox Town Hall on Rte 156 at 2192 Berne Altamont Rd Altamont, NY 12009.


Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos may have to settle objections over plans by DEC and the state Thruway Authority to share environmental control over a proposed crude oil pipeline that would use the state Thruway to carry oil from Albany to New Jersey. (story)


A judge cleared the way to resume cutting of trees in Pennsylvania for the Constitution Pipeline. The Judge said the builders of the proposed Constitution Pipeline could return to a property in New Milford Township where a crew arrived on Feb. 10 to begin cutting trees but then backed off after confronting protesters and local police. In an order issued Monday, the judge said protesters had to stay at least 150 feet away from tree cutting, and authorized U.S. Marshals or other law-enforcement officers to arrest anyone violating the order.


Break Free from Fossil Fuels – Albany, Sat. May 14


From 7–15 May, 2016 350.org and other climate change groups are mobilizing to keep fossil fuels in the ground and accelerate a just transition to 100% renewable energy and a sustainable future for all. Disruptive actions – including nonviolent civil disobedience – are being planned at locations all over the world.


In NY, the events will be in Albany on Saturday May 14, targeting the oil bomb trains that come into Albany. (read story about efforts to make NYS examine the environmental justice impact of the pollution permits at the Port.) Buses will be organized from around the northeast, including NYC.

After the Climate Summit in Paris we need to redouble efforts to end the use of destructive fossil fuels and choose a clean and just energy future. This May we hope to see more people than ever commit to joining actions that disrupt the industry’s power by targeting the world’s most dangerous and unnecessary fossil fuel projects, and supporting the most ambitious climate solutions.

Imagine: tens of thousands of people around the world rising up to take back control of their own destinies. Walking arm-in-arm into coal fields. Sitting down to block the business of governments and industry that threaten our future. Marching in peaceful defense of our right to clean energy. We are close to a historic, global shift in our energy system. The way we get there is by action that confronts those who are responsible for climate change and takes power back for the people so we can shape the sustainable and just future we need.

Cuomo Continues Push to Bail out Upstate Nukes

The state Public Service Commission is considering a policy that would streamline financial support for nuclear power plants that can’t compete with facilities that use lower-cost natural gas. The commission agreed Tuesday to take public comments on the proposal. A report from commission states electricity shortages expected by 2019 could come at time when the aging nuclear plants might be forced offline. (see full story)

However, in a major victory, the state PSC rejected Cuomo’s proposal to retrofit the Cayuga Coal plant, instead deciding to upgrade transmission lines. It approved however the sale of the two coal plants.

As. Colton is seeking funding in the state budget for a study on how fast NY can move to 100% clean energy. Colton is the lead sponsor of the bill for 100% clean energy (no natural gas, nukes, fossil fuel infrastructure) by 2030. A7497 / S5527.

NYC City Council Passes Legislation to Solarize City Buildings

The legislation as amended would require the city on annual basis to report on each city owned building which has a roof ten years older or less (so leaves out a number of buildings, though roof usually are replaced every 25 years or so) as to whether or not a solar system has been installed. The Mayor pushed to narrow the initial proposal. If a photovoltaic system has not been installed at such building, the report would have to include the reasons that such a system was not installed and, where an alternate sustainability project, structural change or other use has been proposed or carried out for the roof of such building, a description of such alternate project, structural change or use.

Exxon on Trial on March 9th in NYC

Climate Justice of Union Seminary is organizing a trial of Exxon for their lies about climate change. Since 1977, Exxon knew from its own scientists that warming from CO2 could eventually endanger humanity. Instead of acting to protect the planet, Exxon hid the findings and mounted a massive campaign of denial and disinformation for profit-motives.

Witnessing to the devastating impacts of climate change will be International & US students, First Nations voices, and local organizations. Assisting our judgment with evidence and remedies: Mark Dunlea- Green Education & Legal Fund; Kim Fraczek- Resist AIM-Spectra Pipeline; Dave Anderson- Union of Concerned Scientists

Wed. March 9 – 4:00-7:00 pm, AD 30, Union Theological Seminary; 3041 Broadway New York

350NYC and Brooklyn will organize an Exxon Protest on April Fuels Day, April 1.

Community Solar Forum in Syracuse on March 18

The Energy Democracy Alliance is partnering with the Central New York Regional Planning and Development Board to put on a Community Solar Forum on March 18 in Syracuse. Community solar (also known as shared solar) is a way to develop large shared arrays that benefit many people. They allow renters and anyone who doesn’t have a suitable roof for solar to invest in or subscribe to a shared project and receive the credits for the solar generation on their own utility bill.

We will hear from community organizations in the process of developing shared solar projects to benefit their neighborhoods and constituencies. Then we will hear from experts on the national context and New York State shared solar policy to get you up to speed on what’s allowed in New York and what state resources are available to help develop projects. Experts who have helped launch community solar projects in New York and other states will follow, to discuss community solar project design and different ownership models, including cooperative ownership, that will work in New York.

Registration link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/community-solar-forum-tickets-21305755087

Deepwater Wind Looks to Brooklyn for base for Offshore Wind

While public support for offshore wind continues to build, the upfront costs remains the biggest barrier. Yet the main way to drive down costs is to have the state or other entity continues to a large number of OSW projects – say 5,000 MW by 2025 and 10,000 MW by 2030. The PSC’s recent Clean Energy Fund did not include a carve out for OSW – but left the door open to requiring individual utilities to do it as part of the Clean Energy Standard due to come out in June. Hearings are expected throughout the state in April. The utility companies however oppose making such a Power Purchase Agreement, arguing the state should do it. However, it looks like NYSERDA or the PSC would need additional legislation authorization to do so.

The PSC will hold a full day conference on the Clean Energy Standard on Fri. Feb. 26. Registration is closed. You can view on line live at http://tinyurl.com/DPS-Webcast-Schedule. You can find the agenda here (see notice, #2)

Deepwater Wind, which is building the first OSW farm in Block Island, wants to come into the NYC / LI Market. A story today says they are looking at Brooklyn to set up base. DONG (Danish Oil and Natural Gas), the world’s largest OSW firm, is also still looking at NY, though they recently announced a major project in Massachusetts. There may be some state bills this session to promote wind by As. Paulin, including a Feed in Tariff proposal.

And a plug for the GMO Labeling Rally in Albany on March 8

Facebook event

Come to the State Capitol on Tuesday, March 8th, to rally and lobby your legislators to make GMO labeling the law in New York State NOW! Meet between 11:00 am and 11:30 am at the Third Floor Terrace in the Legislative Office Building (the “LOB”), 198 State Street, Albany, NY 12210. Bus transport now available from locations throughout the state: Manhattan, Long Island, New Paltz, White Plains, Rochester, Syracuse, Ithaca, and Binghamton! Reserve your seat today!