Update April 1, 2016

100% clean energy by 2030 not in Final Budget
Climate Change Lobby Day on Mon. April 11
Tell Scott Stringer to Divest Pension Funds, Issue RFP for climate study
(Today April 1 – Action on Exxon in NYC)
April 3 – Rally vs. Pipelines in Hudson Valley
April 5 – Rally against FERC and Constitution Pipeline at State Capitol
April 6 – GELF, Mothers Out Front to Speak on Climate Change in Rochester
April 9 – Offshore Wind Rally NYC, Mayor de Blasio
May 14 – Break Free from Fossil Fuels in Albany – Blockade the Oil Trains
March for a Clean Energy Revolution – Sunday, July 24, Philadelphia

Funding for 100% clean energy study by 2030 not in final budget

The Assembly’s push for a climate change study with a goal of having the state go to 100% clean renewable energy by 2030 did not make it into the final budget. The proposal did receiving strong support from Assembly environmental chair Steven Engelbright as well as other Assemblymembers such as William Colton and Barbara Lifton. There would appear to be ways for the state to still fund this but this would largely be up to the Governor.

The State did create a new Climate Smart Communities project, with the local community required to provide at least 50% of the project fund and a cap of $2 million in state aid per project. The projects must demonstrate an ability to identify, mitigate and/or adapt climate change vulnerability and risk, or demonstrate potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions outside the power sector. It also expressly mentions clean vehicles recharging projects. Flood/ storm surge mitigation will be a major focus. $14 million was appropriated. This was less than what the Governor and Assembly had proposed.

The state also created a $2,000 tax credit for electric and zero emissions vehicles.

Up to $30 million will be provided to local governments to assist with local property taxes following the closure of an electric power plant.

The Senate’s call for $100 million in subsidies call for nuclear does not seem to be in, but the Governor apparently intends to push such subsidies through the PSC’s Clean Power Standard (this issue needs more clarification).

Overall $300 million provided for the Environmental Protection Fund. Senator Hoylman argued on the floor against raiding RGGI funds; appears $30 million diverted. Senate delayed diesel emissions reductions for another year. Funding for DEC climate change office restored.

Climate Change Lobby Day on Mon. April 11; Divestment conference Albany Sun. April 10

The 100% Renewable NY campaign and the Fossil Free state divestment campaign will hold a Climate Change Lobby Day on Monday, April 11th in Albany. We will have a briefing from 9:30 to 11 AM in room 104A of the State Legislative Office Building. We will have legislative visits from noon to 4 PM. There will be some media event at 11 AM. The key bills will be 100% clean energy by 2030 (A7497 / S5527) and divestment (A8372 / S6037) but other climate change bills can be brought up as well, such as pushing for offshore wind and a state carbon tax. The campaign also supports a halt to all fossil fuel projects, including natural gas.

The registration form for is here. Please let us know (dunleamark@aol.com) if your group would like to co-sponsor either event.

The planned April 10 state conference on divestment from state pension fund has been postponed.

Divest the NYC Pension Fund from All Fossil Fuels

Call and Tweet NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer. Tell him to stop delaying.

Phone message to Scott Stringer. (212) 669-3500: I support full divestment of the city pension funds from fossil fuels. Please issue the request for proposal (RFP) for a study of climate risk from the pension fund.

Tweet:  .@scottmstringer  #Divest from #fossilfuels. Issue RFP for NYC pension climate study @BilldeBlasio

Background: http://350nyc.org/fossil-free-nyc/

3 years ago 350NYC started a campaign to urge the NYC pension fund to be divested from all fossil fuel companies – coal, gas and oil. The City Comptroller runs the city’s five pension fund and is one of a more than a dozen trustees on the various boards which controls the funds.  The Mayor and Public Advocate are also represented as well as other officials and labor representatives.

On Sept. 29, 2015, Mayor de Blasio proposed that the city immediately divest from coal and study the climate risk and carbon footprint of the pension funds. The study might provide the legal basis for further action by the pension trustees to divest from all fossil fuels.

On Oct. 27, 2015, the first of the pension boards passed a resolution calling for a study of the climate risk. The other boards have also passed resolutions. The resolution requires the City Comptroller to develop a RFP (Request for Proposals) to hire a firm to conduct the study. Once a study is done, the board will consider what other action if any to take.

The Comptroller has not come back to the Board with an RFP for approval. He has refused requests by 350 to discuss what is going on with the RFP. Stringer has opposed divestment, preferring instead to engage in shareholder lobbying to persuade Exxon and other fossil fuel companies to be more climate friendly.

(Note: the divestment from coal has been handled in Executive Session behind closed doors.)

April 1 Action on Exxon in NYC

On April Fuels Day, Exxon will announce that as a result of the investigation by the NYS Attorney General, it has agreed to make a number of changes to reduce climate change impact. The event will be a noon in midtown Manhattan outside the offices of the media firm for Exxon. 1285 Avenue of the Americas (6th Ave. at W. 52nd St NY NY). Organized by 350 NYC.
April 3 – Rally vs. Pipelines in Hudson Valley

SAPE (Stop the Algonquin Pipeline Expansion) is teaming up with Food and Water Watch to conduct a Rally – Protecting Natural Resources, Health and Safety in the Hudson Valley And Beyond on Sunday, April 3, 2016 at Riverfront Green in Peekskill, New York. Our goals are: 1) to stop the extremely dangerous Algonquin Incremental Market (AIM) Pipeline from going forward and 2) to project a message that new or expanded gas pipelines here or elsewhere are not a viable energy solution and should also be stopped, because they pollute natural resources, hurt health and safety for people, wildlife and domestic animals, and contribute significantly to climate change

April 5 – Rally against FERC and Constitution Pipeline at State Capitol

FERC (Federal Energy and Regulatory Commission) has approved lots of fossil-fuel projects in NY and wants to rubberstamp more. The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has the power to stop one of these projects right now: the “Constitution” pipeline. But ONLY if it denies the project’s water quality certificate by the end of April. Governor Cuomo needs to stop the invasion of these ruinous pipelines, compressor stations, and gas-fired power plants in our communities. Come to Albany and tell the governor to stand up to FERC, protect NY water and deny the 401 water quality certificate for the Constitution Pipeline! The rally and march start at 11:30 AM at East Capitol Park in Albany on April 5.

April 6 –GELF, Mothers out Front at Climate Change Forum in Rochester

April 6th, 7:00pm, Temple B’rith Kodesh; 2131 Elmwood Avenue, Rochester, NY 14618;

Panel Discussion on Climate Change. Speakers will include Dr. Susan Spencer, founder of ROCSPOT, a group dedicated to transforming the Rochester economy from one based on fossil fuels to one powered by solar technology; Mark Dunlea of the Green Education and Legal Fund, which is dedicated to full employment and lower energy rates by transitioning to clean, renewable energy by 2030; and Vanessa Rule, founder of Mothers Out Front, a group also fighting for a complete transition away from fossil fuels– for the good of the planet and our children and grandchildren. Sponsored by National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW)


Offshore Wind Rally NYC on Sat. April 9

The campaign to bring offshore wind power to New York is picking up speed and the wind is at our backs! In February, more than 150 of us came out to the steps of City Hall to call on Mayor Bill de Blasio to make offshore wind a key part of his climate agenda. The very next day, on WNYC radio, the Mayor spoke about the importance of developing offshore wind for the Big Apple.  Now it’s time to build on our momentum and keep him accountable.

Join us on SaturdayApril 9th to tell Mayor de Blasio to make an Earth Day commitment to bringing offshorewind power to New York City.
Saturday, April 9th, 5:30pm, Hilton Midtown Hotel, 1335 6th Ave., New York, NY

On April 9th, the media will be hosting their annual Inner Circle Show, where de Blasio and the press trade spoofs in song and dance. This year’s theme is “Shamilton”. We’ll be putting on a show of our own outside, sporting Hamilton costumes and holding wind turbines, maybe even breakin out some Dylan (“the answer my friends, is blowin in the wind…”) We need you there with us to ensure the Mayor and the media know that New Yorkers are looking for an ambitious offshore wind commitment from the City on Earth Day.

Come out and bring friends—it’s time for a renewable energy revolution in New York. It’s time to #WinWind for NY!

Break Free from Fossil Fuels in Albany on Saturday May 14 – Stop the Oil Trains

(From 350.org) Every country in the world has now agreed to tackle the issue of climate change, historically low prices have sent the industry into a financial tailspin, and two consecutive years of record global temperatures have galvanized support for climate action. There has never been a better moment to confront the fossil fuel industry and break its hold on our economy. (See video)

This May, organizers on every continent are planning a global wave of mass actions to leverage this moment — to break free from fossil fuels and spark a just transition to 100% renewable energy.

Along with partners around the world, we announced the Break Free 2016 mobilization as the Paris Climate Summit was wrapping up in December. You signed up to get more info, and today I’m proud to share the results of lots of hard work and planning: if you go to breakfree2016.org now, you can see all the details for many of the bold actions being planned around the world.

In the United States, the Break Free mobilization will be a series of actions from coast to coast to take on the industry and keep fossil fuels in the ground. Click here to find an action near you this May.

Break Free isn’t like anything we’ve ever done before. It’s a network of independently-organized actions to keep fossil fuels in the ground. It’s escalated, but more than just a handful of protest veterans. It’s a mass mobilization, but not just happening in one place at one time. It’s global, but grassroots-driven.

In Albany, New York, a coalition of groups from across the region will take on an oil-by-rail terminal that pumps pollution into the homes of the city’s poorest residents; in Colorado, activists will take a stand to say that it’s time to keep all publicly-owned oil and gas underground; in Los Angeles, community members will call for a fracking ban — and so much more.

March for a Clean Energy Revolution – Sunday, July 24, Philadelphia

Ban Fracking Now – Keep Fossil Fuels in the Ground – Stop Dirty Energy – A Quick and Just Transition to 100% Renewable Energy. www.cleanenergymarch.org/

The nation’s spotlight will shine on Philadelphia during the Democratic National Convention in July 2016. Now more than ever, it is imperative that our political leaders take swift action to keep the vast majority of fossil fuels in the ground including oil and gas from fracking and other extreme extraction methods. They must commit to swiftly attaining a full and just transition to renewable energy.