The NYS Public Service Commission announced on June 21, 2019 that Tracey A. Edwards and John B. Howard have been confirmed to serve as PSC Commissioners.
Marie French of Politico NY Energy (Politico New York Energy Newsletter 2019 06 19) reports:
The Senate Finance Committee sent the nominations of John Howard, a longtime aide to Cuomo and former chief of staff for Paul Tonko when he was chair of the Assembly Energy Committee, and Tracey Edwards, a former Verizon executive, to the floor. Howard touched on the importance of combating climate change and addressing challenges in the telecommunications sector. Edwards focused on her experience in public service and at Verizon. Committee members asked few questions before moving the nominations at the tail end of an hours-long hearing on nominations.
A Sustainable Westchester Heat Smart Commercial Program Manager position is being offered in Westchester.
Sustainable Westchester is seeking a Project Management Contractor (PMC) with excellent interpersonal communications and organizational skills to work on the Commercial HeatSmart Program. Familiarity with clean energy technologies and/or Commercial Real Estate development experience preferred, but not required.
The position requires conducting community-based outreach, education, developer consultation, and market development activities for commercial Clean Heating & Cooling (CH&C) technologies in Southern Westchester. The salary is $5,000 per month with a 10 month contract. For more information, a job description is available here.
You've probably heard about the passing this week of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. It makes New York a national leader in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and responding to climate change. But most of us haven't had time to read the 21-page bill. Read NY-GEO's summary of 11 highlights of interest to those working on clean heating.
Next, if you want a general summary of what the bill is and what it does, David Roberts at Vox goes in-depth on the bill and how it compares to the climate policies of other states.
Marie French of Politico NY Energy (Politico New York Energy Newsletter 2019 06 14) reports on a study, Life Cycle Analysis of the Northeast Supply Enhancement Project:
A report commissioned by National Grid on the lifecycle emissions of the Williams Northeast Supply Enhancement pipeline finds that greenhouse gas emissions would be lower than a no-pipeline scenario that assumes more aggressive adoption of heat pumps than NYSERDA's analysis. The report claims that's true in a scenario including upstream methane leakage estimates from the Environmental Defense Fund, as well. Opponents slammed the report as "cherry-picked" because it only looks at a comparison over 10 years.
An article on the Sierra Club website, Transitioning California Off Gas Could Lower Costs and Prioritize Low-Income Communities, reviews a presentation given to the California Energy Commission by Energy and Environmental Economics (E3) called Draft Results: Future of Natural Gas Distribution in California, a 69-page graphic-rich presentation.
The Sierra Club review notes “For too long, California’s massive gas system has been the elephant in the room when policymakers talk about solutions to the climate crisis. But that’s beginning to change…. Building electrification is the lowest-cost and lowest-risk pathway for California to cut climate pollution.
Thanks to Joe Parsons from ClimateMaster for bringing this to our attention and Bill Martin of California GEO for his excellent ongoing work.
NY-GEO Board member Jens Ponikau will be one of four panelists in a teach-in, sponsored by New Yorkers for Clean Power, focused on New Efficiency: New York and the role heat pumps can play in cutting greenhouse gases in the heating sector.
The webinar will run from 7:00 to 8:30 PM and will also feature Jessica Azulay of the Alliance for a Green Economy, Cornell scientist and methane expert Bob Howarth and Valerie Strauss of the Association for Energy Affordability.
Register here for this important online teach-in to learn what you can do to promote comprehensive utility energy efficiency & heat pump (not pipelines) programs!
On May 20th a Wall Street Journal editorial attacked Governor Cuomo for the NY Department of Environmental Conservation's decision to reject the proposed Williams gas pipeline under New York Harbor. See New York Geo's response that was published in the Journal on June 7th or here if you have a Journal subscription.
And for fun, see the original op-ed response we submitted by scrolling down this page—"Rip Van Winkle Lives"—that the Wall Street Journal rejected.
On June 4th Senator James Sanders, Jr., the Chair of the NY Senate Committee on Banks, from Queens introduced S6310, which "Provides an exemption for the sale and installation of residential and commercial geothermal heat pump systems equipment."
This bill would give geothermal parity with solar PV, which has enjoyed a NYS sales tax exemption for residential systems since 2005 and for commercial installations since 2012. Check out NY-GEO's support letter for this legislation and stay tuned for more news on this initiative.
The NY-GEO 2019 GeoStar Top Job winner made the cover of the latest issue of GeoOutlook. Halco's conversion of the historic Noble house in Fayetteville, New York is a great story of geothermal and energy efficiency measures bringing a house built in the early 1800's into the age of renewable energy.
The Politico New York Energy newsletter of May 30, 2019 reports Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said climate legislation is one of his top priorities for the remainder of session—a day after Gov. Andrew Cuomo omitted the issue from his wish list.
"Climate is very important to us, " Heastie told reporters. Advocates and Democratic lawmakers are pushing the Climate and Community Protection Act, which targets the elimination of nearly all human-caused greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and would allocate 40 percent of all clean energy money to disadvantaged communities.
Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins also included climate legislation in her list of action items in the last four weeks of the session.
Cuomo has backed a proposal that would set a target to make electricity generation "carbon free" by 2040 but did not incorporate a specific economy-wide deadline for zero emissions. Disagreements remain to be worked out on carbon offsets and the 40 percent funding principle, among other details.
(Politico New York Energy — Marie French 2019 05 30)