ElectrifyNY Releases EV Transition Agenda

Legislation will jumpstart the electric vehicle transition in New York

Albany – Today, ElectrifyNY, a statewide coalition fighting for a clean, equitable electric transportation future for New York, released a list of three bills that will jumpstart the electric vehicle transition in New York. Taken together, this EV Transition Agenda will improve the health of New Yorkers who suffer the ill-effects of carbon pollution and help New York meet its climate goals.

The three bills that comprise the agenda are:

  • S.3535/A.3090 (Kennedy/Dinowitz) would require the purchase of zero-emission buses.
  •  S.3405/A.2083 (Kennedy/Dinowitz) would prioritize jobs in the transition to zero-emission busses.
  • S.2838-A/A.2412-A (Parker/Fahy) would require the purchase of electric vehicles for use in the state fleet of passenger vehicles.

Rachel Patterson, legislative and climate associate for Environmental Advocates NY said, “Electrification of all vehicles is inevitable if New York seeks to achieve the goals of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, and these bills will allow for a smooth transition to electric vehicles for transit agencies and state fleets. By reducing the amount of dirty diesel vehicles on the road, these bills will put the state on a path to limit air pollution that impacts the health of so many New Yorkers .”

“New York is on a tight timetable if we’re going to be able to meet our ambitious climate goals outlined in the CLCPA,” said Assemblymember Patricia Fahy. “With 37% of New York’s overall carbon emissions emanating from the transportation sector alone, electrification of the transportation grid represents the largest opportunity for New York to meet those goals. New York’s fleet of state vehicles should lead by example on our roads, and become 100% electric.”

“The transportation sector is the single largest contributor to harmful emissions, which have been shown time and time again to have a direct, negative impact on climate change. These reforms demonstrate a strong commitment to innovative approaches that advance our state’s progressive agenda, and demonstrate our dedication to creating sustainable, high quality transportation networks and a greener, more environmentally-just New York,” said Senator Tim Kennedy, Chair of the Senate Transportation Committee. “Together, we have an opportunity to build upon the historic Climate Leadership And Community Protection Act, and invest in our economy and our future long-term.”

Assemblymember Jeffrey Dinowitz, author of the Green Transit/Green Jobs legislation, said, “The transition to zero-emission buses is inevitable, but the path we take to get there is not. We have a choice: let the fossil fuel interests dictate the pace of our change and what kind of jobs are created, or let the people of New York take the reins to make these decisions in our best interest. Green Transit/Green Jobs provides ample time for transit agencies to prepare for a full transition to zero-emission buses and it assigns clear responsibility to NYS Department of Transportation to make sure that no transit agency gets left behind. It encourages the manufacturing of those zero-emission buses right here in New York, in communities that need good jobs the most. Thank you to the Electrify NY coalition for their tremendous efforts on behalf of our state, and I am proud that such a broad, dedicated coalition of advocates for clean transportation is supporting Green Transit/Green Jobs for New York.”

“There is no room for fossil fuel buses in a future where climate justice and transit equity are priorities. The ‘Green Transit, Green Jobs’ bill package offers the kind of transformative reimagining of our state’s transit systems that we need as New York recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic and builds for the future, which is why Sierra Club is proud to support it. This is a policy that will put New Yorkers back to work and result in cleaner air and healthier communities,” said Jessica Enzmann, Sierra Club Clean Transportation For All Organizing Representative.

“These bills for green jobs and cleaner transportation address two vital needs in New York as we build our path to recovering from the pandemic — they improve air quality by reducing carbon emissions from buses and state fleets, and they produce high quality jobs in the transportation sector,” said Michaela Ciovacco of New Yorkers for Clean Power. “These pieces of legislation are good for our climate and our economy, and we urge the Governor and Legislator to continue their clean energy leadership by codifying these bills into law. We will need them in order to keep pace with the state’s bold climate mandates of reducing 40 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the next 9 years.”

“Taking tangible steps forward in support of New York’s leading-edge climate and energy goals is crucial for reaching net-zero emissions by 2050. Electrifying transit buses would reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the sector that contributes most to climate change in New York, while providing immediate public health benefits for impacted communities. With passage of the Green Transit and Green Jobs bills, not only would New Yorkers benefit from improved air quality, but we’d see more opportunities for great jobs with high wages and safe work conditions in a burgeoning sector,” said Alok Disa at Earthjustice.

“The Green Transit and Green Jobs bills will work together to clean up the air we breathe and use existing technologies to drive market growth for a wide variety of high-quality, high-wage local jobs. With these bills we can invest in our communities, grow our local economy and take yet another step toward mitigating the climate crisis,” said Uchenna Bright, Northeast Advocate – E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs).

Across New York State, the highest rates of job loss and death from COVID-19 are in low-income communities and communities of color. These are the same communities living on the frontlines of climate change. The Green Transit, Green Jobs bill includes groundbreaking policy that will change the way New York State invests our public dollars to create the most public good. This bill will move us towards an environmentally just transition to clean transit while also supporting good jobs,” said Maritza Silva-Farrell, Executive Director at ALIGN.

“This legislation is crucial to ensuring New York State can use the power of our combined public investment to not only nurture a climate-safe future but also generate new high paying jobs that will provide much needed opportunity for future generations of New Yorkers,” said Jim W White, Jr., Director of Strategic Campaigns at International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation.

“We commend the New York Legislature for taking an exemplary step towards building a clean transportation sector that prioritizes good, family-supporting jobs for workers in communities that need them most with the Green Transit, Green Jobs bills. With groundbreaking policy provisions for good jobs and equity, this bill makes way for our public dollars to create the most public good. This bill will ensure that every public dollar our state spends on an environmentally just transition to clean transit, also supports creation of good jobs, employment opportunities for workers who generally face barriers to employment, lifts labor standards, and builds a fair economy that works for working families,” said Miranda Nelson, NY/NJ Director, Jobs to Move America.

“By electrifying all public transit in New York and directing every public dollar our state invests in transit electrification to create good jobs with training and employment opportunities for people who traditionally face barriers, the Green Transit Green Jobs bill package addresses one of the most urgent needs of our time- healthy, thriving communities and creation of good family-supporting jobs. This is a critical opportunity for New York State to lead the way in harnessing the power of our public dollars to build an equitable and climate-safe economy,” said Dennis Trainor, Vice President, CWA District 1.

“New York has the opportunity to hold its position as a climate leader by not only securing commitments to electrify our transportation system, but making sure we are building a transportation future built on an economy that benefits everyone,” said Lauren Bailey, Director of Climate Policy for Tri-State Transportation Campaign. “This transformation is going to have massive opportunities for New Yorkers to have cleaner air, support good jobs, and lead by example.”

Kathy Harris, Clean Vehicles and Fuels Advocate at Natural Resource Defense Council, said, “The ‘Green Transit, Green Jobs’ proposal includes two bills that would deliver multiple benefits to New Yorkers. Putting zero-emissions buses on the road would mean less climate pollution, better air quality, and healthier neighborhoods. While incentives for public transit agencies would utilize local labor to create green jobs.”