Climate Change

New York DEC commissioner: Climate transition will be 'the toughest thing we ever do'

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

The cost of the doing nothing on climate will far outweigh the cost of a climate transition for New York, according to state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos, who addressed concerns on Capital Tonight.

“I just want to make sure viewers are clear. People are already paying for the impacts of climate change. That is a certainty. We spent $36 billion to recover from Superstorm Sandy,” Seggos said. “We see a $55 billion bill, potentially, if we don’t do the right things in New York, just on adaptation over the next 10 years.”

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20% of world's migrating animals could become extinct, U.N. report says

BY Susan Carpenter New York City

About 20% of the world’s migrating animals could be extinct because of human activities and climate change, according to a first-ever report on migratory species the United Nation’s Environment Programme released Monday.

Already 44% of the migrating animals on the group’s conservation list are declining in population because of agriculture, over fishing, pollution, land development and other manmade issues.

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New York environmental agencies questioned on attainability of state's climate goals

BY Jack Arpey New York State

New York lawmakers met yet again within the marble walls of Albany's Legislative Office Building Wednesday to hear testimony on the state’s environmental conservation budget, with topics ranging from assistance for farmers to New York’s State Park system.

Some of the more heated exchanges we’ve seen at these hearings so far this session, however, were directed at the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and the New York state Department of Environmental Conservation. They're largely concerned with the attainability of New York’s climate goals.

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Environmental Protection Agency tightens soot rules

BY Susan Carpenter Washington, D.C.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency finalized a new air quality standard on Wednesday that tightens the allowable amount of fine particulate matter.

The fine, inhalable particles known as PM 2.5 are generated from a variety of sources, including the burning of fossil fuels and cigarette smoke, leading to premature death, asthma attacks and lost workdays.

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U.S. greenhouse gas emissions fell in 2023

BY Susan Carpenter New York City

After two years of increases, U.S. greenhouse gas emissions fell in 2023, according to new estimates from the Rhodium Group. The nonpartisan research provider said the 1.9% decline took place even as the economy grew 2.4% over the same time frame.

Rhodium attributed the fall in emissions to a mild winter and less coal being used to generate electricity. Emissions from power generation fell 8% and 4% for residential and commercial buildings, though transportation emissions increased 1.6%. The increase in transportation emissions was led by a rebound in air travel and increases in driving. Jet fuel consumption increased 5% in 2023 compared with a year earlier, and gasoline consumption rose 1%.

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Clean hydrogen gets a boost with federal tax credit

BY Susan Carpenter Washington, D.C.

With hydrogen poised to become a major energy source in the Biden administration’s efforts to phase out fossil fuels, the U.S. Treasury Department on Friday proposed rules for billions of dollars in tax credits to aid the transition.

Designed to increase domestic renewable energy production, the tax credits are intended to spur more sustainably produced hydrogen for use in manufacturing, transportation and electricity generation.

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New York Climate Action Council member on state’s cap and invest 'pre-proposal'

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

One of the ways New York state will be able to help pay for the climate transition is via a cap and invest program.

On Wednesday, the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the New York state Energy and Research Development Authority (NYSERDA) released what they're calling a cap and invest “pre-proposal” for stakeholders.

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General Mills, Kraft Heinz help form Dairy Methane Alliance during COP28

BY Susan Carpenter New York City

A handful of international dairy conglomerates agreed to disclose their methane emissions as part of a new alliance launched Tuesday during the COP28 climate conference in Dubai.

The newly formed Dairy Methane Action Alliance is a coalition of French, Swiss and U.S. companies that includes Bel Group, Danone, General Mills, Kraft Heinz, Lactalis and Nestle as its founding members.

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Parts of Canada, Germany, South Korea join California to reduce methane emissions

BY Susan Carpenter Sacramento

A California initiative to cut global methane emissions has gained new partners. Areas of Brazil, Canada, South Korea, Bolivia, Germany and the United States signed on to the recently formed Subnational Methane Action Coalition during the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Dubai over the weekend.

The group of subnational governments seeks to reduce methane emissions from agriculture, energy and landfills. Eighty times more potent than carbon dioxide, methane is a powerful greenhouse gas that accounts for nearly 30% of global warming. Lowering methane emissions holds the potential to prevent 0.3 degrees Celsius of global warming by 2050, according to the California Air Resources Board.

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U.N. weather agency: 2023 is the hottest year on record

BY Spectrum News Staff and Associated Press International

The U.N. weather agency said Thursday that 2023 is all but certain to be the hottest year on record, and warning of worrying trends that suggest increasing floods, wildfires, glacier melt, and heat waves in the future.

The World Meteorological Organization also warned that the average temperature for the year is up some 2.5 degrees Fahrenheit from pre-industrial times – a mere one-tenth of a degree under a target limit for the end of the century as laid out by the Paris climate accord in 2015.

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'None of this is inevitable': Biden announces new actions in wake of harrowing climate report

BY Maddie Gannon Washington, D.C.

Hours after the release of a far-reaching government report on the impacts of climate change, President Joe Biden on Tuesday sought to paint a picture of the widespread and costly effects of extreme weather.

At the same time, the president made an appeal to the public: there is still time to act, and his administration is doing just that.

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NYSERDA on renewables announcement: We’re in a 'moment of recalibration'

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

New York this week announced plans for development of 6.4 new gigawatts of renewable energy – something Gov. Kathy Hochul has called “the largest ever renewable energy investment by a state.”

Both on and offshore projects, including three new offshore wind farms, have been offered conditional contracts, which means they will enter the negotiation phase.

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Hochul announces investments in renewable energy projects

BY Luke Parsnow New York State

Gov. Kathy Hochul announced what she called the largest state investment in renewable energy in United States history, conducting of three offshore wind projects and 22 land-based projects, her office said Tuesday.

The state will commit $300 million and attract an additional $668 million in private funding.

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New York Business Council defends its climate transition campaign

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

Business groups from around New York state want to bring what they describe as a more “thoughtful and practical” approach to the climate transition, so they’re supporting several statewide information campaigns designed to educate the public.

According to Paul Zuber, the Business Council of New York State’s executive vice president, the campaign is supported by a diverse coalition of groups, including local chambers of commerce and transportation organizations.

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$165M available for environmental projects on New York transportation systems

BY Luke Parsnow New York State

New York has $165 million in funding available to support environmental upgrades to various transportation systems, Gov. Kathy Hochul's office announced Friday.

The funding can be used for projects that create new and enhance existing bicycle and pedestrian facilities, improve access to public transportation, create safe routes to schools, convert abandoned railway corridors to pedestrian trails and help reduce congestion and greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector.

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First $100M available for New York transition to zero-emission school buses

BY Luke Parsnow New York State

New York will make $100 million available for zero-emission public school buses as fleets transition to zero-emission vehicles, as required by the state's 2019 Climate Act, Gov. Kathy Hochul's office announced Thursday.

This is the first round of funding available for these buses under the $4.2 billion Environmental Bond Act that New York voters approved in 2022. There is a total of $500 million of Environmental Bond Act money available.

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Innovation is key to combat climate change, Bill Gates says

BY Susan Carpenter New York City
UPDATED 8:08 PM ET Sep. 21, 2023

When world leaders warn the earth is about to become uninhabitable because of climate change, as United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said this week, it can be easy for some people to give up hope.

Bill Gates is not one of those people.

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Hochul signs bill on access to geothermal heating, cooling systems

BY Spectrum News Staff New York State

Gov. Kathy Hochul signed legislation aimed to make it easier to access geothermal heating and cooling systems in order to help reach the goals of the 2019 Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, her office announced Thursday.

The legislation hopes to reduce costs for the installation of geothermal wells, helping New York meet the state’s building decarbonization requirements. It changes how certain wells drilled deeper than 500 feet below the Earth’s surface are regulated. Currently, they are regulated under the same provisions that cover oil and gas mines and drilling. This legislation will create new provisions, streamlining regulation of geothermal boreholes while ensuring that all deep well locations throughout the state are adequately reviewed and that potential impacts from the drilling process are mitigated.

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California Gov. Gavin Newsom says he will sign climate-focused transparency laws for big business

BY Associated Press New York City

NEW YORK (AP) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom said Sunday that he plans to sign into law a pair of climate-focused bills intended to force major corporations to be more transparent about greenhouse gas emissions and the financial risks stemming from global warming.

Newsom's announcement came during an out-of-state trip to New York’s Climate Week, where world leaders in business, politics and the arts are gathered to seek solutions for climate change.

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Observations on the cost — so far— of implementing New York's climate law

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

We are seeing some early ballpark figures for New York state’s transition to clean energy: The bill appears to be around $44 billion.

It’s an estimate found in the New York state Department of Public Service’s “First Annual Informational Report on Overall Implementation of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.”

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2024 could be even hotter than 2023, NASA says

BY Susan Carpenter Washington, D.C.

Flooding in Vermont, extreme heat in Arizona and the devastating wildfire in Hawaii are all evidence of a warming planet, scientists say. Last month was not only the hottest July dating back to at least 1880, it shattered the previous 2019 record by two-tenths of a degree Celsius, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Assn. said Monday.

“That might not sound like a lot, but the margin for most global records is on the order of a hundredth of a degree or two,” said NOAA Chief Scientist Sara Kapnick. “Last month was way, way warmer than anything we’ve ever seen.”

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Report: Earth likely closer to climate 'tipping point'

BY Dean Meminger and Jackie Koppell New York City

A chilling new study published in the journal, Nature Communications, finds that the planet may be closer to the climate “tipping point” than scientists had believed.

That means we may be getting to the point where some climate changes are irreversible if we don’t take action very soon.

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Hochul: $29M to go toward expanding electric vehicle charging

BY Nick Reisman Albany/Capital Region

Electric vehicle charging infrastructure, as well as consumer rebates, are receiving a $29 million boost, Gov. Kathy Hochul on Wednesday announced.

New York is trying to reach the target of significantly curtailing carbon emissions in the coming years. One of the key challenges is expanding the use of electric vehicles, where demand is in part dictated by the cost as well as concerns over where to find a charger.

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At hearing, lawmakers weigh New York's energy future

BY Nick Reisman Albany/Capital Region

New York's top utility regulator Rory Christian acknowledges the transition to cleaner and renewable forms of energy in the coming decades and how that will affect ratepayers in New York will present complications.

"I think that might be one of many challenges we have to face and we're going to need to look at this from a variety of different perspectives," he said. "It's going to require an all-of-government solution."

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Clean energy advocates optimistic on renewable energy future

BY Nick Reisman and Tim Williams New York State

On Thursday, U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland traveled to New York’s Capital Region to highlight the progress made on offshore wind projects.

Anne Reynolds, executive director of the Alliance for Clean Energy NY, joined Capital Tonight to discuss the “growing pains” and reasons for optimism in the renewable energy field.

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A progressive take on New York Legislature’s climate goals

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

Extreme heat continues across the American south this week while Canada experiences its worst wildfire season on record, also driven by extreme heat.

According to Reuters, the searing heat is part of a global pattern of rising temperatures, attributed by scientists to human activity.

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'Nature-based' solutions could be coming for New York's shorelines

BY Nick Reisman Albany/Capital Region

New York's shorelines, susceptible to the impact of climate change through flash flooding and erosion, could soon have a new way of being protected.

State lawmakers gave final approval this month to a measure that is meant to encourage the Department of Environmental Conservation to use "nature-based solutions" to stabilize tidal shorelines.

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Environmental advocates call for passage of NY HEAT Act

BY Tim Williams and Marisa Jacques New York State

Liz Moran, policy advocate at Earthjustice, joined Capital Tonight to discuss the NY HEAT Act, which failed to get passed by the end of the scheduled legislative session. It would change state law to stop utility companies from building new natural gas hookups used to generate electricity. It would also cap utility bills at 6% of their income for low-and moderate-income households, which advocates say could save affected families up to $75 per month.



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New York businesses slam amended packaging reduction bill

BY Kate Lisa New York State

State business leaders have met last-minute changes made to a bill to limit plastic pollution and increase recycling statewide with fierce pushback in efforts to prevent the measure's passage in the last few days of session.

The legislation, nicknamed the Packaging and Recycling Infrastructure Act, would establish an Extended Producer Responsibility system in New York and make producers of packaging responsible for the costs of consumer waste and reduce used toxins. It would limit single-use plastic products for companies that sell packaged goods and charge them a fee to go into a fund to improve recycling infrastructure, increase the amount of waste that's recycled and support other local recyling programs.

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Local-level officials in New York make final push for climate bill

BY Nick Reisman Albany/Capital Region

Last month, state lawmakers and Gov. Kathy Hochul could not reach an agreement in the $229 billion budget to align utility regulations with the sweeping goals of a climate change provision to reduce carbon emissions in the coming decades.

Now, as state lawmakers wrap up the legislative session this week, a final push is being made to pass the bill, known as the NY Heat Act, among its supporters.

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National Grid on New York emissions reduction target: 'It's 78 months 'till 2030'

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

New York's move toward electrification is a massive undertaking, and the timeline to implement it is aggressive. Under the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA), the state must reduce emissions to 40% below 1990 levels by 2030. That’s in less than seven years.

“It’s a crunch; it’s 78 months ‘till 2030,” said Bart Franey, the vice president of Clean Energy Development at National Grid. “That’s like tomorrow for us.”

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2 perspectives on the energy laws passed in the New York state budget

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

The recently passed New York state budget ushered in a new era of electrification: It mandates that new construction in the state is powered by electricity starting in 2026. It also authorizes the New York Power Authority (NYPA) to build renewable energy projects and ensures that the state’s largest buildings and campuses are powered by renewables.

Several of the just-passed proposals were part of the Climate Action Council’s scoping plan, created to ensure that New York meets its goal of reducing carbon emissions 85% by 2050.

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Proposed New York law puts big oil on hook for climate change

BY Ryan Whalen Buffalo

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- New York state estimates already this year taxpayers are spending more than $800 million for projects related to climate change-caused damages and resiliency projects.

State Sen. Liz Krueger, a Democrat from Manhattan, sponsors legislation that would hold the world's biggest oil and gas companies responsible for at least some of those costs moving forward.

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New York pension fund reaches deal with firms to reduce carbon emissions

BY Nick Reisman Albany/Capital Region

Four companies New York's pension fund has invested in have agreed to analyze and target a reduction in their greenhouse gas emissions, Comptroller Tom DiNapoli on Tuesday said.

The companies included Carrier Global Corp, Papa John's International Inc., Century Aluminum Co. and Spirit Reality. Kraft Heinz, meanwhile, will create a deforestration-free policy of sourcing.

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Hochul: Electric construction transition addresses affordability

BY Nick Reisman Albany/Capital Region

Gov. Kathy Hochul on Monday shrugged off the potential of New York's plan to end natural gas hookups in newly constructed buildings and homes by 2027 being impacted by a legal challenge to a similar provision in Berkeley, California while also pointing to the rebates for consumers to help make the transition.

"There are court cases happening all over the country, whether they have an effect here is another question," Hochul said on Monday in Buffalo.

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New York to send $2.1M to communities for air quality projects

BY Nick Reisman Albany/Capital Region

New York state is making available $2.1 million in competitive grant money to aid local air quality improvement projects, Gov. Kathy Hochul on Friday announced.

Community-based non-profit organizations will qualify for the money to aid disadvantaged communities in New York that have struggled with air pollution.

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Environment, climate funding details hang in state budget balance

BY Kate Lisa New York State

Officials are expected to put the finishing touches on the 2023-24 state budget this weekend, including finalizing programs to protect the environment and satisfy the state's strict benchmarks to fight climate change.

Gov. Kathy Hochul announced a tentative budget framework in the Capitol on Thursday night with few details.

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Tentative deal reached for phasing out gas hookups in new construction in New York

BY Nick Reisman Albany/Capital Region

State lawmakers and Gov. Kathy Hochul have reached a tentative deal to end gas hookups in new construction in the coming years as part of a broader effort to shift the state away from fossil fuels and to more renewable forms of energy.

The agreement is meant to cushion the effect the measure will have on consumers, with pre-existing gas stoves unaffected. But at the same time, it's a tangible push toward making a transition to cleaner forms of energy, a change that will have a wide-ranging effect on energy policy in New York.

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New York officials launch listening tour for $4.2B Environmental Bond Act

BY Nick Reisman Albany/Capital Region

A listening tour is being launched by Gov. Kathy Hochul's administration for the public to provide input on how to spend $4.2 billion on environmental infrastructure upgrades around New York.

Hochul's office on Monday also announced $425 million in a new round of water infrastructure improvement projects.

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New York wants to bolster insurance for climate tech firms

BY Nick Reisman Albany/Capital Region

In an attempt to further spur clean technologies in New York amid a push to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by midcentury, state officials on Friday announced a multimillion-dollar program to support new insurance policies and products.

Gov. Kathy Hochul's office announced a $6.5 million plan under the Insurance Innovation for Climate-Technology Solutions program as part of an effort to release grants for risk management and insurance market expansion for businesses that are transitioning to climiate-friendly products.

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Federal infrastructure cash may have eye on the future

BY Nick Reisman Albany/Capital Region

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg on Wednesday touted the millions of dollars being sent to states like New York – including $21 million to make improvements to a bridge just south of Albany. And more cash for New York communities may be on the way.

Money is flowing into New York to improve its infrastructure. And Buttigieg says much of that cash is coming with an eye toward the future.

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Cost of climate policies heat up beyond New York budget talks

BY Kate Lisa New York State

Lawmakers leading the climate fight are turning up the heat about which climate protection measures should be in the final state budget and which are a priority for the remainder of the legislative session as Democrats start to fracture over how to pay to successfully meet New York's emission reduction goals outlined in state law.

Gov. Kathy Hochul has made it clear her administration won't include a provision in the next budget to alter the Climate Leadership & Community Protection Act, or Climate Act, and the timeline used to calculate greenhouse gas emissions. But it doesn't mean it won't be a possibility later this session, or that the other more robust measures climate advocates are pushing for won't advance outside the budget, either.

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Pros and cons of New York's 'Build Public Renewables Act'

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

New York was slow to adopt renewable energy under the administration of former Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

According to Inside Climate News, New York is number 24 out of 50 states when it comes to generating gigawatts of power, having created just 6,895 gigawatt hours of wind and solar in 2022 compared to Texas’ 136,000 gigawatt hours.

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Climate pivot no longer central to state budget talks, says Hochul administration

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

In Albany, where lawmaking can move at the speed of smell, the Hochul administration’s retreat on a new climate policy was breathtaking.

On Monday, DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos and New York State Energy and Research Development Authority President and CEO Doreen Harris told Capital Tonight they were backing a bill sponsored by the Legislature’s Energy Committee chairs to, in effect, weaken the state’s climate laws. The purpose? To prevent New Yorkers from paying “potentially extraordinary costs."

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New York environmental officials say methane change won't be a budget priority

BY Nick Reisman Albany

Gov. Kathy Hochul's administration will not prioritize a proposal to re-calculate methane emissions as part of the ongoing state budget negotiations following an uproar from environmental and climate advocacy organizations over the plan.

But Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos and New York State Energy and Research Development Authority President and CEO Doreen Harrris did not rule out further pursuing the idea, warning that "affordability" for consumers needs to be part of the conversations surrounding how to transition New York from carbon-based fuels to more renewable and cleaner forms of energy.

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New York environmental officials on Hochul's push to change metrics around methane

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

Add climate to the list of issues around which Gov. Kathy Hochul and Legislature leaders are butting heads in budget negotiations.

New York’s climate transition is expected to cost billions of dollars annually, which is one of the reasons the governor included a Cap & Invest program in her executive budget — it’s a pollution credits scheme through which polluters can help pay for the transition’s enormous tab. But until wind, solar and other renewables are more attainable, average New Yorkers will still be on the hook, financially.

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A look at the various gas ban proposals in New York

BY Ryan Whalen Buffalo

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Democratic leadership in New York state government wants to begin making natural gas a thing of the past. However, the plans for getting there differ.

Dennis Elsenbeck, head of energy and sustainability at Phillips Lytle, said buildings represent the state's largest single source of carbon emissions at roughly a third with transportation close behind.

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New York advocates push for 2 linked climate bills to be in state budget

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

New York leaders in Albany are close to an agreement on a first-in-the-nation ban on gas and fossil fuel hook-ups in new construction. The ban would likely start in 2025 or 2026, though that’s still being debated. The legislation will likely include exemptions for restaurants and back-up generators.

While both proposals are similar, the timeline for the legislature’s version of the “all-electric building act," sponsored by Brian Kavanagh and Emily Gallagher (S562A/ A920A), is somewhat more aggressive than the governor’s. It would prohibit “infrastructure, building systems, or equipment used for the combustion of fossil fuels in new construction statewide no later than December 31, 2023 if the building is less than seven stories and July 1, 2027 if the building is seven stories or more."

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All-electric construction push gets boost in New York budget talks

BY Nick Reisman Albany

The specifics differ, but Democratic state lawmakers and Gov. Kathy Hochul are backing the same goal of ending the use of fossil fuels like natural gas in new residential and commercial construction.

The competing plans, advancing to the same goal on different timetables and sizes of buildings, are being considered as lawmakers and Hochul negotiate a $227 billion state budget this month.

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Business Council of New York weighs in on a couple of environmental bills

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

With the release of the New York state Senate and Assembly one-house budget resolutions, Capital Tonight spoke with the Business Council of New York State (BCNYS) about the emerging spending plan due April 1, and the organization’s priorities.

Ken Pokalsky, vice president of BCNYS, said Gov. Kathy Hochul’s executive budget is a mixed bag.

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New York Sen. Pete Harckham on pollution cap plan, packaging bills

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

There are several proposals in Gov. Kathy Hochul’s executive budget that could move New York’s 2019 Climate Law from theory into reality, including her “Cap & Invest” plan.

The state’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) mandates that New York get 70% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030.

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Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente resigns from NYPA board in protest of Hochul policies

BY Nick Reisman and Tim Williams New York State

After serving on the board of the New York Power Authority since 2015, Anthony Picente, the Republican Oneida County executive, has resigned, citing disagreements with Gov. Kathy Hochul’s administration. Picente said it is a “matter of good conscience” to resign and cites policies differences on the environment, economy and public safety.

Picente argues that he is in favor of renewable energy but raises concerns about the speed that the policies are being implemented at. In his resignation letter to the governor, Picente writes that these decisions “that will impact people’s lives and livelihoods … need more thought, more discussion and certainly more input from the entire state.”

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New York lawmakers weigh how to make companies pay for climate change

BY Nick Reisman Albany

New York lawmakers are proposing ways of getting companies responsible for pollution and climate change to pay up.

The proposals range from efforts to have oil and gas firms pay the state to offset the cost of climate change to New York. At the same time, lawmakers have proposed making it easier to sue companies deemed responsible for pollution.

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U.K.'s King Charles III asks windfarm deal profits be directed to public

BY Spectrum News Staff and Associated Press London

King Charles III has asked that annual profits from a $1.2 billion Crown Estate windfarm deal be used for the public good rather than the royal family.

The Crown Estate confirmed Thursday that it had signed lease agreements for six offshore wind projects. Such a windfall would normally lead to a jump in funding for the royals under complex arrangements that support the activities of the monarchy in the U.K.

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New York’s business community weighs in on climate plan

BY Nick Reisman and Tim Williams New York State

On Monday, the state’s Climate Action Council approved a scoping plan that will serve as a blueprint for the Empire State to reach its ambitious climate goals.

Ken Pokalsky, vice president at The Business Council of New York State, told Capital Tonight that there are a lot of unknowns when its comes to the cost for businesses and as more businesses learn about the changes needed, there will be some “shock and alarm.”

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New York advocates push 'All-Electric Building Act' as a response to the high costs of heating oil

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

During a media briefing on Monday, the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) stated that it expects wholesale electricity prices to sharply rise this winter, which is in line with estimates from National Grid and other utilities.

Upstate New Yorkers can expect heating bills to rise 30% or more over the next few months. Heating costs are especially volatile this year due to disruptions in the supply of oil and gas from Eastern Europe.

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Hochul signs 2-year partial moratorium on cryptomining in New York

BY Luke Parsnow and Capital Tonight Staff New York State

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul has signed into law a two-year moratorium on issuing or renewing air permits for one narrow form of cryptocurrency mining that the state Legislature passed earlier this year.

The new law only applies to what's called behind-the-meter mining that uses carbon-based fuel and proof-of-work validation methods.

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New York moves to shore up energy infrastructure

BY Nick Reisman Albany

Two separate infrastructure announcements in vastly different regions of the state on Thursday are meant to help New York make its broader transition to more renewable and cleaner forms of energy in the coming years.

Gov. Kathy Hochul in Suffolk County on Long Island announced the state had sealed a land transfer with the county to bring the National Offshore Wind Training Center to New York. At the same time, Hochul announced a $9 million competitive program through the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority to expand jobs in the sector.

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Gillibrand touts aid for expanding electric bus fleet

BY Nick Reisman Albany

The main transit agency that serves New York's Capital Region will receive more than $25 million in federal aid to expand its fleet of electric buses as the state seeks to transition to more renewable and cleaner forms of energy.

The money was announced on Monday at the main garage of the Capital District Transportation Authority, touted by U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and President Joe Biden's main infrastructure advisor, former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu.

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Infrastructure eyed in New York's electric vehicle push

BY Nick Reisman Albany

This week, Gov. Kathy Hochul moved to enact a law meant to phase out gas-powered vehicle sales by 2035. Supporters hope the regulations announced by the governor will hasten the transition as New York seeks to curtail the effects of climate change and greenhouse gas emissions.

"Getting it done before the end of the year means we can hit the ground running for the first model year, which is 2026," said Conor Bambrick, the director of climate policy at Environmental Advocates NY.

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New York advances plan to end gas vehicle sales by 2035

BY Nick Reisman and Zack Fink Albany

Regulations are being advanced that will end the sale of gas-powered vehicles in New York by 2035, Gov. Kathy Hochul on Thursday announced.

If given final approval, New York would join California in the effort to transition to electric vehicles by the middle of the next decade.

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New law will study urban heat islands in New York

BY Nick Reisman Albany

Urban areas that face disproportionate heat conditions will be studied by state environmental officials under a measure signed Friday by Gov. Kathy Hochul.

The new law will assess the effects of so-called urban heat islands in low-income and disadvantaged neighborhoods of New York state.

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Proposed New York environmental bond act gets boost ahead of vote

BY Nick Reisman Albany

Environmental organizations, labor groups and Gov. Kathy Hochul are making a concerted push in recent days for the approval of a $4.2 billion bond plan to shore up the state's infrastructure against extreme weather events in the coming years.

Hochul on Wednesday in New York City at a joint event with New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy urged voters to back the bond act in a coming referendum this November.

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New York now has 100 'climate smart' communities

BY Nick Reisman Albany

There are now more than 100 communities in the state that have received the "Climate Smart" designation as the state takes broader steps toward mitigating the effects of climate change, Gov. Kathy Hochul's office on Monday announced.

The communities have all moved in various ways to meet the social, financial and environmental challenges of climate change by pledging to reduce emissions. The designation has been in place for communities since 2014.

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Study: Antarctica's ‘doomsday glacier’ at risk of rapid retreat

BY Rachel Tillman International

The world’s widest glacier is at risk of rapidly retreating in the “near future,” a process that could raise global sea levels to concerning heights, according to a study published in the journal Nature Geoscience on Monday.

The massive but melting Thwaites glacier rests on Antarctica’s western half, east of the jutting Antarctic Peninsula. The Florida-sized glacier has gotten the nickname the “doomsday glacier” because of how much ice it has and how much seas could rise if it all melts.

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Where New York business, labor groups agree on climate change needs

BY Nick Reisman Albany

Four influential business and labor organizations on Monday in a joint statement signaled where they agree on the direction the state's climate change policies should take as officials develop a plan for transitioning New York's energy to more renewable and cleaner forms of fuel in the coming decades.

The groups — The Independent Power Producers of New York, The Business of New York State, the New York State AFL-CIO, and the New York State Building & Construction Trades Council — in a rare joint statement called for seven principles to guide the prcoess and address "shortcomings" in the current version of a draft plan under consideration by the State's Climate Action Council.

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Study: 1 in 6 U.S. native tree species could face extinction

BY Ryan Chatelain Nationwide

As many as one in six tree species native to the contiguous 48 states is threatened with extinction, according to a first-of-its-kind assessment.

The most common threats to native U.S. trees are invasive insects and diseases, climate change and extreme weather, changes to habitats, and biological resource uses such as logging, the analysis said.

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Study: Nearly 90% of marine species at risk of extinction by year 2100 with continued emission levels

BY Rachel Tillman International

A new study is highlighting the dire risk facing a majority of marine wildlife should global greenhouse gas emissions continue at current levels.

The study, published Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change, evaluated the risk for nearly 25,000 marine species and their surrounding ecosystem and the potential impact of greenhouse gas emissions. Researchers created a checklist – which they deemed the Climate Risk Index for Biodiversity – to assess which species might be most impacted by warming waters through a variety of factors.

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Federal study: New climate law to slice carbon pollution 40%

BY Associated Press Nationwide

Clean energy incentives in the new spending package signed this week by President Joe Biden will trim America’s emissions of heat-trapping gases by about 1.1 billion tons by 2030, a new Department of Energy analysis shows.

The first official federal calculations, shared with The Associated Press before its release Thursday, say that between the bill just signed and last year’s infrastructure spending law, the U.S. by the end of the decade will be producing about 1.26 billion tons (1.15 billion metric tons) less carbon pollution than it would have without the laws. That saving is equivalent to about the annual greenhouse gas emissions of every home in the United States.

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FEMA declares new strategy to engage Native American tribes

BY Associated Press Nationwide

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has developed a new strategy to better engage with hundreds of Native American tribes as they face climate change-related disasters, the agency announced Thursday.

FEMA will include the 574 federally recognized tribal nations in discussions about possible future dangers from climate change, and has earmarked $50 million in grants for tribes pursuing ways to ease burdens related to extreme weather. Tribal governments will be offered more training on how to navigate applying for FEMA funds. The new plan calls for tribal liaisons to give a yearly report to FEMA leaders on how prepared tribes are.

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New York AFL-CIO endorses $4.2B environmental bond act

BY Nick Reisman Albany

A plan to borrow $4.2 billion to help gird New York's waterways and other infrastructure against the worsening effects of climate change has picked up more support from labor.

The New York State AFL-CIO this weekk officially endorsed the bond act, being put to voters this November.

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Thousands of low, no-emission buses to roll out across the country

BY Rachel Tillman Nationwide

Cities, states and tribes across the country will soon have cleaner fleets of buses thanks to a series of grants funded through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

The Department of Transportation on Tuesday announced the recipients of $1.66 billion that can be used for new low-emission and no-emission bus fleets, as well as to train transit workers on maintaining and operating the coming technology.

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Despite dire warnings, climate change getting few mentions in midterm campaign ads

BY Ryan Chatelain Nationwide
UPDATED 8:50 AM ET Aug. 11, 2022

In a recent campaign ad, Morgan McGarvey, Kentucky’s Senate minority leader who is running for a U.S. House seat, vows to “take real action on climate change” if elected.

But despite constant reminders about the worsening impacts of climate change, the Kentucky Democrat appears to be a rarity in this year’s congressional midterm elections.

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Sprite to retire iconic green bottle in favor of ‘greener’ option

BY Rachel Tillman Nationwide

Coca-Cola is changing how it packages some of its popular beverages in order to better “support a circular economy for plastic packaging,” the company wrote in a statement on Wednesday.

One of those changes will impact Sprite's iconic green bottle, which will be discontinued after nearly six decades on the market. Starting August 1, the bubbly beverage will be served in clear plastic bottles to boost its chances of being recycled into other containers after their initial use.

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Hochul signs 3 bills to bolster state's clean energy sector

BY Spectrum News Staff New York State

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul on Tuesday signed into law three bills aimed to advance the state's clean energy industry.

The Advanced Building Codes, Appliance and Equipment Efficiency Standards Act of 2022 will amend the state's regulatory and policy environment to support energy efficiency and greenhouse gas reduction strategies in buildings.

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Upstate Democratic leaders urge Hochul to pause cryptomining

BY Nick Reisman Albany

Eight top officials of Democratic county committees from the Finger Lakes and Southern Tier regions of upstate New York on Tuesday urged Gov. Kathy Hochul to put a pause on proof-of-work cryptomining in the state.

The county chairs, in a letter to Hochul, called on the governor to sign a bill that would lead to a two-year moratorium for the process, which has come under crticisim from environmental organizations in New York.

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New York Build Public Renewables bill is part of 'all-of-the-above approach' on climate

BY Tim Williams New York State

Despite passing in the New York state Senate, the clock ran out before the state Assembly could move the Build Public Renewables Act through the chamber.

State Sen. Kevin Parker, a Democrat from Brooklyn and chair of the Senate Energy and Telecommunications Committee, told Capital Tonight that the legislation is part of an “all-of-the-above approach” and added “we need to have the market, but we also need to allow utilities and the New York Power Authority involved in this idea of creating sustainable generation for our state.”

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New York’s climate goals will change how you get around

BY Tim Williams New York State

The Climate Action Council, which is tasked with laying the framework for the state to meet its climate goals established in 2019’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, has extended the public comment period for its draft scoping plan until July 1. With 27% of the state’s total emissions coming from transportation sources, the way you get around the Empire State will be changing.

Roger Caiazza, of the Pragmatic Environmentalist of New York blog, told Capital Tonight that due to state law, by 2035, all new cars sold in the state will need to be zero emission vehicles. The Climate Action Council’s draft scoping plan forecasts the price of zero emission vehicles to fall by 2028. Caiazza argues that a demand for rare earth minerals which are needed to create batteries for cars will keep the price of these cars higher than the draft scoping plan’s estimates and despite tax rebates, the cost could still be prohibitive for some New Yorkers.

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New York legislative session wins, losses for the environment

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

The New York legislative session was a mixed bag for the environmental community.

While nothing was resolved regarding how the state will pay for its transition to clean energy, there was movement to protect the environment from behind-the-meter proof-of-work cryptocurrency mining.

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Biden invokes Defense Production Act to boost clean energy manufacturing

BY Justin Tasolides Nationwide

President Joe Biden on Monday announced a number of executive actions aimed at boosting domestic manufacturing of clean energy technology, including invoking the Defense Production Act to accelerate production of solar panels in the United States.

The president also issued a two-year exemption on tariffs on solar panel imports made in Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam, which White House officials called a bridge measure amid the push for increased domestic production.

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The pros and cons of — and some cost estimates for — heat pumps

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

The Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) requires New York state to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85% by 2050. In order to do that, New Yorkers are going to have to make some changes. Those changes are currently being hammered out in the draft scoping plan issued by the Climate Action Council.

Buildings are the largest greenhouse gas emitters in the state; the draft plan is optimistic that decarbonizing the state’s building stock will deliver both job growth and economic opportunity.

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Top labor leader selected for New York climate council

BY Nick Reisman Albany

A top labor organization leader in New York on Tuesday was selected by Gov. Kathy Hochul to serve on the state's panel addressing climate change issues.

Longtime New York AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento was appointed to the Climate Action Council, which is in charge of developing policies and recommendations for the overall effort of transitioning the state to cleaner and more renewable forms of fuel and energy.

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The City: Push to clean up air around ‘last-mile’ warehouses gets in gear

BY Samantha Maldonado Brooklyn

As online shopping has grown, so have the so-called last-mile warehouses that store the products consumers need so quickly — and the trucks and vans necessary for those deliveries.

All of the exhaust belched out by these facilities is a threat to public health that disproportionately impacts low-income communities of color, say environmental and health advocates. New legislation in Albany may offer a breath of relief.

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How National Grid plans to transition to renewable fuels

BY Nick Reisman Albany

The predominant utility provider in upstate New York in the coming decades is planning a transition that will entirely eliminate its use of fossil fuels from its energy production by 2050.

The move by National Grid will be a challenge to enact, but also coincides with the broader effort under New York state law to phase out the use of carbon-based fossil fuels and switch to renewable energy in the coming decade.

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How New York's Capitol could soon go all-electric

BY Nick Reisman Albany

For more than a century, the hulking state Capitol building in Albany has hosted the seat of government in New York.

And on Monday, state lawmakers proposed legislation that is meant to modernize the Capitol as well as the adjacent state office complex by requiring it to one day be run on renewable energies.

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Can using nuclear power help New York achieve its climate goals?

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

New York’s ambitious carbon reduction law, the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, also known as the CLCPA, doesn’t say much about nuclear power. But it does require New York to reduce economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions 40% by 2030, and no less than 85% by 2050, from 1990 levels.

The question one climate scientist is asking is this: “Why not employ nuclear power” to help meet those goals?

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New York voters will consider larger bond act for environment

BY Nick Reisman Albany

Voters in New York are set to consider a larger bond act to shore up water and sewer systems in order to harden them against increasingly extreme weather events.

The proposed Environmental Bond Act, which had the initial price tag of $3 billion when proposed by then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo, has now increased to a $4.2 billion proposal.

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