Dozens of groups in a letter to top state elected officials this week urged them to take up a clean fuel standard for the transportation sector. 

The push was initially made at the start of the year. But as the response to the COVID-19 pandemic took center stage this year, advocates are now looking to next year and the coming state budget talks in 2021. 

The effort is meant to tackle carbon emissions in transportation, one of the major sources of greenhouse gas emissions and comes as the state in the coming decades is due to switch over to renewable sources of energy.

The pitch is based in part on not just combatting climate change, but also creating jobs in the growing renewable energy field in the process.

“As we continue to fight the COVID-19 crisis, we cannot forget about the ongoing climate crisis that is devasting communities across the country. In New York, transportation emissions are the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions and asthma inducing pollution. To seriously address this crisis, we need to act now to reduce transportation pollution,” said Julie Tighe, the president of the New York League of Conservation Voters.

A clean fuel standard would accelerate the transition to clean fuel technology, create jobs for New Yorkers, clean our air and improve public health at no cost to the state, and create a new revenue stream for fleet operators to invest in clean vehicles and infrastructure, like EV charging stations.”

Signing on to the effort include a range of organizations that represent agriculture, auto manufacturing, renewable fuel companies, biofuel producers and electric charging companies.