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Youth, Climate, & Environmental Organizations Respond To Gov. Cuomo's State of the State Address

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Albany, NY

Today, Governor Cuomo gave his third State of the State address, which focused on the creation of a green energy economy in New York. A diverse group of youth, climate, and environmental organizations joined together to issue statements in response to the Governor’s proposals.

Over 150 organizations, including those issuing statements today, have voiced their support for the Governor and the New York State Legislature to end nonessential fossil fuel subsidies in the SFY2021-22 budget. Ending nonessential fossil fuel subsidies could save the state hundreds of millions of dollars annually.

Natalie Penna, Director of Communications for the New York Youth Climate Leaders, said, “For youth especially, the climate crisis poses a major, existential crisis. Cuomo has proven a willingness to take bold steps to combat the climate crisis, but any beginning efforts will be incomplete without the revocation of support from the companies which caused this crisis in the first place and continue to perpetrate it. Eliminating fossil fuel subsidies from the state’s budget would hold polluters accountable and help secure the future of my generation and generations of New Yorkers to come.”

Liz Moran, Environmental Policy Director for NYPIRG, said, “The Governor is right that global warming poses an existential threat, and New York must lead in shaping a new green energy economy. The state desperately needs new revenues – particularly given the costs to combat the impacts of the climate crisis -- and the oil, coal and gas companies should be on the hook for paying for a crisis that they created, not every day New Yorkers. In addition, the state should eliminate nonessential tax subsidies for the fossil fuel industry. To ensure New York meets its ambitious climate goals, incentives cannot continue to be given to the fossil fuel industry. Those additional revenues will help the state to afford a green revolution, while making those responsible for the problems pay for the solutions.

Michaela Ciovacco, Program Coordinator for New Yorkers for Clean Power, said, "Governor Cuomo proves to be a champion for renewable energy time and time again, with his most recent announcement today of building nearly 100 renewable energy projects, over half of which are already underway across the state. We are now calling on him to fully lead New York into a clean energy economy and cut ties with the fossil fuel industry by eliminating non essential fossil fuel tax subsidies. New York deserves clean power that is distributed equitably and this leaves no room for big fossil fuel corporation tax breaks."

Guy Jacob, Conservation Co-Chair for the South Shore Audubon Society, said, “Doling out mindless subsidies to fossil fuel corporations while we build out clean energy infrastructure in New York State is like eating raw kale in one hand while eating fried pork fat in the other. One counteracts the benefit of the other even as we waste precious resources and sink deeper into debt. Governor Cuomo’s ambitions for resolving our careless cognitive dissonance vis-à-vis counterproductive fossil fuel appropriations would be welcome news.”

“We agree with Governor Cuomo’s call to replace fossil fuel power plants with clean renewable energy and that it is time to make New York a transformative national leader on climate. As he noted, piecemeal efforts will fail. One small but critical step is for the Governor to support the legislation to stop providing more than a billion dollars in subsidies to the fossil fuel industry,” said Mark Dunlea, Chairperson of the Green Education and Legal Fund.

Bill Nowak, Executive Director for NY-GEO, said, "The first rule in filling a hole is to stop digging. Subsidies for fossil fuels in New York hurt taxpayers while digging us deeper into a climate hole. Ending fossil fuel subsidies in a just and effective way can't happen soon enough!"

For more information:

Liz Moran

(518) 610-1828

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