Within the United States, the New York metropolitan area has amongst the highest electricity prices, rates of asthma and levels of air pollution. In an effort to address these problems, SHARE and its member organizations are committed to advocating for the following agenda items in 2016:
Green Jobs and Effective Distribution of Stimulus Funds
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRP) signed by President Obama presents a historic opportunity to strengthen New York’s economy in a way that ensures long-term, equitable economic development and environmental sustainability. If implemented correctly, this Act will create well paying, green-collar jobs, that allow workers to further develop their skills and thus advance their careers. For these reasons, any government entity distributing these funds should adopt the following principles:
- Stimulus funds must be disbursed with complete transparency. In particular, New York State should comply with Federal reporting requirements and track additional benefits such as job creation and energy use reduction for the Green Jobs, Green New York program.
- To maximize the economic and environmental benefits of ARRP, wherever appropriate, every project receiving stimulus funds should meet established environmental standards.
- All new jobs must pay prevailing wages, provide healthy and safe work environments and prioritize contractors that offer family sustaining wages, benefits, and career opportunities. These measures will help to ensure the creation of a robust green collar workforce.
- Establish contracting goals for the inclusion of Minority/Women Owned Businesses and disbursement of funding to minority communities.
Securing the Operation of Clean Affordable Power:
SHARE is committed to clean, affordable and reliable power. To achieve these goals, SHARE supports increasing the supply of renewable energy – or energy generated from sources that are naturally replenished in a short period of time such as solar, wind, geothermal and hydropower. Energy produced from renewable sources is clean, meaning neither greenhouse gases nor air pollutants are released during its production.
In addition, SHARE members recognize that the continued operation of the Indian Point Energy Center (IPEC) is critical. IPEC provides over 2000 megawatts – enough electricity to power 2,000,000 homes – of clean, low cost, power to the New York City area and is an essential component of the New York metropolitan energy supply.
As power needs increase, existing power plants must be modernized. Replacing old turbines with new state of the art technology can make a significant difference in the efficiency of a power plant, the amount of pollution emitted and the amount of power generated.
Promoting Greater Energy Efficiency and Power Management:
Energy efficiency programs provide a substantial opportunity for individuals and families to reduce their electricity usage, costs and promote environmentally friendly behavior. By reducing the amount and altering the time of day electricity is consumed, residents can help lower the amount of pollution emitted by standard fossil fuel power plants. SHARE believes New York State should increase its investment in energy efficiency, energy awareness and power management programs through:
- Promotion and marketing of New York State’s leading on-bill financing program to more easily allow consumers to retrofit their homes with energy efficient upgrades and appliances.
- Additional funding of cost effective energy efficiency programs and strengthening of energy building codes.
- Expansion of programs that manage electrical power usage on the hottest days of the year. This is critical to lowering electricity prices and reducing pollution because peaking power plants that operate on the hottest days are the oldest, most expensive and least efficient power plants.
- Full implementation of New York State’s Workforce Development Training Partnerships for Energy Efficiency job training programs.
- Inclusion of minority’s and Minority/Women Owned Businesses to ensure all people and businesses benefit from the growing green economy.