NWF Joins Business, Labor, Environmental, and Community Groups Uniting to Support NY Offshore Wind Energy
Rockaway Beach, NY – New York’s business, environmental, labor, and community leaders rallied today in support of Governor Cuomo’s plan to make offshore wind a key component of the state’s strategy to increase renewable energy and spur economic development for New Yorkers.
This unique, diverse coalition has come together in advance of a series of New York City public meetings on offshore wind hosted by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to urge New York’s leaders to smartly and aggressively move forward on offshore wind power and the jobs, economic activity, and cleaner air it will bring. Today’s news conference builds on the momentum from last month’s public meetings on Long Island (details here), where a similar coalition of Long Island business, labor, environmental and political leaders organized to demonstrate their support for offshore wind power.
NYSERDA’s public meetings are part of its process to create an Offshore Wind Master Plan to advance projects that could provide electricity to more than 1.25 million homes on Long Island and New York City. Additionally the plan will help fulfill Governor Cuomo’s commitment to have 50 percent of New York’s power generated by renewable energy sources by 2030 – a goal that cannot be met without clean, local, emission-free and cost-effective energy from offshore wind power projects.
NYSERDA’s Offshore Wind Master Plan will create a roadmap for how New York can take advantage of the strong winds far off the coast of New York and at the same time protect our coastal and marine wildlife and preserve existing offshore industries and activities.
National Wildlife Federation Senior Manager for Climate and Energy Catherine Bowes said: “Offshore wind power is New York’s golden opportunity to produce pollution-free electricity right where we need it, create thousands of well-paying local jobs, and protect our wildlife and communities from climate change. We applaud the Cuomo Administration for engaging New Yorkers in the development of the state’s Offshore Wind Master Plan and look forward to working with NYSERDA to ensure our coastal and marine wildlife are protected as we pursue this critically needed new clean energy source.
NY Offshore Wind Alliance Director Joe Martens said: “New York has a unique opportunity to become a national leader in offshore wind if it acts in a comprehensive and timely way. The Offshore Master Plan holds the key to creating a new clean energy economy that means emission-free offshore wind, new job-creating industries and economic opportunity, while reducing reliance on polluting fossil fuels and improving public health.”
Climate Jobs NY Co-Chairs Gary LaBarbera and Vincent Alvarez said: “Climate Jobs NY commends Governor Cuomo’s efforts to expand offshore wind. Not only will this address climate change by creating new renewable energy, it also helps create a more equal New York by creating good union jobs. As a coalition of unions in the building, energy, and transportation sectors, we recognize offshore wind development has the potential to create not only construction jobs, but also local jobs along the entire supply chain.”
NYS Building & Construction Trades Council President Jim Cahill said: “Offshore wind development will bring numerous benefits to Long Island and the rest of the State. It will create good jobs and create a new renewable energy economy that will benefit everyone. Our members have the experience, training, and expertise necessary to complete large, complex projects like this on time and on budget. The New York State Building & Construction Trades Council commends Governor Cuomo’s pro-growth agenda overall and in particular his commitment to offshore wind and renewable energy.”
Sierra Club Senior New York Representative Lisa Dix said: “We applaud Governor Cuomo and NYSERDA for leading the nation in finalizing a comprehensive, long term plan that will provide the certainty and longevity needed to get offshore wind to scale in New York. We urge the Administration to ensure that this plan is quickly put into action so a steady stream of projects can move forward each year. Investing in responsibly developed offshore wind will not only clean up our air and protect our families and communities from the devastating impacts of climate disruption, it will also position New York as the eastern hub for offshore wind development, creating massive new jobs and economic development and manufacturing opportunities for New Yorkers.”
Utility Workers Union of America National President Mike Langford said: “Fully developing the offshore wind industry’s potential will play a critical role in building out America’s future energy landscape. Our members, among the safest and most highly trained workforces in the country, are prepared for this future and fully support NYSERDA’s Offshore Wind Master Plan. Efforts such as these are at the cutting edge of tomorrow’s energy technology and will provide the type of high quality, family-supporting jobs needed for a healthy national economy.”
Utility Workers Union of America Local 1-2 President Jim Slevin said: “The Offshore Wind Master Plan provides a key element in crafting the future of power in New York. A forward-thinking approach to the development of all energy resources, designed to support working families and safely provide reliable power to consumers will shape a healthy future for our state and for our Union’s members. Working within stakeholder partnerships like NYSERDA ensures the support, commitment, and high-road approaches that will be needed to build the energy infrastructure of tomorrow.”
Natural Resources Defense Council Energy & Transportation Program Director Kit Kennedy said: “As a citizen of New York City, I’m so excited that offshore wind power is coming soon to the waters off the Rockaways and Brooklyn. Offshore wind power will bring New Yorkers cleaner air and a stronger, cleaner economy. New York State’s Offshore Wind Master Plan is critical to making sure that offshore wind power is developed in a timely, responsible and inclusive manner. New York’s thoughtful and ambitious strategy for offshore wind development is helping to make New York a national climate and clean energy leader.”
Alliance for Climate Education Action Fellow and Local Resident Hakim Evans said: “In order for us to make a progressive step forward in our energy usage we need to ensure that renewables are our energy source of choice. It is imperative the state follows through with the Offshore Wind Master Plan in an effort to commit to the clean energy standard. To ensure these plans are achieved, groups and individuals from marginalized areas, especially youth, should voice their opinions and continue to advocate for their communities and the environment.”
New York League of Conservation Voters President Marcia Bystryn said: “Offshore wind holds a great deal of potential for local clean energy generation in places like Long Island, which suffers from both high energy prices and heavy reliance on long distance transmission for its energy needs. NYSERDA’s Offshore Wind Master Plan will show New York is serious about reaching its goal of generating 2.4 GW of offshore wind energy by 2030 and having 50 percent of all of our energy come from renewables that same year. We applaud NYSERDA and the Cuomo Administration for their leadership in promoting offshore wind in New York.”
Citizens Campaign for the Environment Executive Director Adrienne Esposito said: “We have a deep inherent responsibility to promote initiatives and technology that transition us away from fossil fuels. A critical part of that transition is to harness the power of offshore wind. The time for taking action is now and the first step is a responsible plan. NYSERDA’s Offshore Wind Master Plan will assist New York in changing our energy infrastructure and encourage well-sited offshore wind projects that benefit our environment, economy, and public health.”
Environmental Advocates of New York Air and Energy Director Conor Bambrick said: “It is important that NYSERDA hear directly from communities that are experiencing the health, safety and economic impacts of our changing climate. The development of offshore wind is a critical component to transitioning New Yorkers off fossil fuels to an economy powered by 100-percent clean, renewable energy.“
The Nature Conservancy in New York Chief Conservation and External Affairs Officer Stuart F. Gruskin said: “We applaud Governor Cuomo for his national leadership on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the leading driver of climate change, and building a renewable energy economy. The responsible development of offshore wind is a critical step in achieving New York’s ambitious Renewable Energy Standard. The Offshore Wind Master Plan presents an opportunity to safeguard our communities, create jobs, and protect our vital marine resources and the industries they support.”
Environmental Defense Fund New York Clean Energy Director Rory Christian said: “New York’s abundant offshore wind resources have the potential to power as many as 15 million homes throughout the city and Long Island. This master plan will provide essential guidelines to meet high electricity demand in these areas with clean energy while cutting pollution, creating jobs, and spurring economic growth.”
Environment New York Director Heather Leibowitz said: “The Empire State has a great opportunity to be a national leader in tackling climate change and developing offshore wind. The successful completion of the “Master Plan for Offshore Wind” is a great step forward to tapping into this tremendous clean, pollution-free resource. We look forward to continuing to work with state officials to bring offshore wind to New York.”
Renewable Energy Long Island Executive Director Gordian Raacke said: “The upcoming public information meetings are a great way to learn about the exciting opportunity we now have to meet New York’s energy needs with offshore wind power. NYSERDA is doing an amazing job studying how we can tap into this abundant and clean energy resource in an environmentally and socially responsible way, while creating clean energy jobs for New Yorkers. These public meetings are the best way to find out all about that.”
NYPIRG Campaign Organizer Emily Skydel said: “New Yorkers want energy options that are safe, clean, renewable and affordable, and offshore wind power delivers the goods. We applaud NYSERDA for opening the development process of the Offshore Wind Master Plan to New Yorkers. NYSERDA must push forward with offshore wind, and make New York an international leader in renewable energy.”
Sane Energy Project Director Kim Fraczek said: “Sane Energy is proud of New Yorkers who worked hard to make this offshore wind project a reality. We look forward to working with our state agencies to make sure Community Benefit Agreements like local, union jobs, rate-payer protections and replacing dirty fossil fuels is honored.”
NY Renews Campaign Coordinator Dan Sherrell said: “Offshore wind has the opportunity to create good union jobs and significantly expand the number of homes powered fully by renewable energy. It’s a clear and urgently needed win-win for New York.”
Workforce Development Institute Energy Sector Program Manager Ross Gould said: “Building offshore wind is a win for New York and a win for the industry. Offshore wind power plants can lead to thousands of good paying local jobs and inject hundreds of millions of dollars into New York’s economy. At the same time, New York is in a unique position to benefit the offshore wind industry and its supply chain because of a well-trained workforce with experience building large industrial projects.”
New York Working Families Project Director Stephan Edel said: “Offshore wind can generate thousands of good union jobs here in New York and help to rebuild our industrial base – from our industrial water-front to factories all over upstate. We commend NYSERDA on an active public stakeholder process, and look forward to the state supporting efforts to expand good, union jobs to New Yorkers as we confront the problem of climate change.”
Mothers Out Front Town of Huntington Community Team Members said: “We know we have to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and these hearings offer mothers, grandparents, and allies the opportunity to be heard. We see wind power as a path toward secure, sustainable lives, and a stronger economy for our children. This clean electricity will provide renewable heating in our homes and will power our electric cars. New York Offshore Wind Power—with no “power supply costs”—will allow us to lead the way, so that we may enjoy the benefits now and build a model industry for the rest of the country.”
United for Action Co-founder Ling Tsou said: “I cannot wait to see those beautiful, white and majestic wind turbines rising from the ocean off the shore of Long Island. Offshore wind power will not only reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change, it will also generate jobs and stimulate local economy. With the planet warming at an alarming rate we do not have a moment to lose in developing offshore wind.”
Food & Water Watch Senior Organizer Eric Weltman said: “As we approach the five-year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, its all the more important that Governor Cuomo lead in protecting New York from climate chaos. New York must transition from dirty fossil fuels to renewable energy. Offshore wind will play a crucial role in New York making the necessary transition to renewable power.”
Green Education and Legal Fund and the 100% Renewables Now NY Campaign Chair Mark Dunlea said: “We look forward to a strong commitment from New York State to promote the development of offshore wind, especially off of Long Island. We hope the plan will include firm commitments to have the state and utility companies purchase wind and spur the investment needed to create living wage jobs and clean energy. As Amory Lovins recently pointed out, the best way for the state to reduce carbon emissions is not bailing out old nuclear plants but investing in renewables and energy efficiency.”
About the New York Offshore Wind Alliance
The New York Offshore Wind Alliance (NYOWA) is a diverse coalition of organizations with a shared interest in promoting the responsible development of offshore wind power for New York. A project of the Alliance for Clean Energy New York (ACE NY), NYOWA has a particular focus on Governor Cuomo’s goal of creating 2,400 MW of offshore wind power by 2030.
For more information see: www.aceny.org/NYOWA