Davila, Epstein, Galef, Hooper, Hyndman, Lentol, Rodriguez, Simon
Amd §6-104, Energy L; add §54-1525, En Con L; add §83-b, St Fin L
Requires the establishment of a one hundred percent clean energy system by two thousand thirty; requires the adoption of a climate action plan; establishes the renewable energy revolving fund; and provides for legal standing to sue for enforcement of the state clean energy plan.
NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A5105A
SPONSOR: Colton (MS)
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the energy law, in relation to estab-
lishing a one hundred percent energy system by two thousand thirty; to
amend the environmental conservation law, in relation to the adoption of
a climate action plan; to amend the state finance law, in relation to
establishing the renewable energy revolving fund; and to provide for
legal standing to sue for enforcement of the state's clean energy plan
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:
To establish a goal of achieving a one hundred percent clean energy
system by two thousand thirty, with net zero greenhouse gas emissions.
Our state's continued use of fossil fuels, including coal, oil, and
natural gas, is having devastating impacts on our climate and communi-
ties, and our state's ongoing use of nuclear fuels continues to create
immensely radioactive wastes that will be dangerous to future gener-
ations for millennia. Transitioning to clean energy is fundamental to
protecting our communities, particularly communities of color and lower
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Section 1. Subdivision 1 of section 6-104 of the energy law, as added by
chapter 433 of the laws of 2009, is amended.
Section 2. Subsection 1 of 6-104 establishes and details the plan,
including the goal, definition of clean energy, the discontinuance of
nuclear power and investments in fossil fuel infrastructure, requirement
of details for set goals, establishes a goal of 100% new vehicles be
zero emission by 2030, promotes regenerative agriculture, and other
measures for meeting goals.
Section 3. The environmental conservation law is amended by adding a new
section 54-1525 related to the adoption of state climate action plan and
climate action plans by local governments of more than 50,000; provide
details as to how the plan shall be developed and implemented; provides
for the development of programs to transition workers in the fossil
fuels and nuclear industry; provides for grants for transitional job
training; establishes a climate action council, including how membership
is appointed; establishes state and regional renewable energy boards;
requires utilities to submit compliance plans; establishes a state and
local climate justice working groups.
Section 4. Amends the state finance law by adding section 83-b related
to a state renewable energy revolving fund.
Section 5. Establishes enforcement and precedence. Section 6. The effec-
Given the growing threat of global anthropogenic climate change and the
impacts that current energy systems have in contributing to this issue,
the state must take a stand in stopping our contribution to global
anthropogenic climate change. This bill would allow for this by estab-
lishing a goal of achieving a one hundred percent clean energy system by
two thousand thirty, with zero net greenhouse emissions. Currently,
over one hundred twenty groups have called for the requirement for New
York State to transition to 100% clean energy by 2030, including the
Green Education and Legal Fund and Food and Water Watch, amongst many
organizations throughout the state.
This bill builds upon the Jacobson wind, water and solar (WWS) study by
Stanford and Cornell Professors, among others. The WWS study shows that
it is feasible to achieve hundred percent clean renewable energy systems
by two thousand thirty. It would also incorporate measures related to
reduction in energy use, increased energy conservation, and improvements
in energy efficiency.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
Initial bill was introduced in 2015.
To be determined.
This act shall take effect on the first of January next succeeding the
date upon which it shall become a law.
STATE OF NEW YORK
2017-2018 Regular Sessions
February 6, 2017
Introduced by M. of A. COLTON, MOSLEY, L. ROSENTHAL, WALKER, SKARTADOS,
STECK, LIFTON, COOK, BLAKE, ORTIZ, D'URSO, PEOPLES-STOKES, BARRON,
RIVERA, HARRIS, SEAWRIGHT, ABINANTI, CARROLL, QUART, WILLIAMS, DINOW-
ITZ, THIELE, GOTTFRIED, PELLEGRINO, GLICK -- Multi-Sponsored by -- M.
of A. HOOPER, LENTOL, RODRIGUEZ, SIMON -- read once and referred to
the Committee on Energy -- recommitted to the Committee on Energy in
accordance with Assembly Rule 3, sec. 2 -- committee discharged, bill
amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said commit-
AN ACT to amend the energy law, in relation to establishing a one
hundred percent energy system by two thousand thirty; to amend the
environmental conservation law, in relation to the adoption of a
climate action plan; to amend the state finance law, in relation to
establishing the renewable energy revolving fund; and to provide for
legal standing to sue for enforcement of the state's clean energy plan
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. Legislative intent. New York state's continued use of
2 fossil fuels, including coal, oil, and natural gas, is having devastat-
3 ing impacts on our climate and communities. Our state's ongoing use of
4 nuclear fuels continues to create immensely radioactive wastes that will
5 be dangerous to future generations for millennia. It is in the best
6 interest of the people of New York to move the state into a clean energy
7 revolution, meeting 100 percent of our energy needs from clean, renewa-
8 ble sources by 2030. Transitioning to clean energy is fundamental to
9 protecting our communities, particularly communities of color and lower
10 income communities that are disproportionately affected by the worsening
11 air and water quality that results from the incineration of fossil
12 fuels. A transition to a 100 percent clean energy system will be
13 achieved in a way that protects displaced fossil fuel workers, impacted
14 communities, builds a stronger economy for everyone in the State, and
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.
A. 5105--A 2
1 creates hundreds of thousands of new jobs, while at the same time elimi-
2 nating New York's contribution to the biggest environmental threat
3 facing our planet, climate change.
4 § 2. Subdivision 1 of section 6-104 of the energy law, as added by
5 chapter 433 of the laws of 2009, is amended to read as follows:
6 1. The board shall adopt a state energy plan in accordance with the
7 provisions of this article.
8 (a) The plan shall establish a goal of achieving a one hundred percent
9 clean energy system by two thousand thirty, with zero net greenhouse gas
10 emissions. As used in this section, "clean renewable energy" shall
11 include energy derived from solar, wind, geothermal, and tidal sources,
12 but does not include nuclear power, natural gas, biomass, or fossil
14 (b) The plan shall not include any provisions for the continued use
15 past two thousand thirty of nuclear power. The state shall develop a
16 plan for the phase out of all nuclear plants by two thousand twenty-five
17 and replace such plants with sources of renewable energy.
18 (c) The plan shall not include provisions for the continued use of
19 biomass, including biogas from landfills, agricultural operations and
20 other sources of biogas, including methane. Instead, the state shall
21 develop a plan to phase out landfills and convert to a zero waste
22 disposal system and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the animal agri-
23 cultural sector by promoting pasture-based, sustainable animal agricul-
24 tural systems and eliminating industrial style concentrated animal feed-
25 ing operations from operating in the state.
26 (d) The plan shall provide for the discontinuance of state investment
27 in, and the development of, infrastructure related to the distribution,
28 processing, storage, or extraction of fossil fuels. No state agency or
29 authority shall issue new permits for the construction or operation of
30 such facilities.
31 (e) The plan shall include, in two-year increments, detailed bench-
32 marks and steps needed to achieve the goal of a one hundred percent
33 clean renewable energy system by two thousand thirty. Interim goals for
34 one hundred percent clean energy shall be as follows:
35 (i) forty percent by two thousand twenty; and
36 (ii) seventy percent by two thousand twenty-five.
37 (f) Any provisions of this chapter relating to fossil fuels, natural
38 gas, oil, coal, and petroleum products shall be controlling only for the
39 sole purpose of providing guidance on how to discontinue the use of such
40 fuels by two thousand thirty.
41 (g) The plan shall incorporate measures related to reduction in energy
42 use, increased energy conservation, and improvements in energy efficien-
43 cy; it shall also promote regenerative agriculture to help return carbon
44 to the soil.
45 (h) The plan shall require any new vehicles sold in the state to be
46 all-electric or otherwise no carbon emissions by two thousand twenty-
48 (i) By two thousand twenty, any new structures constructed in the
49 state shall be net zero emission structures. The plan will include a
50 rapid transition to renewable heating and cooling provided by heat pumps
51 powered by renewable electricity.
52 (j) The provisions of this subdivision shall supersede any inconsist-
53 ent provisions of this section.
54 § 3. The environmental conservation law is amended by adding a new
55 section 54-1525 to read as follows:
56 § 54-1525. Climate action plan.
A. 5105--A 3
1 1. a. The department shall adopt a state climate action plan to imple-
2 ment the goals established in section 6-104 of the energy law. The plan
3 shall address all aspects of climate change, including mitigation, adap-
4 tation, and resiliency, including impacts caused by agriculture, heating
5 and cooling, and transportation. The department shall release and publi-
6 cize on its website a draft plan no later than nine months after the
7 effective date of this section. Following the release of the draft plan,
8 the department shall conduct regional public hearings to obtain public
9 feedback on the draft plan. The final plan will be completed no later
10 than eighteen months after the effective date of this section. The
11 department shall release and publicize on its website the final plan.
12 b. Within one year after the release of the department's final climate
13 action plan, each state agency and public authority shall adopt regu-
14 lations consistent with and in furtherance of the goals of the climate
15 action plan, and shall develop an agency or authority climate action
16 plan, as appropriate, which shall be updated annually, to achieve such
17 goals for the agency's or authority's own internal operations as well as
18 for regulatory purposes and other actions under the purview of the agen-
19 cy or authority.
20 c. Within one year after the release of the department's final climate
21 action plan, each county government and each municipality representing
22 more than fifty thousand individuals shall adopt a community climate
23 action plan. Such plans shall support the development of community and
24 publicly owned renewable energy. The department shall establish a state-
25 wide environmental and climate justice task force to work with community
26 groups in impacted areas to assist in the development and implementation
27 of the community climate action plans, focusing on low-income communi-
28 ties and communities of color.
29 d. The climate action plans referred to in paragraphs b and c of this
30 subdivision shall incorporate goals of environmental justice and be
31 developed with meaningful input and analysis from environmental justice
33 e. The department shall ensure that climate action plans developed
34 pursuant to paragraphs b and c of this subdivision achieve the state's
35 goal of one hundred percent renewable energy by two thousand thirty in a
36 manner that benefits the state's most disadvantaged communities and is
37 transparent and accountable to the public and the legislature.
38 2. a. The state climate action plan shall include provisions for a
39 just transition from current energy sources to clean renewable energy as
40 described in subdivision one of section 6-104 of the energy law. Such
41 provisions shall include providing training and ensuring comparable jobs
42 and wages to individuals presently working in the fossil fuel industry
43 and in the nuclear power industry.
44 b. The department, in conjunction with the New York state energy
45 research and development authority and the commissioner of labor, shall
46 develop programs to transition workers in the fossil fuel industry and
47 nuclear power industries into jobs in the renewable energy sector,
48 including job training programs, relocation assistance, higher educa-
49 tion, and temporary financial support to extend unemployment benefits.
50 Such programs shall also be open to workers previously employed in the
51 fossil fuel industry who are out of work due to reduction in demand for
52 jobs in that industry, or to people who live in communities that have
53 been disproportionately impacted by fossil fuels as determined by the
54 commissioner. Such programs shall be funded through the renewable energy
55 revolving fund, established by section eighty-three-b of the state
56 finance law.
A. 5105--A 4
1 c. The department, in conjunction with the New York state energy
2 research and development authority and the commissioner of labor, shall
3 develop criteria for grants and low-interest loans to support the gener-
4 ation of renewable energy and job training programs in the renewable
5 energy sector, with priority given to projects in low-income communi-
6 ties, communities of color, immigrant communities and communities
7 disproportionately impacted by fossil fuel development.
8 3. a. A state climate action council shall be established within the
9 department for the purpose of providing recommendations to the depart-
10 ment and relevant state agencies and public authorities regarding the
11 development, adoption, and implementation of the state climate action
12 plan and the agency and authority climate action plans.
13 b. The climate action council shall:
14 (i) prepare annual budget requests for climate action measures to be
15 included in the proposed state budget;
16 (ii) propose needed state legislation and agency and public authority
17 regulations. If such regulations or laws are rejected, a written expla-
18 nation justifying such rejection shall be provided by the relevant
19 acting body along with possible alternative approaches; and
20 (iii) recommend the overturning of any state regulations adopted after
21 the state climate action plan and the agency and public authority plans
22 that are inconsistent with the state climate action plan.
23 c. The climate action council shall consist of the following members:
24 (i) the commissioner;
25 (ii) the commissioner of agriculture and markets;
26 (iii) the commissioner of economic development;
27 (iv) the commissioner of housing and community renewal;
28 (v) the commissioner of transportation;
29 (vi) the chair of the public service commission;
30 (vii) the chair of the metropolitan transportation authority;
31 (viii) the president of the New York state energy research and devel-
32 opment authority;
33 (ix) the president of the Long Island power authority;
34 (x) the president of the power authority of the state of New York;
35 (xi) the president of the dormitory authority of the state of New
37 (xii) the secretary of state;
38 (xiii) the director of the budget;
39 (xiv) the director of state operations; and
40 (xv) the counsel to the governor.
41 d. Additional appointments shall be made by the governor and leaders
42 of the state legislature to represent the renewable energy industry,
43 businesses, farmers, health professionals, small business, and academ-
44 ics. At least one-third of the members shall represent community groups,
45 labor unions, environmental justice organizations, and climate advocacy
46 groups. The temporary president of the senate and the speaker of the
47 assembly shall each appoint two members, and the minority leaders of the
48 senate and the assembly shall each appoint one member.
49 e. The climate action council shall meet at least quarterly. Each
50 state agency and public authority shall provide the council with quar-
51 terly updates of the measures taken by the agency or authority to reduce
52 greenhouse gas emissions and promote one hundred percent clean renewable
54 f. The council shall submit an annual report to the legislature as to
55 its progress in achieving its goals. The assembly and the senate will
A. 5105--A 5
1 hold a joint public hearing to review the report and to provide an
2 opportunity for public input.
3 4. a. The department shall establish a state renewable energy board
4 and regional renewable energy boards under the climate action council
5 and shall appoint members thereto based upon recommendations by the
6 climate action council. The state and regional boards shall be comprised
7 of membership from organizations that represent environmental justice
8 communities, labor unions, environmental organizations, academics know-
9 ledgeable about energy systems, consumer organizations, utilities, and
10 businesses. The boards will be responsible for approving utilities'
11 clean energy compliance plans and approving and allocating funds from
12 the state renewable energy revolving fund established by section eight-
13 y-three-b of the state finance law.
14 b. Within one year of the effective date of this section, each utility
15 subject to the provisions of the public service law shall submit plans
16 detailing the utility's plans to comply with the goals established in
17 section 6-104 of the energy law for approval to the state renewable
18 energy board. Each utility shall submit annual reports documenting its
19 progress towards meeting the goals, and any proposed amendments to its
20 plan. If a utility fails to meet the clean energy benchmarks established
21 in section 6-104 of the energy law, it shall submit an updated plan that
22 documents how the utility will come into compliance with the benchmarks
23 the following year.
24 c. Any utility failing to comply with the provisions of paragraph b of
25 this subdivision shall be fined an amount that is two times the marginal
26 cost difference between the highest priced fossil fuel they are burning
27 and the lowest cost renewable energy per kilowatt hour. Fines collected
28 from violations shall be deposited into the state renewable energy
29 revolving fund established by section eighty-three-b of the state
30 finance law and used to develop renewable energy generation, energy
31 efficiency, and job training programs in the communities where fossil
32 fuels continue to be utilized for energy. No fines collected for these
33 violations shall be passed through to ratepayers.
34 d. Onsite and community renewable energy shall be credited at the
35 retail rate of electricity for energy generated up to one hundred twenty
36 percent of energy consumption at the time of installation, taken as an
37 average of annual usage for the past five years. Energy generated beyond
38 one hundred twenty percent shall be reimbursed at the wholesale rate. In
39 months where energy generation exceeds usage, the difference shall be
40 credited to the electric bill, and at the end of the year, excess owed
41 to the electric customer shall be paid to the customer. Any utility that
42 captures energy generated in excess of one hundred twenty percent shall
43 deposit an amount equal to the retail price of electricity for the
44 amount generated into the state renewable energy revolving fund estab-
45 lished by section eighty-three-b of the state finance law.
46 5. a. The commissioner shall appoint a statewide climate justice work-
47 ing group for the following purposes:
48 (i) to evaluate the climate action plans developed by each state agen-
49 cy and public authority and to advise the department on an on going
50 basis as to progress made by respective agencies and public authorities;
51 (ii) to consult with the department of public service and the public
52 service commission to assess the progress made by utilities subject to
53 the provisions of the public service law in coming into compliance with
54 the state energy plan mandated by subdivision one of section 6-104 of
55 the energy law and to advise the department on an on-going basis as to
56 progress made by such utilities; and
A. 5105--A 6
1 (iii) to advise the department regarding measures to expand access to
2 renewable energy in low-income and immigrant communities in ways that
3 advance environmental, climate, economic, and racial justice interests.
4 b. The state climate justice working group shall be empowered to
5 request and receive reports and other relevant information from agen-
6 cies, public authorities, the department of public service and the
7 public service commission, utilities subject to the provisions of the
8 public service law, and other entities necessary to evaluate and advise
9 the department on plans and progress towards the transition to one
10 hundred percent renewable energy. All state agencies, authorities,
11 commissions and departments shall cooperate with the state climate
12 justice working group in fulfilling its mandate.
13 c. The state climate justice working group shall be comprised of thir-
14 teen members who are residents of low-income communities or environ-
15 mental justice communities. Members shall serve for no more than three
16 four-year terms each as follows:
17 (i) five members shall be representatives of community-based organiza-
18 tions that advise or assist minority and low-income communities on envi-
19 ronmental matters;
20 (ii) four members shall be representatives of businesses involved with
21 energy, heating and cooling, transportation and agriculture;
22 (iii) two members shall be representatives of environmental conserva-
23 tion offices of local government;
24 (iv) two members shall be representatives of state or national organ-
25 izations promoting environmental conservation, researchers, educators
26 and members of the general public; and
27 (v) three of such members shall be nominated by the governor; two of
28 such members shall be nominated by the temporary president of the
29 senate; two members shall be nominated by the speaker of the assembly;
30 two members shall be nominated by the chairs of the senate environmental
31 conservation and energy and telecommunications committees; and two
32 members shall be nominated by the chairs of the assembly environmental
33 conservation and energy committees.
34 d. The department shall include the costs of administrating and
35 resourcing the climate justice working group in its annual budget
36 requests to the legislature. In any given year that the legislature
37 fails to approve adequate funding for the climate justice working group
38 as a distinct line item, the department shall fund the operations of the
39 climate justice working group through re-allocation of its approved
40 administrative budget.
41 6. a. Each county government and each municipality representing more
42 than fifty thousand individuals shall create a local climate justice
43 working group to evaluate the performance of the county or municipality
44 in expanding access to renewable energy and to advancing environmental,
45 climate, economic and racial justice.
46 b. Each local climate justice working group shall:
47 (i) issue recommendations on local plans to further the objectives of
48 the state climate action plan and implementation of these plans to
49 achieve one hundred percent clean renewable energy; and
50 (ii) offer endorsements or rejections of plans and reports, and offer
51 specific analysis of the plans' impacts on expanding access to renewable
52 energy and advancing environmental, climate, economic and racial
54 c. Each local climate justice working group shall be comprised of
55 residents of low-income communities and environmental justice communi-
56 ties. Members shall be appointed by local government consistent with
A. 5105--A 7
1 rules adopted by such local government. Members shall number at least
2 eight and no more than twelve individuals. Members shall serve for no
3 more than three four-year terms each.
4 d. Each local climate justice working group shall be empowered to
5 receive reports and other relevant information from companies, utili-
6 ties, and other entities necessary to develop recommendations on the
7 plans and their implementation.
8 e. The department shall include the costs of administrating and
9 resourcing the local climate justice working groups in its annual budget
10 requests to the legislature. In any given year that the legislature
11 fails to approve funding for the local climate justice working groups as
12 a distinct line item, the department shall fund the operations of the
13 local climate justice working groups through re-allocation of its
14 approved administrative budget.
15 § 4. The state finance law is amended by adding a new section 83-b to
16 read as follows:
17 § 83-b. State renewable energy revolving fund. 1. There is hereby
18 established in the joint custody of the comptroller and the commissioner
19 of taxation and finance a special fund to be known as the "state renewa-
20 ble energy revolving fund".
21 2. The fund shall consist of moneys appropriated thereto, fines
22 collected pursuant to paragraph c of subdivision four of section 54-1525
23 of the environmental conservation law, and funds transferred from any
24 other fund or source.
25 3. The comptroller shall establish the following separate and distinct
26 accounts within the renewable energy revolving fund:
27 a. the loan fund, which shall fund grants and low-interest loans to
28 support the generation of renewable energy and job training programs in
29 the renewable energy sector pursuant to paragraph c of subdivision two
30 of section 54-1525 of the environmental conservation law;
31 b. the training account, which will fund training programs and other
32 benefits for displaced workers pursuant to paragraph b of subdivision
33 two of section 54-1525 of the environmental conservation law; and
34 c. the localities assistance account, which shall reimburse localities
35 for any revenue loss occurring from the shutdown of fossil fuel or
36 nuclear power plants. Such account shall also be used to provide
37 payments in lieu to taxes related to the siting of any renewable energy
38 facilities or projects.
39 4. Priority in distribution among the accounts specified in subdivi-
40 sion three of this section shall be given to the training account.
41 Moneys allotted to such account shall be sufficient to ensure that every
42 displaced fossil fuel worker and nuclear power worker in the state
43 receives the opportunity to transition into jobs in the renewable energy
45 5. Revenues in the renewable energy revolving fund shall be kept sepa-
46 rate and shall not be commingled with any other moneys in the custody of
47 the comptroller. All deposits of such revenues shall, if required by the
48 comptroller, be secured by obligations of the United States or of the
49 state having a market value equal at all times to the amount of such
50 deposits and all banks and trust companies are authorized to give secu-
51 rity for such deposits. Any such revenues in such fund may, upon the
52 discretion of the comptroller, be invested in obligations in which the
53 comptroller is authorized to invest pursuant to section ninety-eight-a
54 of this article.
55 6. All payments of moneys from the loan account of the fund shall be
56 made on the audit and warrant of the comptroller. All payments from the
A. 5105--A 8
1 training account of the fund shall be made on the audit and warrant of
2 the commissioner of labor.
3 § 5. a. The attorney general is hereby authorized to commence an
4 action or special proceeding in any court of competent jurisdiction in
5 the state in the name of the people of the state to enforce the
6 provisions of this act, recover any fine or penalty due pursuant to
7 section 54-1525 of the environmental conservation law, or for injunctive
8 relief to compel compliance with the provisions of this act. All moneys
9 recovered in any such action or special proceeding, together with the
10 costs thereof shall be paid into the state treasury to the credit of the
11 state renewable energy revolving fund established by section 83-b of the
12 state finance law.
13 b. Notwithstanding any law, rule or regulation to the contrary, any
14 resident of the state of New York, over the age of twenty-one, shall
15 have legal standing to sue to ensure satisfaction of the provisions of
16 this act.
17 § 6. This act shall take effect on the first of January next succeed-
18 ing the date upon which it shall have become a law.