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Climate Action Council approves plan

Dec 20, 2022 1:23 pm

Rick Karlin reports in the Times Union that on Dec. 19, the 22-member Climate Action Council voted in favor of New York's scoping plan for energy. New York's plan for combating climate change mandates that 70 percent of the state’s power come from clean sources by 2030 and an 85 percent reduction in greenhouses gases from 1990 levels by 2050, and a zero emissions power grid by 2040. Twelve of the 22-member Council are state agency or authority chiefs who serve directly or indirectly under Gov. Kathy Hochul, so the plan was expected to pass. And it did 19-3. But not without dissent. “I object to any notion that we have a need for hydrogen,” Paul Shepson, dean at SUNY Stony Brook’s School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, said at a Climate Action Council meeting earlier in the month. The natural gas industry, though, wants to keep making money. “What is the alternative fuel that is going to replace gas in the future?” asked Gavin Donohue, president and CEO of the Independent Power Producers of New York. This vote is for the broad outlines of the state plan to combat climate change. "This Plan serves as a bold, monumental achievement not just for New York State, but for the nation and the world, which centers on equity and climate justice across all sectors, building opportunities for all, and ensuring we have a workforce that can transition as seamlessly as possible in our new clean energy economy," said Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos, who is co-chair of the climate panel, Next year state regulatory agencies such as the DEC will begin writing the actual regulations to get to a carbon-free power grid. Read more about this story in the Times Union.

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