Last year, New York's policy-makers drafted a State Energy Plan that looked too much like the status quo. It was heavy on gas and light on concrete steps to get New York off dirty and dangerous fossil fuels and nuclear energy. In response, tens of thousands of us raised our voices at public hearings and in written testimony to demand a real plan for a renewable energy transition.
New York's energy planners are at it again, but this time, they have taken a 180. This time, they are challenging business as usual in New York's retail electricity markets, through a proceeding at the Public Service Commission called Reforming the Energy Vision (REV). There are some great opportunities in this process to move the state toward a decentralized renewable energy system, but there are also some major causes for concern. We must participate in the process so that we can ensure New York gets moving on a just transition to renewable energy.
Please join us at the Binghamton REV hearing on Thursday, February 12 at the Binghamton City Council Chambers, City Hall, 38 Hawley Street, Binghamton NY 13901.
An information session will be held at 6pm, directly followed by an on-the-record public hearing at 7pm. BRSC will host our own REV workshop 2-5 days prior to the hearing. Look for an announcement of details soon.
Last year the Energy Democracy Working Group (EDWG) was formed by the Alliance for a Green Economy, the Binghamton Regional Sustainability Coalition, Catskill Mountainkeeper, the Center for Social Inclusion, PUSH Buffalo, and The Solutions Project. The EDWG is a broad alliance of sustainability, environmental justice, affordable housing and other diverse community organizations working to be sure that New York's transition to a clean energy economy benefits New York's communities in general, and those marginalized from these benefits in particular. EDWG works to put the people of New York, not a handful of corporations, in the driver seat.
Building on AGREE's leadership, the EDWG and dozens of allies have successfully pressed the Public Service Commission (PSC) to hold eight info sessions and hearings across the state. The first was in Syracuse last night, where nearly 100 Central New York Residents spoke up for an energy system run by and for the people of New York State. This small victory is only the beginning.
A complete schedule with great information on REV is on the AGREE website. The official hearing announcement from the PSC is attached and linked at the bottom of this message.
Upcoming public hearings offer us the chance to determine what New York's energy future will look like. Don't miss this chance.
What is REV?
REV is a major overhaul of the way New York policy makers intend to pursue clean energy, and so far, the process has been dominated by utility companies, Energy Service Companies (ESCOs) and other for-profit actors. It's no surprise, then, that the proposals coming out the the proceeding would hand over much of the design and control over New York's clean energy programs to utility companies. The proposals would also phase out clean energy subsidies and the state's clean energy programs in favor of the market-oriented approach envisioned in REV.
The public's voice must be heard so that we can demand an energy future that is designed by and for New Yorkers.
Join the call for energy democracy, enforceable environmental goals, consumer protection and energy affordability.
Find out more about REV at the Alliance for a Green Economy website <allianceforagreeneconomy.org/REV>, where we have posted:
– A short video introduction to REV
– Talking points
– Links to all the documents
And while we are making our voices heard to the Commission with a duty to represent the public, find out how to make this a Renewable New York by promoting renewables and energy efficiency in your community.