For Immediate Release
On Thursday, while Democratic Party leaders gathered for their New York State Nominating Convention, climate advocates from the Gas Free NY Coalition rallied outside the venue urging Governor Hochul to speed up the timeline for implementing a nation-leading statewide ban on gas hookups in new construction.
Upon taking office, Governor Hochul won initial praise for her Department of Environmental Conservation’s opposition to new gas infrastructure, stopping both the Danskammer and Astoria NRG fracked gas plants from expanding. Of late, Governor Hochul has come under criticism for her weak statewide gas ban proposal, which entails delaying ban on gas hookups in new construction until 2027, as well as creating an unnecessary rule-making process under the purview of an obscure state board dominated by the real estate industry. Advocates are pushing for a ban to begin in 2023.
Advocates representing Food & Water Watch, New York Communities for Change, WE ACT for Environmental Justice, 350Brooklyn, and Sane Energy Project assert that her timeline is too slow and are urging Governor Hochul to support an immediate ban on gas hookups in new construction via the state budget, which is due April 1. The coalition is backing the All Electric Building Act (S6843A/A8431), sponsored by Senator Brian Kavanagh and Assembly Member Emily Gallagher, and urging that it be incorporated into the budget. Food & Water Watch Senior New York Organizer Eric Weltman said:
“New York can lead the way, with Governor Hochul at the helm, as the first state in the nation with a ban on fossil fuels in new construction. But we have to do so now. Politicians may want to delay, but the climate crisis rolls on — we have the solutions we need right in front of us to make a serious dent in the emissions driving this catastrophe. Governor Hochul must waste no time supporting an immediate gas ban on fossil fuels in new construction through the New York state budget.”
“New York State must continue to lead on climate by becoming the first in the nation to end fossil fuel infrastructure in new construction,” said Annie Carforo, Climate Justice Organizer at WE ACT for Environmental Justice. “Burning gas in our homes and buildings not only contributes to climate change but also produces harmful indoor air pollution. We urge Governor Hochul to immediately pass the All Electric Buildings Act and begin New York’s transition off of fossil fuels. With studies showing that this air pollution leads to nearly 2,000 premature deaths annually in New York State, we cannot afford to wait.”
“Governor Hochul needs to stop the garbage climate policies that put PR over people. We need better policies that will help our planet and we need it done sooner than later,” said Rachel Rivera, a Sandy Survivor and member of New York Communities for Change. “We have an incredible opportunity to lead this nation’s clean energy revolution but first we need a policy that shows urgency. Governor Hochul must implement the state gas ban by 2024.”
Photos and a video of the event are available here.
Contact: Phoebe Galt, [email protected]