- Broad Coalition Calls on Governor Cuomo to Launch Offshore Wind Power for New York

For Immediate Release: June 29, 2016

Contacts listed below.

Broad Coalition Calls on Governor Cuomo to Launch Offshore Wind Power for New York

Albany – Today, a letter from over 60 groups representing hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers was sent to Governor Cuomo, calling for bold action to start a new energy chapter for the Empire State. With a massive offshore wind resource available right off our shores, representatives of environmental, public health, labor, environmental justice, and community organizations are pushing for a large-scale, long-term, megawatt-certain offshore wind power commitment from the Governor.

A large-scale commitment to offshore wind power will be needed to ensure New York meets Governor Cuomo’s goal of producing 50% of the state’s electricity from renewable sources by 2030 and launches a new industry capable of unleashing the many benefits responsibly-developed offshore wind power will bring to New York. Groups are specifically calling on the Cuomo Administration to include an offshore wind tier in the soon-to-be finalized Clean Energy Standard, in order to ensure the market certainty needed to launch a robust offshore wind industry in New York.

This letter builds on years of advocacy by a growing, diverse coalition of New Yorkers calling for offshore wind power to play a major role in the state’s energy future. Groups recently applauded the New York State Research and Development Authority for announcing its intent to pursue a lease offshore for wind power development. Today, as the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management holds public meetings in New York City regarding their upcoming lease auction, New Yorkers are rallying once again to demonstrate the depth and breadth of public demand for offshore wind in the City, on Long Island, and all across the state.

Following are comments from letter signatories:

Catherine Bowes, senior manager for the National Wildlife Federation said, “New Yorkers are calling for bold leadership in pursuit of offshore wind power. With a massive, untapped pollution-free energy source available right off our shores, we have no time to waste. Now is the time for Governor Cuomo to make a large-scale commitment to offshore wind power and unleash the massive job creation potential of this urgently-needed clean energy source. Responsibly developed offshore wind power can and must play a major role in protecting New York's communities and wildlife from the dangers of climate change.”

Kit Kennedy, director of NRDC's Energy and Transportation Program said, “Offshore wind development is a key technology necessary to cement New York’s bold clean energy leadership under Governor Cuomo and fully realize our state’s Reforming the Energy Vision initiative. We need a long-term commitment to develop offshore wind – along with strong and strategic upfront investment in this economic and environmental driver – to produce significant and multiple benefits for all New Yorkers.”

Conor Bambrick, air & energy director for Environmental Advocates of New York said, “Climate change is having a direct impact on New Yorkers, harming our public health, environment and economy. A driving factor is New York’s reliance on power plants built a half-century ago, before we even had the Clean Air Act. Offshore wind represents progress for communities on the front lines of climate change and is an investment Governor Cuomo should commit to in his Clean Energy Standard.”

Jeff Seyler, CEO of the American Lung Association of the Northeast said, “The time is now for large-scale clean, green locally-produced renewable energy in our region. The Lung Association has long pushed for wind power as a healthier source of energy. Each megawatt of energy produced from wind is one less megawatt needed from dirtier fossil-fuels and will help all New Yorkers breathe easier.”

Gordian Raacke, executive director for Renewable Energy Long Island said, “Over the last two decades, European countries have developed a vibrant offshore wind industry, installed more than 3,000 turbines and created 60,000 jobs in this rapidly growing sector, while North America has not a single offshore wind turbine in operation. Governor Cuomo now has a unique opportunity to make New York a hub for building an American offshore wind industry.”

Bill Lipton, state director for the Working Families Party said, “We applaud Governor Cuomo's proposal that would see 50% of our state’s electricity come from renewable sources by the year 2030. In order to accomplish this goal, New York needs to take advantage of the resource sitting right off our shores. We call on the state to take bold action on offshore wind power, which will create good jobs and healthy communities and take us closer to meeting the goals Governor Cuomo has proposed.”

Heather Leibowitz, director for Environment New York said, “We won’t meet the target in Governor Cuomo’s Clean Energy Standard without supporting programs and policies to ensure offshore wind is a significant part of the energy mix in New York. This tremendous pollution-free resource will be key to putting the Empire State on a path toward an economy powered entirely by renewable energy. We urge Governor Cuomo to seize this opportunity and make sure our state takes advantage of all the benefits that come with increasing large-scale offshore wind programs.” 

Adrienne Esposito, executive director for Citizens Campaign for the Environment said, “Offshore wind power for Long Island’s coast has been studied and discussed for the last 12 years. It is time to end the discussion and move forward to establish a robust wind energy program which will provide abundant economic, social and environmental benefits for our future. We can no longer afford to be a ‘fossil fool’ and stay addicted to oil and gas power plants. Building large-scale, long-term offshore wind farms is a key component to transitioning from fossil fuels to renewable energy. We are thrilled there is new progress to report to the public to advance this important transition.”

Lisa Dix, senior New York representative for Sierra Club said, “New Yorkers are calling on Governor Cuomo to make New York a leader in getting offshore wind power to scale, for the sake of the climate and the economy. New York needs to commit to a long-term, large-scale offshore wind program so we can begin to harness the massive jobs potential and carbon savings blowing in the wind right off our shores.”

Anne Reynolds, executive director for the Alliance for Clean Energy New York said, “Achieving 50% renewable energy by 2030 and the state’s aggressive climate goals create the imperative that New York tap into the abundant offshore wind resources and bring this industry to New York. The time is right for New York to create the policy landscape that attracts and grows the offshore wind industry.”

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Media Contacts:

Catherine Bowes, National Wildlife Federation: (802) 272-1243, bowes@nwf.org

Max Oppen, Environmental Advocates of New York: (518) 462-5526 x245, moppen@eany.org

Adrienne Esposito, Citizens Campaign for the Environment: (631) 384-1378, aesposito@citizenscampaign.org

Lisa Dix, Sierra Club: (631) 235-4988, lisa.dix@sierraclub.org

Jennifer Solomon, American Lung Association: (516) 680-8927

Charles Monaco, Working Families Party: (718) 222-3796 x256, cmonaco@workingfamilies.org

Anne Reynolds, Alliance for Clean Energy New York: (518) 432-1405, areynolds@aceny.org

Heather Leibowitz, Environment New York: (646) 473-0905, heather@environmentnewyork.org

Gordian Raacke, Renewable Energy Long Island: (516) 313-6611

Pat Remick, Natural Resources Defense Council: (202) 289-2411, premick@nrdc.org