On Wednesday, May 18th, NYLCVEF and our partner, Sustainable Westchester held a virtual Lunch and Learn focused on the Scoping Plan for New York’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA). The CLCPA is among the most ambitious climate laws in the world and requires New York to transition to a zero-emission electricity sector by 2040, including 70 percent renewable energy generation by 2030, and to reach economy-wide carbon neutrality by 2050.
On July 18, 2019, the CLCPA was signed into law. The law also created the Climate Action Council which is tasked with developing a Draft Scoping Plan that serves as an initial framework for how the State will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and achieve net-zero emissions, increase renewable energy usage, and ensure climate justice.
The Lunch & Learn focused on several topics within the scoping plan. We heard from the below experts on each of these areas:
- Raya Salter, founder of the Energy Justice Law and Policy Center and member of the New York State Climate Action Council, spoke about A Just Transition & Achieving Climate Justice.
- Nina Orville, Executive Director of Sustainable Westchester; and Leo Wiegman, Director of Solar Programs at Sustainable Westchester; spoke about Electricity.
- Julie Tighe, President of the New York League of Conservation Voters, spoke about Transportation.
- Jared Rodriguez, Principal at Emergent Urban Conceptt and Councilman of The Village of Sleepy Hollow; and Jennifer Metzger, former NY State Senator, and Energy Expert/Speaker; spoke about Buildings & Gas System Transition.
- Resa Dimino, Principal at Resource Recycling Systems, spoke about Waste.
- Finally, Karen E. Meara, Partner at Carter Ledyard & Milburn, LLP, spoke about Land Use.
Read more about the speakers, here: CLCPA BIOS 5.18.22.pdf.
The comment period for the scoping plan is open now and attendees were encouraged to take the information they learned during the session and comment on the plan through NYSERDA’s website. Click here to check out NYLCVEF’s and Sustainable Westchester’s comment guide and to learn more about how to make a comment: CLCPA Scoping Plan Guide.pdf.
If you were unable to attend, watch the recording of the Lunch & Learn here: NYS Climate Act: Understanding the Climate Action Council Draft Scoping Plan Learn and Act Webinar.
NYLCV is applying to NYSERDA’s Clean Transportation Prize to continue our work on electrifying school buses. We are working with NYCSBUS, a nonprofit that owns 10% of the buses in NYC, to help deploy and scale electric bus fleets in the City. The goal is to create the first (of hopefully many!) depots in the City to work with ESBs and help lower transportation emissions.
In particular, this project aims to transform a bus depot in the Bronx into an electric school bus center for the community. It will do this by deploying a fleet of 30 green buses to reduce emissions, installing charging infrastructure that connects to the grid, and training bus drivers, technicians, and students on this technology.
We would like to see this project bring zero-emission school bus rides for children, clean up the air in Bronx communities, and accelerate workforce training in clean technology.
- Children riding NYC’s diesel and gasoline school buses breathe toxic pollutants that are detrimental to their lung development, school performance, and overall health. Diesel emissions from buses expose kids to exhaust 23-46x higher than levels needed for significant cancer risk, and aggravate asthma in children, which leads to more school absences.
- Zerega Avenue in the Bronx is NYC’s commercial vehicle and bus district with heavy traffic, surrounding highways, and poor air quality.
- Electric school buses will help eliminate diesel exhaust emissions and produce significantly lower GHG emissions than other buses, which improves the air quality in our communities.
- Creating an electric school bus hub will also allow for the Bronx to be a leader in this space. Through creating physical training centers, establishing curricula, and engaging in workforce recruitment activities, this project will bring the benefits of clean job investments to the community members of the Bronx.
Sign a letter of support showing that NYC residents want electric school buses and clean rides for kids!
For further information about electric school buses check out our NYC Clean School Bus Coalition, our Interactive NYC Bus Depot Map and our Clean Bus Guide!
On Thursday, April 21st at The BrickHouse Brewery in Patchouge, NYLCVEF held a happy hour as a part of our What’s Brewin’ Offshore Happy Hour series.
Our What’s Brewin’ Offshore program is a series of happy hours held at local breweries across New York aimed at helping New Yorkers understand the planned and proposed offshore wind projects, the jobs associated with these projects, and how to get involved. In 2021 we held happy hours in Port Jefferson and Long Beach on Long Island. NYLCVEF partners with Climate Jobs NY on this program with help from Citizens Campaign for the Environment, the Long Island Association, and the Wind Works Long Island Coalition.
This happy hour was sponsored by Orsted, the offshore wind company who currently has two active offshore wind projects serving New York, South Fork Wind and Sunrise Wind. Offshore wind is critical to meet New York’s renewable energy goals, reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and rebuild around a green energy economy, which will provide family-supporting jobs and improve public health. New York has committed to 70% renewable energy by 2030 and 100% clean energy by 2040, including 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035. Both Sunrise Wind and South Fork Wind are critical to meeting these unprecedented goals set by the state.
The night was kicked off by enthusiastic remarks from Ed Romaine, Brookhaven Town Supervisor. He spoke about the importance of renewable energy especially on Long Island which is very susceptible to rising sea levels caused by climate change. Adrienne Esposito of Citizens Campaign for the Environment then presented on current offshore wind projects and the status of the industry. Mariah Dignan of Climate Jobs NY then spoke about the implications of offshore wind on the labor industry and the great opportunity the industry has to create sustainable and secure jobs. Checkout coverage of the event here:
Our next What’s Brewin’ Happy Hour is on June 9th at the Westhampton Brewery. We are also looking to expand the series beyond Long Island and hope to do events in the Capital Region and Queens.
Thanks to all those who joined us last week. Stay tuned for more information on our future What’s Brewin’ events!
Each year, NYLCVEF works with local partners to hold nonpartisan candidate forums in and outside of our chapter areas. These forums connect voters to elected officials and candidates for office in federal, state and local races and give voters the chance to hear candidates speak directly about their position on environmental issues, a topic that is all too often missing from traditional debates. These forums not only educate voters but they also motivate candidates to add environmental protection to their platforms, promises which we hold them accountable to once elected.
On Wednesday, April 20th, 2022, NYLCVEF held an environmental candidate forum for candidates running to represent New York’s fourth congressional district in the House of Representatives. It was held at Hofstra University and was the first in-person forum NYLCVEF has held since before the start of the pandemic.
NYLCVEF was joined by candidates Laura Gillen, Kevin Shakil-Mendez, Carrie Solages and Keith Corbett. The forum was moderated by NYLCV and NYLCVEF President, Julie Tighe.
Candidates opened up the forum by giving an opening statement and then were asked questions about their stance on current federal environmental policies, local environmental issues, and how they will prioritize the environment if elected. Question topics included offshore wind, contaminated drinking water, electric vehicles and clean transportation, sea level rise and coastal resiliency, waste management, infrastructure, and addressing climate justice.
Candidates then closed out the forum by giving a closing statement.
Thank you to the candidates who participated and to event attendees. If you were unable to attend the event, checkout the recording here.
NYLCVEF plans to hold more forums in May for Candidates running for Congressional Districts 1 and 3. Stay tuned for more info!
On Wednesday, March 2nd, NYLCV held a ride and drive event for New York State Legislators with some electric school bus manufacturers. Electric school buses from Blue Bird, Lion Electric Company, and a retrofitted diesel to electric school bus done by Unique Electric Solutions and operated by Logan Bus Company, all made the trip to Albany to showcase the electric school bus market.
The day was kicked off by a press conference with speakers Julie Tighe, President of NYLCV; Justin Balik, Senior Manager of State Policy for Transportation Electrification for the World Resources Institute; Basil Seggos, Commissioner of the NY Department of Environmental Conservation; Jeanette Moy, Commissioner of the Office of General Services; David Sandbank, Vice President of Distributed Energy Resources for NYSERDA; Trevor Summerfield, Director of Advocacy for the American Lung Association; Orville Thomas, Director of Government Relations for Lion Electric; Joe Ambrosio, President of Unique Electric Solutions; and Jeremy Johnston, Sales Manager for Blue Bird.
Speakers vocalized their support for electric school buses and emphasized the importance of electrifying New York’s school bus fleet to improve public health, decrease our reliance on fossil fuels, and clean our transportation systems.
After the press conference, New York State legislators stopped by throughout the day to take a ride, and to learn more about the school buses as they make their decisions on including funding for electric school buses in the 2022 State Budget.
NYLCV and our partner groups are advocating for secured funding in the 2022 State Budget to support Governor Hochul’s mandate of the full electrification of New York’s school bus fleet by 2035. We’re also advocating for an equitable transition to all-electric school buses by prioritizing electrification in environmental justice and disadvantaged communities. Support our effort and send a message to your state legislators here!
Throughout the day the bus manufacturers showcased the buses’ engines, speed capabilities, and smoothness. Overall it was a great day absent of loud school bus idling and diesel exhaust! Thank you to all those who attended and continue to support our efforts!