Update – March 23 – 100% renew in As. budget; lobby day

Update – March 23, 2016

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Call As. Speaker Heastie to include 100% Clean Energy by 2030 in final budget
Climate Change Lobby Day on Mon. April 11
Divestment conference Albany Sun. April 10
Oppose the Outrageous Nuclear Raid on Renewables
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
May 14 – Break Free from Fossil Fuels in Albany – Blockade the Oil Trains
Climate Change May be Worse than Expected – Dr. James Hansen
Offshore Wind Advocates Urge LIPA to Commit to OSW
March for a Clean Energy Revolution – Sunday, July 24, Philadelphia
Natural gas infrastructure lobby ramps up spending in New York State

Call Assembly Speaker Heastie to Include Support for 100% Clean Energy by 2030 in Final Budget

The Assembly budget resolution states support for 100% clean energy by 2030. We want to get that into the final budget, which is supposed to pass by April 1.

Here is a news release supporting the Assembly’s position. Here is Liz Benjamin interviewing Mark Dunlea.

We need to urge Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie to include in the final budget. Phone: 518-455-3791; Email: Speaker@assembly.state.ny.us.  Tweet:  @CarlHeastie

Message: Please ensure that support for moving to 100% clean energy by 2030 remains in the final budget as part of the Environmental Protection Fund

The environmental section of the budget will be handled initially by the budget conference committee on the Environment, Housing and Agriculture. The key person who needs to be our champion is As. Steve Engelbright (EngleS@assembly.state.ny.us, 518-455-4804). On the Senate side, representing the Democrats (so not much power) will be Sen. Brad Hoylman (518 455-2451), the lead sponsor of the 100% clean energy bill by 2030 (S5527)

The 100% Renewables Now campaign had asked the State Assembly to include funding ($200k a year for three years) for a study by several professors at Cornell (Bob Howard) on how to move to 100% clean energy by 2030. The Assembly budget resolution goes further; it calls for a $25.5 million Climate Action Plan, including creating the necessary infrastructure to help move New York closer toward the statewide goal of 100 percent renewable energy use by 2030. http://assembly.state.ny.us/Press/20160314/

The funding will come out of the $300 million for the Environmental Protection Fund in the Capitol Budget, so the debate will not be over the total amount but rather over what to include and how to fund it (e.g., no raid on RGGI funds.)

There is also a lot of support for the zero emission vehicles incentive program.

The Senate budget resolution does not including funding for climate change.

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.

The Divestment Campaign is also planning a conference in Albany on Sunday afternoon, April 10. Details to follow. We will provide community housing upon request if people need a place to stay office. (Please email dunleamark@aol.com if you have a place to offer.).

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

Oppose the Outrageous Nuclear Raid on Renewables

The New York State Senate is trying to gut numerous important energy efficiency and renewable energy programs in order to dump money into the unprofitable FitzPatrick nuclear plant. The proposal, pushed by NY Senate Republicans, would take $100 million away from programs that support weatherization for low-income people, development of renewable heat and electric cars, municipal sustainability projects, and more. That $100 million would be redirected to Entergy Corporation in an attempt to convince the company not to close its extremely unprofitable nuclear reactor in Upstate New York. You can send an email on this via NIRS. See also AGREE.

Mark your calendar – 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)


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)

Read the recent NY Times article about climate change activists escalating protests, with a focus on Seneca Lake and AIM pipeline.

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.

Climate Change May be Worse than Expected – Dr. James Hansen

A new report from Dr. James Hansen and other climate scientists concludes that the likely consequences of the weak Paris climate agreement would include killer storms stronger than any in modern times, the disintegration of large parts of the polar ice sheets, and a rise of the sea sufficient to begin drowning the world’s coastal cities before the end of this century. Video with Hansen,

Offshore Wind Advocates Urge LIPA to Commit to OSW

More than 100 individuals attended the monthly meeting of the Long Island Power Authority to urge them to finally agree to purchase offshore wind, something they have repeatedly refused to commit to over the last decade. On the day that Cuomo finally said no to fracking, the LIPA board rejected a proposal to build offshore wind. Support is growing however for an offshore wind farm being developed by Deepwater Wind off of the East End of Long Island.

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.

Natural gas infrastructure lobby ramps up spending in New York State

Companies developing major natural gas infrastructure projects in New York State have spent millions of dollars to retain some of Albany’s most influential lobbyists over the past five years, according to a new report released today by the Public Accountability Initiative (PAI). The report, “Natural gas infrastructure lobby ramps up spending in New York State,” which analyzed lobbying disclosures for five companies planning pipelines and gas-fired power plants, found that the infrastructure companies have ramped up their lobbying efforts, spending $1.3 million in 2015, a 119% increase from the $578,454 spent in 2011.

PAI also found that the companies selected lobbyists with ties to New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration and family