For Immediate Release: April 11, 2022
Cuomo-era practice of transferring $23 million in Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) funds ends
Albany – The New York City Environmental Justice Alliance (NYC-EJA) and Environmental Advocates NY (EANY) issued the following statement in reaction to the 2022 New York State Budget ending the practice of transferring clean energy funds obtained through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) into the general fund.
“For too long, New York was shortchanging climate justice and clean energy programs by raiding RGGI funds to plug budget holes—but no longer. The New York State Legislature’s rejection of these raids convinced Governor Hochul to put an end to this practice. We thank the many leaders in the Assembly and Senate whose advocacy made sure that these transfers stopped this year and commend the Governor for agreeing to reverse this Cuomo policy. We look forward to this clean energy funding being put to work in programs benefiting disadvantaged communities.”
As a participant in RGGI, New York sets limits on power plant carbon pollution. For each ton of pollution, power plants are charged a fee for emitting that pollution into the air. The revenue is then supposed to be invested by the state in energy efficiency, renewables, and other carbon pollution reduction programs.
Over the course of the program, $269 million (16%) of RGGI funds had been transferred by NYSERDA to the state General Fund to fill budget holes, depriving New Yorkers of funding that could have lowered energy bills and created good green jobs.