There has been much discussion of proposed climate legislation in Albany. Let’s talk about it. The science says we have only a few years to effectively combat climate change. How we go about combatting climate change is less straight forward. In New York State we have taken the lead on this issue. We passed the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) which set bold standards for reducing our emissions. We have codified the goal, but there is more to do. We need a roadmap.
The Climate and Community Investment Act (CCIA) is part of the roadmap. The CCIA puts a surcharge of $55 per ton of toxic pollutants produced. This is the real-world price of pollution. It will hold our worst corporate polluters financially accountable for the damage they cause, and finance the repair. The bill provides direct assistance to ratepayers, offsetting most price increases. It also invests in our green energy infrastructure, helping us meet the goals of the CLCPA.
It is also why I support the New York Build Public Renewables Act. This bill would ramp up the New York Power Authority (NYPA)’s ability to generate and sell utility-scale renewable energy. NYPA already sells power at a cheaper rate than most utilities across the state, has access to low-cost bonds, and already generates 83% of its power from renewable sources. This bill, along with the CCIA, would create robust mechanisms for community engagement and a strong renewable energy workforce across the state. A recent study from the Climate and Community Project at the University of Pennsylvania found that this bill “could create somewhere between 28,410 and 51,133 total direct and indirect jobs and between $48.6 billion and $93.5 billion of additional economic activity by 2030.”
This legislation would make a difference. Climate change is not backing down, and neither are we. We have the obligation to combat climate change. We owe it to our children and grandchildren.