As part of New York’s 2024 executive budget, Gov. Kathy Hochul is aiming to further the state’s climate action initiatives.
One particular piece of the budget seeks to advance renewable energy through the New York Power Authority. It would allow the agency to use funds from the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act to help the state meet its energy-efficiency goals, but some observers feel it is a step in the wrong direction.
Anne Reynolds, executive director of the Alliance for Clean Energy New York, described what she thinks the New York Power Authority’s role in developing renewables should be.
“We would like them to focus on helping us meet our goals by investing in the transmission system,” Reynolds emphasized. “We’re going to need, for example, transmissions to bring the offshore wind to shore, to move offshore wind power off of Long Island. That will require investments in the grid there.”
Legislation to do this is being considered in the Senate. A previous version of the bill passed the Senate, but has languished in the Assembly.
Reynolds argued it is critical for the state to keep working toward its 2035 climate goals. She noted one aspect of the budget which should help would require all new construction to be all electric in the coming years.
A possible barrier to implementing New York’s climate initiatives is a Republican push in Congress to repeal the Inflation Reduction Act. It has allocated billions of dollars to fund climate-smart programs, and is widely regarded as a hallmark in battling climate change.
While New York is one of the states to lead the charge on climate action, Reynolds acknowledged the Inflation Reduction Act was a much-needed tool to aid the fight.
“Here in New York, we are really showing leadership in the fight against climate change, and have been hoping for years that the federal government would do the same,” Reynolds pointed out. “The Inflation Reduction Act was an absolute gift in terms of helping our efforts.”
According to Democrats on Congress’ Joint Economic Committee, repealing the Inflation Reduction Act would lead to increased energy costs for individual households of up to $300 a year.
Edwin is a reporter and producer in North Tonawanda, New York. He’s previously reported for the Niagara Gazette and the Ithaca Times. Edwin got an early start in radio interning for WBFO-88.7FM, NPR’s Buffalo affiliate. In 2018, he graduated from SUNY Buffalo State College with a B.A. in Journalism, and in 2022, graduated from Syracuse University with an M.S. in Communications.