New York needs to commit to 100% green renewable energy by 2030.
New York needs to invest in energy conservation, energy reduction, wind, solar and geothermal (e.g., heat pumps) not oil, gas, coal, fossil fuel infrastructure, or nukes. The first step is for the Governor to issue an executive order to have 100% clean energy in NY by 2030 (or have the legislature pass a law). The state energy master plan and Renewable Portfolio standard (RPS) should incorporate this goal, with clear targets and timelines.
The biggest obstacles to going to 100% clean energy are political and economic power, not energy technology. Fossil fuel companies wish to maintain their profits and market share, as does Wall Street. Solving climate change requires energy democracy, changing the political and economic system that promotes unsustainable development and energy use. We need democratic control over the energy system, including public ownership.
Green energy is also the path to full employment and lower energy rates. A study by Stanford (Jacobson) and Cornell professors show that it is technologically feasible for NY to transition to 100% clean renewable energy by 2030 while creating 4.5 million jobs. Electric rates would be over 50% lower compared to continued reliance upon fossil fuels. The state should fund a study on the concrete steps and timelines needed to make this is reality.
The Jacobson plan obtains half of the electricity from wind and a third from solar. The plan includes energy conservation, reduction and efficiency. We need to add smart grid and community micro-grids to accommodate distributed wind and solar energy generation. The plan includes all energy, including transportation
The state should fund an implementation plan laying out the details. All layers of government would need to participate, including local (e.g., zoning, land use and building decisions). More details are needed on the financing. The estimated capital outlay for the transition is $460 billion. Other studies on such energy transitions estimate that three-quarters of such funds would already be invested to maintain and build upon the existing energy systems. Additional revenue sources (e.g., carbon tax) would need to be studied.
We need to eliminate carbon emissions, not just increase renewables. We must stop investing in fossil fuel infrastructure now; once we built it, we will use it for decades. All new infrastructure must directly support the transition to renewable energy. The state should also divest its public pension funds from fossil fuels.
We need energy democracy. The public must control energy decisions. We need expanded public / cooperative ownership and community driven, democratically-controlled, decentralized energy systems (e.g.,, Community Choice Aggregation). We need local governments to endorse the 100% by 2030 effort in their own community and at the state level.
Green Education and Legal Fund
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