Gov. Cuomo in his State of the State announced that he has directed NYSERDA and DEC to conduct a study on how fast we can NYS move to 100% renewable energy, something GELF has been pushing for the last year. Now the challenge is to make it an effective study which focuses on how fast can we get to 100% – not just the Governor’s existing goals.
Below is a sample letter to send to the Governor and his staff (addresses included). Feel free to modify it to add more about other issues, such as stopping particular fossil fuel infrastructure. And to call for 100% clean energy by 2030.
Dear Governor Cuomo
Thank you for your recent announcement in your State of the State directing “the Department of Environmental Conservation and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority to undertake a comprehensive study to determine the most rapid, cost-effective, and responsible pathway to reach 100 percent renewable energy statewide. The State will engage academic partners to draw upon existing clean energy research and seek input from other key stakeholders.”
We look forward to the study achieving landmark status in the worldwide effort to combat climate change, serving as an essential reference tool.
We urge that a central focus on the study be how fast we can implement renewable energy technology to get to 100% clean energy based on consideration of science, energy potential, and existing infrastructure buildout. We understand that the final plans for the state will reflect economic and political barriers but it will be extremely useful to start with an objective analysis of how fast it can be done if we were to commit our full resources to it.
A study was done several years ago by Stanford and Cornell professors that showed the potential to move to 100% clean energy in NYS by 2030. However, it lacked concrete steps, timelines, benchmarks and resources needed to make this happen. But it does provide one starting point for consideration.
A major decision at COP 21 in Paris last year was to lower the goal for capping global warming from 2 degrees centigrade to 1.5 degrees. The latter goal will be very difficult to accomplish, reflecting the need to reduce carbon emissions on average from 7 to 9% a year. The report should examine whether proposed actions and goals are sufficient to meet the limit of 1.5 degrees needed to avoided catastrophic climate change.
In conjunction with a firm commitment to the state to move 100% renewable energy by a quick date (e.g., 2030), there needs to be the companion commitment to halt the use of fossil fuels. The world will pass its carbon budget in the next few years at the present rate. As you stated in your SOS, “Now that New York has built a foundation for the renewable energy system of the future, the State must double down by investing in the fight against dirty fossil fuels and fracked gas from neighboring states to achieve the goals outlined in the Governor’s Clean Energy Standard.” This should begin with an immediate halt to all new fossil fuel infrastructure projects. And the state needs to reject natural gas and its methane emissions as an acceptable bridge fuel.
We urge that the study include the research from the best renewable energy scientists, and that adequate resources be allocated to make that happen. We also urge that the process be transparent with the opportunity for interested individuals, advocates and stakeholders to provide input and feedback.
Thank you for your willingness to be a climate change leader.
Mark A Dunlea
Green Education and Legal Fund
Governor Andrew Cuomo
Albany NY 12224
DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
Albany, NY 12233-1010
President John Rhodes
New York State Energy Research and Development Authority
17 Columbia Circle
Albany, NY 12203-6399
Chairman of Energy & Finance for New York
633 3rd Ave.,
New York, NY 10017