The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the federal Environmental Protection Agency overstepped its bounds in trying to push the country toward green energy.
New York officials say, once again, they must now fill the gap.
“It really shines a light on the need for states now to step up, Congress to step up,” said Basil Seggos, commissioner of the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation, on Spectrum News’ “Capital Tonight” Thursday. “This is an all-hands-on-deck, five-alarm fire.”
What You Need To Know
Thursday’s Supreme Court ruling reined in the ability of the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate carbon emissions
City and state officials condemned the ruling and pledged further action to fight climate change
Environmental advocates say Gov. Kathy Hochul should call a special legislative session to take up the Build Public Renewables Act
Activists are also calling on Hochul to sign recently passed legislation imposing a moratorium on certain crypto-mining operations
Mayor Eric Adams said the ruling would leave New Yorkers more vulnerable to severe storms and heat waves, but also touted the city’s leadership.
And Gov. Kathy Hochul said in a statement: “We will strengthen our nation-leading efforts to address the climate crisis, build new clean energy projects across the state, and crack down on pollution harming the health of many New Yorkers. Our work is now more urgent than ever.”
But that rhetoric rang hollow to some.
“Gov. Hochul must step up to the plate to fight climate change,” said Laura Shindell, a New York organizer for the advocacy group Food & Water Watch.
Just as Hochul called a special legislative session this week to take up gun legislation, advocates say she could take immediate action on climate, by taking up the Build Public Renewables Act.
“If we pass Build Public Renewables, it would be the first and biggest step that we could do,” said Brooklyn Assemblyman Robert Carroll, lead sponsor of the bill. “It’s the most important piece of climate legislation in the nation.”
The bill, which passed the state Senate earlier this month but not the Assembly, goes beyond regulating emissions and instead makes the state itself — through the New York Power Authority — a much larger producer and provider of renewable energy.
“It’s all the more reason that she should call for a special legislative session on climate,” Shindell said, “to pass those policies that she’s talking about.”
Activists are also pushing a bill that would make all new buildings fully electric. Most damning, they say, is that Hochul has not committed to signing recently passed legislation imposing a moratorium on certain crypto-mining operations.
“It’s an extremely limited-use case. And Kathy Hochul cannot even commit to signing that,” said Stylianos Karolidis, an organizer with NYC Democratic Socialists of America. “At this point, if she can’t commit to signing that, she is to me a climate arsonist.”