The science says we have only a few years to effectively combat climate change, but how we go about that is less straightforward. In New York State, we have taken the lead on this issue with the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA), which sets bold standards for reducing 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 on toxic pollutants produced. This is the real-world price of pollution. It would hold our worst corporate polluters accountable for the damage they cause and finance the repair. The bill provides direct assistance to ratepayers, offsetting most price increases, and invests in 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’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 generates 83 percent 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 between 28,410 and 51,133 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, but neither are we. We have the obligation to combat climate change. We owe it to our children and grandchildren.
Sandy Galef, Albany
Galef’s district in the Assembly includes Philipstown.