Elected Officials to Protect New York Renewables Letter Sign-On

Dear Governor Cuomo,

We, the undersigned elected leaders, write in support of the excellent renewable energy and efficiency measures you have enacted to date, and urge you to go even further by committing that 50 percent of New York State’s electricity come from renewables by 2025. This would make our state the nation’s leader in clean energy in the electricity sector where New York State already has a number of programs that can help us get to this target and beyond.

Your renewable energy and efficiency measures are showing the bright promise of such investments, including the NY­Sun initiative, the Green Jobs Green NY program, and efficiency improvements. In many of our communities, we have seen considerable interest in community solar and other efforts to move toward renewables, and know that there is still a great deal of potential.

These changes not only pose great opportunities for our communities and economy, they are absolutely necessary, given the imperative to address climate change by transitioning from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. Science is clear that we must rapidly reduce fossil fuel extraction and consumption, and increase renewable energy development, in order to avoid catastrophic impacts of climate change. Clearly, Superstorm Sandy and Tropical Storms Irene and Lee demonstrate how tragic and costly more extreme weather linked to climate change can be. Some of our communities have already adopted resolutions calling for efforts to address climate change.

We applaud your wise decision to ban high ­volume hydraulic fracturing in New York State, rightfully following the science, which clearly pointed to significant harms to public health, the environment, and community character. We are very grateful for your wisdom on that crucial issue, and believe it presents a landmark opportunity to move toward the renewable energy-­based economy we need.

We believe that committing New York to 50 percent of its electricity generation from renewable energy by 2025 is the next leap forward. Our state already generates 23 percent of its electricity from renewables. Furthermore, this would complement the state’s greenhouse gas reduction targets, ensuring that those targets are not only met, but exceeded. Committing to the target of 50 percent of electricity from renewables by 2025 represents the bold, national leadership that defines New York. We look forward to working with you to move New York State toward renewable energy as quickly as possible in order to improve the environment, help address climate change, and bring new job opportunities and economic development to our State.

Sincerely,

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