Climate Action Council Picks Announced January 20 2020

The 22-member Climate Action Council (CAC) is tasked with coming up with a scoping plan to get the state to net-zero emissions in three decades, as outlined in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA), signed last July.

Twelve of the CAC members are the commissioners of Transportation, Health, Economic Development, Agriculture and Markets, Housing and Community Renewal, Environmental Conservation, and Labor; the chairperson of the Public Service Commission; the presidents of NYSERDA, NYPA, LIPA and the Secretary of State.

The other 10 are nominated by the Assembly, the Senate and the governor.

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie chose Bob Howarth, Peter Iwanowicz and Paul Shepson.

Bob Howarth is a professor of Ecology and Environmental Biology at Cornell and a well-known academic who regularly weighs in on natural gas infrastructure issues and fought fracking in New York. Peter Iwanowicz is a former commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation and current head of Environmental Advocates of New York, a prominent and influential group in Albany. Paul Shepson is the dean of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences at Stony Brook University.

Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb has named Donna DeCarolis, an executive with National Fuel Gas.

Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins has appointed Anne Reynolds, a representative of renewable energy developers, Raya Salter an attorney with an environmental justice coalition and Dennis Elsenbeck, a Buffalo-based energy consultant and former utility executive.

Senate Minority Leader John J. Flanagan has nominated Gavin Donohue, head of the Independent Power Producers of New York representing existing generators including fossil fuel plants.

So far, all the nominations to the CAC have been made except those by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Once his appointments are announced the CAC can begin its work.

Thanks to Marie J. French, of Politico New York Energy (2020 01 14, 2020 01 10), for providing much of this information.