There are 2 sessions of a New York Public Service Commission hearing on the proposed “Clean Energy Standard“. Almost unbelieveably, it includes a “zero-emission” credit for nuclear energy—a dangerous precedent if it stands. We must send a loud and clear message that this is not acceptable; science shows emissions of heat into nearby waters (in our case, the Hudson River, with once-through cooling using 2.5 billion gallons daily), routine low-level invisible yet deadly radioactive emissions (with greater emissions during certain times), and the creation of new radioactive carbon.
Here, from Green Education and Legal Fund, www.gelfny.org, 518 860-3725, are meeting details and talking points for those preparing comments (which will be accepted after today, so if you cannot make it, you may still be heard):
Today, Tuesday, May 31st, is the big day. Please meet at 4:45pm at the southern tip of City Hall Park, at the intersection of Broadway and Park Row. Closest subway stops: City Hall [R], Park Pl [2,3], Brooklyn Bridge [4,5,6].
The rally will go from 5 to 5:45pm, and then we’ll march to the Public Service Commission at 90 Church St. for the 6pm Info Session and Public Hearing. We’ll be joined by actor James Cromwell and noted Arab Spring musician Emel Mathlouthi.
We are expecting hundreds of people to join us for testimony, so please come ready to sit back, relax, and support your sisters and brothers as they testify. If you aren’t planning to already, please consider preparing and delivering a short testimony, even if it’s only two sentences.
Talking Points for Clean Energy Standards Hearings
Campaign for 100% Renewables Now NY
Our campaign calls for 100% renewable energy for all sources by 2030. The Governor has proposed only 50% of just electric production would be from renewables by 2030. The Governor’s goals would lock us into catastrophic climate change. And the measures proposed by the Governor in related initiatives such as the Clean Energy Fund don’t come close of even achieving the limited goals. The Governor continues to rely on the same market forces that caused climate change to solve it by tweaking a few of the “inputs.”
The Clean Energy Standard must:
1. Support the Goal of 100% Clean Energy by 2030: We urge the PSC to upgrade the proposed Clean Energy Standards to reflect that world leaders in Paris at COP 21 recognized that the existing goal of capping global warming at 2° Celsius (C) would result in catastrophic climate change for much of the planet. This 2° goal is the one reflected in the proposed CES.
Instead, the developing countries and others were successful in convincing the U.S. to set a goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C. The goal of 50% renewable for electricity by 2030 would fail to achieve the goal of capping warming at 1.5°C. The goal of 1.5° cap requires annual reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of 7 to 9% annually, far greater than what is called for under the CES.
We advocate that the CES be amended to support 100% renewable energy by 2030. We also urge the adoption of annual goals for the development of renewable energy through 2030.
At a minimum, we urge the DPS to conduct a scientific analysis to determine whether the proposed Clean Energy Standards are consistent with the new lower goals adopted in Paris and whether they are adequate to avoid catastrophic climate change.
2. Be Enforceable: New York needs an enforceable Clean Energy Standard that establishes yearly targets for utilities and public energy authorities to purchase renewable each year. The Clean Energy Standard should be enforced through “Alternative Compliance Payments” which requires utilities to pay if they fail to purchase enough renewable energy to achieve the yearly target, That money should then be used by the state to invest in renewable energy
3. Include Offshore Wind. 5,000 MW PPA (power purchase agreement) 2025, 10,000 MW 2030: Offshore wind is poised to take off in New York, but we need a long-term, large-scale commitment to unlock its massive potential as a renewable energy source. An offshore wind tier would help launch an entirely new industry, with the capacity to power millions of homes, stabilize energy costs, foster locational diversity for renewable energy development, produce millions of dollars in economic investments, spur new economic development and manufacturing opportunities, and create tens of thousands of new jobs statewide.
The State should commit to a program to support the construction of 5,000 MW of offshore wind by 2025, and 10,000 MW by 2030, through a program that obligates utilities, NYPA, and LIPA to enter into a series of PPAs to purchase energy from offshore wind projects. The State should also support the development of offshore wind projects through site assessments, environmental reviews, and collaboration with federal agencies to facilitate the designation of new Wind Energy Areas (WEAs) and leasing of the WEAs.
4. Include mandatory energy efficiency targets: As we increase the amount of renewable energy we produce, we also need to decrease the overall quantity of energy we consume. Energy efficiency is often the cheapest means of cutting climate pollution, and a strong energy efficiency target will help save ratepayers money while protecting our environment.
5. Apply to the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) and the New York Power Authority (NYPA): The Clean Energy Standards should apply to all utilities and power authorities, as well as other electricity suppliers. LIPA and NYPA make up more than 20% of the electricity used in New York State and their participation is key to ensuring the development of renewable energy.
6. Not Include Nuclear Energy: Nuclear energy is neither clean nor renewable and therefore should be kept completely separate from the Clean Energy Standard. Under no circumstances should nuclear energy be counted toward the State’s renewable energy requirement, nor should any funds for renewable energy be diverted to support New York’s failing nuclear plants.
7. Promote Diverse Clean, Renewable Technologies: The CES should not be a route to merely importing renewable energy from other states, but should lead to economic development within our state.