FAHY RELEASES 2022 ENVIRONMENTAL AND CLIMATE ACTION PRIORITIES AHEAD OF LEGISLATIVE SESSION
State Lawmaker Lays Out Plans to Tackle Building and Transportation Electrification, Climate Inaction, Emissions-Reduction, Carbon Removal, Land Conservation & More
ALBANY, N.Y. (Jan. 4) — Today I’m announcing a set of urgent legislative priorities related to climate action and environmental justice as the New York State Legislature prepares to convene for the 2022 session. As a senior member of the Assembly’s Committee on Environmental Conservation, I plan to push a number of bold pieces of legislation aimed at helping New York State reach its ambitious goals laid out in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) and to continue leading the U.S. fight against climate change.
New York State continues to lead the nation with ambitious and forward-thinking climate action. As we look towards needed environmental action this session, these priorities will help to guide not just the Assembly’s Environmental Conservation Committee, and the State Legislature more broadly in both meeting our CLCPA goals and protecting our most disadvantaged frontline communities from the effects of climate change. I look forward to taking concrete action on many of these proposals alongside partners in the legislature, and look forward to building on New York’s record of ambitious and tangible climate action.
Propelling New York State’s ‘Electrification’
Studies estimate that approximately 30% of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) are produced by fuel combustion and heating in residential, industrial, and commercial buildings. Transportation in New York accounts for another 36% of all GHGs. such that together these sectors account for well over half of the State’s GHGs. Additionally, in order to meet New York’s ambitious climate goals, scientists estimate we’ll need to remove billions of tons of emitted carbon from our atmosphere by 2050. To rapidly accelerate New York’s electrification and reduce emitted carbon, Fahy has introduced:
- AXXXX (# forthcoming) Fahy: The Carbon Direct Removal Leadership Act will use state procurement to fund the direct removal of carbon from the atmosphere. This ambitious legislation aims to help reach New York’s CLCPA goals by prioritizing carbon removal over emission offsets, and to jumpstart a nascent global carbon removal industry in New York & more.
- A2412 Fahy: Requires 100% electrification of state vehicle fleets by 2030, phasing out fossil fuel-powered vehicles at the end of their service lives.
- A3179A Fahy: Requires that new construction of or significant rehabilitation projects for commercial and residential building stock include EV-ready and EV-capable parking spaces if such projects have a parking component.
- A4614 Fahy: Removes New York State’s cap on the number of eligible electric vehicle dealer direct sale locations beyond the current five locations, allowing both established and new electric vehicle manufacturers to expand their footprint in New York.
- A4761A Fahy: Provides an exemption for the sale of the first $35,000 of a battery, electric, or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle from state sales and compensating use taxes.
- A6543 Fahy: Requires that applicants for cannabis cultivation licenses provide their expected water and energy use needs as well as setting ambitious energy efficiency standards for the equipment used in cultivation.
- A6754 Fahy: Allows for reimbursement of school districts for the purchase or lease of electric school buses. This legislation revises the requirements for state aid in order to make the purchase of electric school buses and their component infrastructure an eligible reimbursable cost.
- A8143 Fahy: Enacts the “Advanced Building Codes, Appliance and Equipment Efficiency Standards Act of 2021,” which would rewrite the state energy efficiency construction code to align with the goals of CLCPA, and set higher efficiency requirements for certain household appliances.
‘The New Coal’: Reducing Plastics’ Production and Emissions
A new study projects that plastics’ production share of U.S. GHGs will exceed that of coal-fired power plants by 2030. Additionally, global production of plastic water bottles emits over 2.5 million tons of carbon emissions annually, and its share of total global carbon and greenhouse gas emissions is projected to rise from 8% to 17% by 2050. To address this disturbing trend, Fahy sponsors:
- A3193 Fahy: Requires all single-use beverage containers to be made of at least 75% recycled material by 2025.
- A3194 Fahy: Requires all single-use water bottles to be made of 100% recycled content.
- A3310 Fahy: Sets a recycled content requirement for plastic trash bags.
- A6830 Fahy: Establishes a recycling program for containers of adult-use cannabis sold in New York
- A8535 Fahy: Prohibits sale or use of water bottles in New York State parks, historic sites, and recreation areas.
Protecting Biodiversity and Bolstering Climate Resiliency
Disaster-related emergencies in New York are projected to cost the state and federal government an estimated $55 billion by 2029, according to Rebuild By Design, a coalition of New York’s leading infrastructure experts and stakeholders. Additionally, loss of biodiversity and natural climate resiliency means New York will have to bolster protection of its natural environment.
- A5390B Fahy: Sets a ‘30x30’ conservation goal in New York State, to enable permanent state protection from development of at least 30% of land, oceans, and waterways in the State by 2030.
- A7360 Fahy: Allows watershed protection improvement districts to work towards the preservation of development rights; allowing these districts to purchase the development rights of important watersheds in order to preserve them.
- A8542 Fahy: Requires the disclosure of insurance information on permit applications for the construction of pipelines upon any freshwater wetlands. This legislation will better inform communities about potential financial liabilities associated with proposed fossil fuel pipeline projects.
- A.XXXX (# forthcoming): The ‘Dark Skies’ Act would require upward-facing outdoor lighting be extinguished after 11 p.m., motion activated, or covered by an external shield (with certain lights exempt).