Senate Includes Renewable Capitol Act In Its One-House Budget

Press Release, March 12, 2024:

SHARE Applauds Senator Breslin and the State Senate for Including Conversion of State Capitol to 100% Renewable Energy in Budget Resolution

ALBANY: The Sheridan Hollow Alliance for Renewable Energy (SHARE) applauded Senator Breslin and the State Senate today for including the 100% Renewable Capitol Act (S 2689B) in its one house budget resolution. Last month the Hochul administration announced that it planned to only cut emissions from the Capitol and Empire State Plaza by 50% over the next ten years. The Senate proposal supports zero emissions within the next three years.

The Senate also supported other key climate measures, including the full NY Heat Act.

“Converting the Capitol and Empire State Plaza to 100% clean renewable energy in three years is a major environmental justice issue. For more than a century, the state has polluted my neighborhood and caused major health problems for my neighbors to power the offices of the New York State government. They have burnt coal, oil, garbage, and gas. It is long past time for this to end. We applaud Senator Breslin for his leadership in supporting the Renewable Capitol Act,” stated Mert Simpson, Co-Chair of SHARE and the County Legislator for the Sheridan Hollow neighborhood.

SHARE is a coalition of climate, community, and faith groups formed in 2017 to oppose the proposal by the Cuomo administration to add two new fracked gas turbines to the Sheridan Avenue Steam Plant. While state lawmakers rejected the proposal and directed the funds to be used instead for renewable energy, state officials have been slow to follow through.

“As the climate crisis worsens, Governor Hochul continues to go to work every day in a building that is powered by fracked gas. How can we expect private companies and municipalities to transition to renewable energy if the state can’t get its own house in order?” continued Merton Simpson. “Now we call on the Governor and Assembly to include the Renewable Capitol Act in the final budget.”

The Hochul Administration through the New York Power Authority (NYPA) and the Office of General Services (OGS) has failed to complete an energy audit of the Empire State Plaza and has refused to allow for input from neighborhood residents or outside climate and energy experts. The now two-year plan was due in the spring of 2023. In contrast, the state of Michigan took 18 months not only to study but also to complete a conversion of its state Capitol to geothermal energy.