Socialists cheer Dem state’s climate bill mandating fossil fuel shutdown: ‘Will transform New York’

The Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) celebrated after the New York State Senate passed a sweeping climate bill Wednesday evening, bringing it one step closer to being enacted. The state’s Senate passed the so-called Build Public Renewables Act in a near party-line vote of 37-22 with two Democrats, Sens. John Mannion and Jessica Scarcella-Spanton, voting against the bill and no Republicans voting in favor of it. The legislation, which now moves to the New York State Assembly for approval, would give the state-run power authority greater ability to build renewable generation and mandate fossil fuel plant shutdowns. “With the passage of the Build Public Renewables Act in the Senate, New York took a vital step toward the sustainable and pro-worker future our state needs,” the DSA’s New York City chapter said in a statement Wednesday. “We’ve been proud to work with labor and working class New Yorkers across the state to fight for this bill, which will transform New York into a global model for clean public power.” “Today’s vote is a welcome signal that the State Senate, unlike Governor Hochul and her allies, is committed to an energy transition that benefits workers, guarantees we build the clean energy grid we need, and creates an energy system that serves New Yorkers — not shareholders,” the statement continued. FOSSIL FUEL PROFITS ARE VITAL FOR GREEN ENERGY PROJECTS DEMS ROUTINELY TOUT The DSA also blasted Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul for previously backing a “knockoff version” of the legislation which they said gutted labor language.  “The Senate has made it clear New York will not accept anything less than the full BPRA New Yorkers have overwhelmingly demanded.” CALIFORNIA’S GRID FACES COLLAPSE AS LEADERS PUSH RENEWABLES, ELECTRIC VEHICLES, EXPERTS SAY Earlier this month, Hochul proposed a different version of the legislation which had looser energy transition goals. Public Power NY, a large coalition of left-wing groups including several DSA chapters, partially endorsed the new version, but criticized it for not being aggressive enough. It remains unclear if Hochul would sign the legislation that cleared the state Senate on Wednesday. The same bill was passed by the chamber on June 1, 2022, but failed to reach the Assembly and was never delivered to Hochul’s desk. “Governor Hochul will review all legislation that passes both houses of the legislature,” a spokesperson for the governor told Fox News Digital. According to Public Power NY, the Build Public Renewables Act would “empower and require” the New York Power Authority (NYPA), the nation’s largest authority, to build enough green energy generation to ensure the state meets its goal of 70% renewable power by 2030. It would also mandate the power authority to shut down its 12 fossil fuel power plants by the same date. The New York Independent System Operator, which oversees the New York grid, has warned that the rapid transition to renewable generation is threatening future grid reliability in the state. And officials with the NYPA have pushed back on the pending legislation, saying the private sector would be better suited to develop renewable energy projects. “NYPA does not have a cost advantage in developing renewable generation,” NYPA Acting President and CEO Justin Driscoll told lawmakers last year, according to Utility Drive. A major state fossil fuel industry group, the Independent Power Producers of New York, said the bill was “an imprudent proposal that is designed to destabilize energy markets.”
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