Coalition of Business, Labor, Environment & Community Leaders Applaud Governor Cuomo’s Bold Vision to Make NY National Offshore Wind Leader
New York State commits to enough offshore wind power for 400,000 homes over the next two years and invests $15 million in workforce development and infrastructure.
ALBANY, NY – A large, diverse coalition of business, labor, environmental, grassroots organizations, and elected officials committed to clean energy applauded Governor Andrew Cuomo’s bold and visionary commitments to make New York State the national leader in offshore wind power, announced today as part of New York’s 2018 Clean Energy Jobs and Climate Agenda.
The Governor called for an offshore wind power procurement of at least 800 megawatts by 2019 – enough clean energy from the wind off the coast of Long Island and New York City to power 400,000 homes. This will be the first step in the process to meet New York’s goal set last year to develop 2,400 megawatts of offshore wind power by 2030.
A key element of the Governor’s proposal is a $15 million investment in workforce training and infrastructure planning to advance opportunities for New Yorkers to participate in this new industry. Today’s announcements will help New York position itself to meet the supply chain and construction needs for building and operating offshore wind turbines, creating a range of new economic development opportunities across the state.
These steps forward are critical for New York to remain at the forefront as offshore wind power finally takes off in the Northeast. With others in the region also moving state policy commitments forward – including Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Maryland – now is the time for New York to act to maximize the engagement of New York’s workforce and port facilities in the launch of the U.S. offshore wind industry.
Leaders from organized labor and environmental organizations, along with business groups and a bipartisan coalition of elected officials, have united to celebrate the Governor’s announcement today and support the State’s efforts to make offshore wind a key component of the “50 by 30” strategy to increase renewable energy, reduce reliance on fossil fuels, and spur economic development opportunities for New Yorkers.
RESPONSES FROM NEW YORK LEADERS
Environment New York Director Heather Leibowitz: “The start of an offshore wind procurement schedule is a big step toward making the Empire State a leader in the effort to reduce air and water pollution and eliminate climate-altering carbon pollution from our use of coal, oil and gas. By tapping into the abundant energy provided by this pollution-free resource, we’re well on our way to the ultimate goal of meeting our energy needs entirely with clean, renewable energy. We look forward to working with state officials and others to improve our health, our quality of life and the future of the planet, with a swift and steady shift to clean, renewable energy.”
Senator Phil Boyle: “I am so proud that New York has led and will continue to lead our nation in the development of offshore wind. I commend Governor Cuomo and the members of the Offshore Wind Alliance who are working diligently to ensure that this clean, renewable energy source – and the thousands of jobs which will come with it – has a home in the Empire State!”
Assemblyman Steve Englebright, Chair of the Assembly Committee on Environmental Conservation: “New York is moving forward to meet our clean energy goals and offshore wind is an important part of that equation. Our State’s commitment to renewable clean energy is needed to address the impacts of climate change. As the federal government threatens to jeopardize the progress we have made, New Yorkers must do everything within our power to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and our impact on climate change to ensure the best possible outcome for public health, the environment, and our overall economic well-being. I am delighted that Governor Cuomo has embraced this needed change.”
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone: “Today’s announcement is a historic step forward in our ongoing efforts to keep New York at the forefront nationally in developing renewable energy resources. Thanks to the strong leadership of Governor Cuomo, New York is one of the only states in the nation with both an established goal of providing enough wind power to create electricity for 1.25 million homes by 2030, and a comprehensive strategy to achieve that goal. Suffolk County is proud to support the Governor’s efforts and we look forward to working with him to see that New York State’s goals are achieved.”
Town of East Hampton Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc: “As newly elected Supervisor of New York State’s first town with a 100 percent renewable energy goal, I am greatly encouraged to see progress to achieve the offshore wind goals set last year, and I commend Governor Cuomo for his bold and visionary leadership in the much needed transition to local and renewable energy sources.”
New York Offshore Wind Alliance Director and a former Commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Joseph Martens: “Governor Cuomo clearly demonstrated that he is going to walk the walk, not just talk the talk when it comes to renewable energy, generally, and offshore wind specifically. His proposal today hits the trifecta: a commitment to procure at least 800 megawatts of offshore wind over the next two years, a $15 million investment in clean energy workforce training and development including offshore wind, and identification of the most promising public and private offshore wind port infrastructure investments. These initiatives are bold, smart and will help ensure that New York becomes the hub of this new United States clean energy industry.”
National Wildlife Federation Offshore Wind Energy Program Director Catherine Bowes: “Governor Cuomo’s New Year’s resolutions were on display today, and New York’s commitment to power well over one million homes with local, clean offshore wind energy by 2030 is one worth celebrating. As the impacts of climate change surge at our shores, bold action to advance responsibly developed offshore wind power is exactly what New York’s communities, wildlife, and future generations are counting on. We look forward to reviewing the details of the final Offshore Wind Master Plan and working with the Cuomo Administration to ensure actions are taken this year to launch this new job-creating clean energy industry here in New York.”
New York State Building & Construction Trades Council President Jim Cahill: “Building offshore wind turbines will create good paying, union jobs. And even more jobs will be created if New York gets out in front of competing states up and down the eastern seaboard to develop the ports needed for construction of offshore wind farms. Wind developers will be looking for ports that can accommodate the special ships needed for construction and that can serve as a hub for the many components used to build the turbines. New York’s union construction workers have the skills and experience necessary to make sure this work is done safely, on-time, and on-budget.”
Sierra Club Senior New York Representative Lisa Dix: “We applaud Governor Cuomo for his bold commitment to scaling up New York’s abundant, pollution free, offshore wind resources. We urge the Administration to ensure that this plan is quickly put into action so a large procurement can be released in early 2018 and a steady stream of projects can move forward each year to hit New York’s target to build at least 2.4 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2030. Investing in responsibly developed offshore wind will not only clean up our air and protect our families and communities from the devastating impacts of climate disruption, it will also position New York as the eastern hub for this industry, creating massive new jobs, and new economic development and manufacturing opportunities for New Yorkers.”
Long Island Federation of Labor AFL-CIO President John R. Durso: “Our union members on Long Island will be an important link in the supply and development chain of the offshore wind industry. We thank the Governor for his commitment to clean energy and a better future for New York.”
Natural Resources Defense Council Director of Renewable Energy Policy Nathanael Greene: “It’s great to see New York State commit to take concrete, specific and actionable steps in 2018 and 2019 towards achieving its 2400 MW offshore wind goal.”
Building Trades Council of Nassau and Suffolk Counties President Richard O’Kane: “The Governor’s announcement is a win-win for everybody. It will create thousands of jobs for our highly skilled and trained workforce here on Long Island.”
Citizens Campaign for the Environment Executive Director Adrienne Esposito: “As our federal government advances irrational policies to expand dirty coal and offshore drilling, New York is forging ahead as a true leader in the millennium by advancing a wind master plan that provides a significant pathway for renewable energy. Advancing solar and wind power allows for meaningful change in our state’s energy policy and provides other states a new standard for accomplishing clean energy goals. Our energy future starts with today’s policies.”
Renewable Energy Long Island Executive Director Gordian Raacke: “With the Governor’s announcements today, Long Island is now perfectly positioned to lead the transition to renewable energy sources in New York State and the Nation. We applaud Governor Cuomo for his exemplary leadership on climate and energy issues and look forward to NYSERDA’s release of a visionary offshore wind master plan.”
Sane Energy Project Rockaway Peninsula Coordinator JK Canepa: “This is a great step forward by our Governor, and the next step is to create the opportunity for shorefront communities in New York to set an example to other states on how to successfully implement offshore wind on a utility scale while providing jobs and job training for the residents in the second-fastest growing job in the USA, wind technology, while empowering the local area in negotiating community benefit agreements to protect energy rates and show how the developers can give back in meaningful ways. NYSERDA will be key partners to be community liaisons.”
The Nature Conservancy in NY Deputy Policy Director Amanda Lefton: “Governor Cuomo’s 20th State of the State proposal demonstrates New York’s leadership on reducing carbon emissions, the leading driver of climate change, and building a renewable energy economy. Soliciting proposals for offshore wind power moves New York closer to meeting our ambitious clean energy goals, while protecting our vital marine resources and the communities and industries they support. The Nature Conservancy in New York commends Governor Cuomo for a smart approach to developing our offshore wind resources.”
Environmental Advocates of New York Air & Energy Director Conor Bambrick: “Governor Cuomo and his team have done tremendous work preparing the state to take full advantage of our offshore wind resources leaving New York poised to be the national leader on this abundant renewable resource. Now is the time for the Governor to put those plans into action so New Yorkers can begin experiencing the economic, environmental and health benefits of an electric grid powered by offshore wind.”
E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs) Eastern States Advocate Noah Dubin: “Offshore wind will be a game changer for New York, its economy, and the Northeast energy market. By reaffirming New York’s commitment to the clean energy economy, Governor Cuomo is raising the bar for renewable energy innovation that states across America will be aiming for.”
NYPIRG Long Island Regional Coordinator Kevin Dugan: “New York State must continue marching forward on the path to become a renewable energy leader. All of us in coastal communities in Long Island and New York City know first-hand how powerful the forces of our oceans and winds can be. By harnessing these forces to generate clean, renewable energy we can fight climate change and work to ensure that catastrophic weather events such as Superstorm Sandy will not reach our shores again. If New York is to be a true renewable energy leader, offshore wind production must be made a priority of the state.”