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Ryan signs measure, part of Ulster County's 'Green New Deal'

Apr 16, 2021 1:01 pm

Mid-Hudson News reports that on April 14 Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan signed an executive order as part of his county’s version of a "Green New Deal." The measure mandates any construction of renewable or "green" energy infrastructure projects must hire local unions and local private contractors and pay a prevailing wage. “To me, the core part of the Green New Deal, is creating good-paying, union jobs as we do that work to protect our environment to transition to clean energy and really to rebuild our infrastructure coming out of a once-in-a-century pandemic,” said Ryan. “Today, Ulster County is going to continue to lead in both protecting our environment and making sure we’re doing right by our working people and especially our partners in the building trades.” The new law will be used on an upcoming solar project the county is building on a landfill. “Evidence shows that higher wages due to prevailing wages does not slow the demand to build solar projects,” said the President of the Hudson Valley Building and Constructing Trades Council, Todd Diorio. “Only 6 to 11 percent of total project costs on solar projects are wages. A 50 percent in labor cost would only increase the project cost by 3 to 5 percent, so on a $10 million solar project that we have maybe $300,000 would ensure good wages.” Read more about this story at Mid-Hudson News.