Letter: 25 Organizations Say RGGI is Not a Cookie Jar

Acadia Center ● Adirondack Council ● Alliance for a Green Economy ● Appalachian Mountain Club ● Campaign for Renewable Energy ● Catskill Mountainkeeper ● Demos ● Dryden Resource Awareness Coalition ● Environmental Advocates of New York ● Fossil Free Tompkins ● HabitatMap ● Long Island Progressive Coalition ● National Wildlife Federation ● New Clean Earth ● New York Communities for Change (NYCC) ● New York Working Families ● Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson ● NYC Environmental Justice Alliance ● Pace University Government and Community Relations ● Partnership for the Public Good ● Peoples Climate Movement NY ● Renewable Energy Long Island ● Rochester People's Climate Coalition ● Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter ● Syracuse Cultural Workers

March 23, 2018

Hon. Andrew M. Cuomo Governor
Executive Chamber
New York State Capitol Albany, New York 12224

Hon Andrea Stewart-Cousins
Democratic Conference Leader
New York State Senate
LOB 907
Albany, New York 12247

Hon. Carl E. Heastie Speaker
New York State Assembly
LOB 932
Albany, New York 12248

Hon. Jeffrey Klein IDC Leader
New York State Senate
LOB 913
Albany, New York 12247

Hon. John J. Flanagan
Temporary President New York State Senate
Capitol 330
Albany, New York 12247

Hon. Brian Kolb
Minority Leader
New York State Assembly
LOB 933
Albany, New York 12248

Dear Governor Cuomo and Legislative Leaders:

As negotiations proceed on the 2018-2019 New York State Budget, we respectfully request the adoption

of a final spending plan that incorporates the proposal advanced by the Assembly to dedicate $23 million in climate pollution funds raised through New York’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) to fund energy efficiency and solar programs in in low income and environmental justice communities (Section 20-c in Part GG of A9505-B).

We are strongly opposed to the proposal advanced in the Executive Budget and the Senate resolutions that would divert a $23 million of RGGI funds to the state budget pay for tax credits that would otherwise be supported by the General Fund.

Tax credits offer little to no direct benefit to the lower income and environmental justice communities that are disproportionally burdened by the impacts of climate change and fossil fuel derived pollution. RGGI funded programs designed to serve New Yorkers that do not currently have equitable access to programs offered by NYSERDA through the Clean Energy Fund, NY Sun or other sources would provide communities on the front lines of climate change with new, and needed, opportunities to tap into the economic and health benefits energy efficiency and clean, renewable energy systems provide.

The wise stewardship of RGGI funds has ensured the deployment and use of renewable energy and efficiency initiatives. Utilizing RGGI resources to supplant funding for items in the state budget significantly limits the state’s ability to support clean energy programs. For these reasons, we oppose

Governor’s and the Senate Majority Coalition’s efforts to fund tax credits. The Assembly’s commitment to energy efficiency and solar energy systems is consistent with the intended use of RGGI funds and has our strong support.

Sincerely,

Cullen Howe
New York Director
Acadia Center

Kevin Chlad
Director of Government Relations
Adirondack Council

Jessica Azulay
Program Director
Alliance for a Green Economy

Georgia Murray
Staff Scientist
Appalachian Mountain Club

Brian Eden
Vice-Chair
Campaign for Renewable Energy

Katherine Nadeau
Deputy Director
Catskill Mountainkeeper

Heather McGhee
President
Demos

Marie McRae
Spokesperson
Dryden Resource Awareness Coalition

Conor Bambrick
Air and Energy Director
Environmental Advocates of New York

Sara Hess
Chair
Fossil Free Tompkins

Michael Heimbinder
Executive Director
HabitatMap

Lisa Tyson
Director
Long Island Progressive Coalition

Curtis Fisher
Regional Executive Director
National Wildlife Federation

David Gower
Founder
New Clean Earth

Jonathan Westin
Director
New York Communities for Change (NYCC)

Stephan Edel
Director
New York Working Families

Jonathan Bix
Executive Director
Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson

Eddie Bautista
Executive Director
NYC Environmental Justice Alliance

Vanessa J. Herman
Assistant Vice President
Pace University Government and Community Relations

Andrea O Suilleabhain
Deputy Director
Partnership for the Public Good

Leslie Cagan
Coordinator
Peoples Climate Movement NY

Gordian Raacke
Executive Director
Renewable Energy Long Island

Susan Hughes-Smith
Co-leader
Rochester People's Climate Coalition

Roger Downs
Conservation Director
Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter

Andy Mager
Sales Manager
Syracuse Cultural Workers

Aaron Eisenberg
NYC-DSA Climate Justice Working Group Organizing Committee