On Wednesday, January 5, New York Governor Kathy Hochul delivered a bold State of the State address, with an ambitious environmental agenda to combat climate change and make major investments in clean energy infrastructure. Most exciting was the proposal to increase the Clean Water, Clean Air and Green Jobs Bond Act (formerly the Environmental Bond Act) budget to $4 billion. The Bond Act, which should appear on the 2022 general election ballot across New York State, is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reduce harmful carbon pollution and protect communities from flooding and deadly heatwaves while creating more than 65,000 green jobs to boost the state’s economy.
“By putting forth bold plans to move New York into a safer, healthier, and more just future for all its residents, Governor Hochul has shown what can be done when a public official takes the existential crisis of climate change seriously”, said Peter Linderoth, Director of Water Quality, Save the Sound. “We look forward to working with the Governor and State Legislature to help ensure voters have the chance to realize this historic opportunity and vote for the Bond Act in November.”
The Governor proposed policies to protect clean drinking water; reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase clean energy generation; modernize critical infrastructure; protect communities from the growing risk of global warming; and much more. Environmental highlights from the State of the State address include:
- Increasing the Clean Water, Clean Air and Green Jobs Act to $4 billion.
- Continued support for the state’s Environmental Protection Fund (EPF).
- $500 million investment in ports, manufacturing, and supply chain infrastructure for offshore wind.
- Procurement of at least 2 GigaWatts of offshore wind in 2022 and a planning process to build an offshore wind transmission network capable of delivering at least 6 GW to New York City.
- Incentives for early retirement of NYC’s dirtiest fossil fuel power plants.
- Requiring all new construction to have zero on-site greenhouse gas emissions no later than 2027, and have 2 million electrified or electrification-ready homes by 2030.
- $1 billion for electric vehicle adoption and infrastructure.
- Enhanced Clean Green Schools initiative to serve more than 1,000 schools in disadvantaged communities hosting 1 million schoolchildren.
- Extended producer responsibility legislation for paper and packaging products, and restricting PFAS chemicals and other toxic substances in packaging.
- Enhanced wetlands protections.
- More funding for state parks.
The full State of the State book is available here.