Business, Labor, Environmental Groups Unite to Support New York Offshore Wind Energy

Clean, emission-free technology could power more than 1.25 million homes and create thousands of jobs

07-10-2017 // Catherine Bowes
Long Island Association offshore windMelville, NY – Leaders from Long Island’s business, organized labor and environmental communities joined with elected officials today to support New York State’s efforts to make offshore wind a key component of Governor Cuomo’s strategy to increase renewable energy, reduce reliance on fossil fuels, and spur economic development for New Yorkers.

The broad, diverse coalition came together at a news conference at the Long Island Association offices in Melville in advance of a public meeting hosted by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).

NYSERDA’s public meetings are part of its process to create an Offshore Wind Master Plan to advance projects that could power more than 1.25 million homes on Long Island and New York City. NYSERDA's Offshore Wind Master Plan is part of Governor Cuomo’s goal to have 50% of New York’s power generated by renewable energy sources by 2030. Offshore wind power can help meet that goal with clean, local, emission-free and cost-effective energy.

NYSERDA’s Offshore Wind Master Plan should create a roadmap for how our state can take advantage of the strong winds far off the coast of Long Island and at the same time protect our coastal and marine wildlife and preserve existing offshore industries and activities.

Senator Phil Boyle (R-Suffolk) said: “I applaud NYSERDA for holding public information meetings to develop a dynamic Offshore Wind Master Plan. One of the areas of renewable energy that we, as Long Islanders, can rally behind is Offshore Wind. We have to play to our strength here on Long Island and promote this clean, reliable energy source while protecting New York’s coastline and creating jobs.”

State Senator Todd Kaminsky (D-Nassau) said: “Having a green, clean energy source constructed right off Long Beach's shore is exciting. It is important that the community be involved in each step of the process, so having a forum like this one is welcome.”

Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr. (D-Suffolk) said: “Climate change is real. Our environmental and economic future depend on the sensible development of renewable energy. On Long Island, one of the most readily available renewable sources is offshore wind power. I support the State's efforts to make offshore wind a key component of New York's long term energy plan. After decades of flawed energy initiatives that have dearly cost Long Islanders, we are now in a position to be a national leader in wind power.”

Assemblywoman Christine Pellegrino (D-Babylon, Oyster Bay, West Islip) said: "I am here today to stand for the clean energy economy and the 21st century jobs Long Island needs. Now more than ever we must do more to protect our environment, at all levels, but especially at the state and local level.  Renewable energy projects, such as Offshore Wind, will do exactly that, make us less dependent on fossil fuels and build the green energy economy.  We need to make sure that the jobs we create, both construction jobs and permanent jobs, are union jobs that provide good wages and benefits to the hardworking men and women of Long Island. I am proud to stand here today alongside my brothers and sisters from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. Thank you."

Town of Southampton Supervisor Jay Schneiderman said: “By harvesting offshore wind power we can meet a significant portion of Southampton’s energy needs with a renewable energy source. We commend Governor Cuomo and NYSERDA for setting bold goals for offshore wind energy and for compiling a master plan to ensure that this abundant energy resource is developed with broad stakeholder input and in an environmentally responsible manner.”

Town of East Hampton Supervisor Larry Cantwell said: “Offshore wind power will play a critical role on meeting our Town’s community-wide 100 percent clean energy goals. We appreciate NYSERDA’s efforts to involve the public in the Offshore Wind Master Plan with a goal of siting offshore wind turbines in a way that is compatible with other uses such as commercial and recreational fishing.”

National Wildlife Federation Senior Manager for Climate and Energy Catherine Bowes said: “Offshore wind power is New York’s golden opportunity to produce pollution-free electricity right where we need it, create thousands of well-paying local jobs, and protect our wildlife and communities from climate change. We applaud the Cuomo Administration for engaging New Yorkers in the development of the state’s Offshore Wind Master Plan and look forward to working with NYSERDA to ensure our coastal and marine wildlife are protected as we pursue this critically needed new clean energy source.

NYS Building & Construction Trades Council President Jim Cahill said:“Offshore wind development will bring numerous benefits to Long Island and the rest of the State. It will create good jobs and create a new renewable energy economy that will benefit everyone. Our members have the experience, training, and expertise necessary to complete large, complex projects like this on time and on budget. The New York State Building & Construction Trades Council commends Governor Cuomo’s pro-growth agenda overall and in particular his commitment to offshore wind and renewable energy.”

Long Island Association President and CEO Kevin S. Law said: “Long Island has been at the forefront of developing a clean energy economy that can serve as a model to the nation and with our region having the best potential for offshore wind development, we support moving forward with an Offshore Wind Master Plan that will help advance Governor Cuomo’s 50 x 30 initiative.”

Long Island Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO President John R. Durso said: “The Long Island Federation of Labor applauds the efforts of Governor Cuomo and NYSERDA to develop an offshore wind Master Plan. The Master Plan should set forth the strategies for creating local jobs utilizing our skilled construction trades. It should study investment in port facilities on Long Island with the capacity for assembling project components; and it should bring New York based manufacturing to the forefront of the supply chain in this growing industry.”

New York Offshore Wind Alliance Director Liz Gordon said:“If New York gets this right, it will be the envy of the nation when it comes to the new renewable energy economy. NYSERDA’s Offshore Wind Master Plan will be a comprehensive roadmap for the development of clean, reliable, local and cost-effective offshore wind power for New York and the jobs, investments and infrastructure that will launch this new industry. Governor Cuomo’s leadership has inspired a diverse coalition that includes business, labor, environmentalists and community leaders, to come together in support of offshore wind power and participate in this inclusive master planning process that will guide its responsible development.”

Building Trades Council of Nassau and Suffolk Counties President Richard O’Kane said: “The local workforce in the construction industry is ideally suited to support a growing offshore wind industry off the Long Island coast. The apprenticeship programs, which the Building Trades unions and their employers have established at no cost to the public, are well equipped to provide the training necessary for the renewable energy industries."

Natural Resources Defense Council Director of Energy & Transportation Kit Kennedy said: “New York’s offshore wind commitment will produce significant environmental, economic and public health benefits. And the NYSERDA Master Plan is critical to reaching the state’s goal in a timely, responsible and inclusive manner. This type of thoughtful and ambitious strategy for offshore wind development is what makes New York a national climate and clean energy leader.”

Citizens Campaign for the Environment Executive Director Adrienne Esposito said: “Long Island needs to be livable and sustainable. A critical component is clean, healthy air. Properly sited offshore wind literally allows us to breathe easier. On Long Island that’s a welcome change.”

International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) International Representative Ellen Redmond said:
“We have an obligation to the workforce which has been the cornerstone of our utilities and energy production in New York. We urge NYSERDA to support the training programs which will support new jobs in the offshore wind industry and retrain valuable workers in existing production facilities whose jobs may be phased out.”

Renewable Energy Long Island Executive Director Gordian Raacke said: “Offshore wind power is an essential part of New York State’s bold climate and energy initiatives which will transform our 20th Century energy system built on dirty and costly fossil fuels to a modern system using clean and price-stable renewable energy. We applaud NYSERDA for its comprehensive planning process to ensure public participation and responsible development.”

United Brotherhood of Carpenters International Representative Robert Laufenberg said: “Offshore wind power provides an enormous job-creating opportunity, and New York must act now to ensure that Governor Cuomo’s goal of 2,400 MW results in a large-scale pipeline of projects that will deliver those well-paying, skilled jobs for the next decade and beyond. NYSERDA’s Offshore Wind Master Plan is an important step forward for this new industry in New York that has the potential to employ thousands of New Yorkers.”

Environmental Advocates of New York Air and Energy Director Conor Bambrick said: “It is important that NYSERDA hear directly from communities that are experiencing the health, safety and economic impacts of our changing climate. The development of offshore wind is a critical component to transitioning New Yorkers off fossil fuels to an economy powered by 100-percent clean, renewable energy.“

New York City District Council of Carpenters Executive Secretary-Treasurer Joseph Geiger said: “The New York City District Council of Carpenters looks forward to bringing offshore energy wind farms to New York State built by skilled union labor. We’re working closely with the Long Island Power Authority and PSE&G to secure a plan that not only brings renewable energy to our area in a big way, but also provides good jobs and wages to hardworking New Yorkers and their families.”

Sierra Club Organizing Representative Shay O’Reilly said: “We're glad NYSERDA is seeking input from local communities to develop their offshore wind master plan. We know that we need to aggressively scale up renewable energy to avoid the worst effects of climate change on our state and planet, and offshore wind has the ability to provide good paying, local jobs to Long Islanders at the same time.”

Environment New York Director Heather Leibowitz said: “We can't count on Washington to tackle climate change or the clean energy transition, so we need states like New York to lead the charge. The Empire State's plan to get 50% of our power from renewable sources by 2030 shows we are committed to doing just that. But, we need offshore wind to achieve our goal. We encourage NYSERDA to make it a key part of the state's plan."

Food & Water Watch Senior Organizer Eric Weltman said: “In the wake of President Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Accords, New York needs strong leadership from Governor Cuomo in preventing climate chaos. Long Island residents know first-hand the devastating impacts of climate change, and offshore wind power is an essential tool for reducing greenhouse gas pollution.”

All Our Energy Director George Povall said:
“As a triumph in the fight against climate change and a bold move to economic and efficient renewables, we applaud the Integrated Resource Plan. Saving billions of dollars in unnecessary fossil fuel plants, and avoiding their pollution is just smart, and LIPA should invest now in even more cost conscious, climate saving off shore wind to make that a reality.”

New York Public Interest Research Group Long Island Project Coordinator Kevin Dugan said: "Bringing offshore wind to Long Island is vital, not only to meet the goals set by the Clean Energy Standard but for the safety of our planet. We applaud NYSERDA for opening the development process of the Offshore Wind Master Plan to Long Islanders who will not only be the consumers of much of the generated electricity, but will see new job opportunities arise from the construction of new offshore wind facilities. NYSERDA must push forward with offshore wind and make New York State an international leader in renewable energy technologies."

United for Action Co-founder Ling Tsou said: “Long Island and the New York City metropolitan area currently get a very small amount of our electricity from renewable sources. The development of offshore wind power located in the Atlantic Ocean near New York City has great potential of providing us with clean electricity which will help reduce greenhouse gas emission as well as creating investment in a green and sustainable energy economy with well-paying jobs. We look forward to learning more about and appreciate having the opportunity to provide public input into NYSERDA’s New York State Offshore Wind Master Plan.”

Mothers Out Front Town of Huntington Community Team said: “We know we have to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and these hearings offer us the chance to be heard. We support solar and offshore wind. We need clean air to breathe and clean electricity to maintain our quality of life. This clean electricity will also power our electric cars and the renewable heating in our homes. New York Offshore Wind Power—with no ‘power supply costs’—will allow us to lead the way, rather than follow and miss a grand opportunity to enjoy the benefits now and to build an industry to share with the rest of the country. As a result, future generations can live secure, sustainable lives, and enjoy a stronger economy.”

Green Education and Legal Fund Chair Mark Dunlea said: “Studies show that for New York to get to 100% clean, renewable energy, we need to get 40% of our power from offshore wind. Fortunately, the area off of Long Island is a wind gold mine. We need the State to ensure timely and robust commitments to purchase off shore wind so we can attract the infrastructure investments need to provide an economic stimulus for local businesses and to create living wage jobs.”


About the New York Offshore Wind Alliance
The New York Offshore Wind Alliance (NYOWA) is a diverse coalition of organizations with a shared interest in promoting the responsible development of offshore wind power for New York. A project of the Alliance for Clean Energy New York (ACE NY), NYOWA has a particular focus on Governor Cuomo's goal of creating 2,400 MW of offshore wind power by 2030.

For more information see: https://www.aceny.org/NYOWA
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