Below are G.E.T.’s top picks from NY-GEO’s weekly “Just-In” Newsletter. Just In! features three fresh news item summaries on the NY-GEO home page every Monday. NY-GEO members get the full newsletter, which includes an advanced look at the website articles, plus event listings and job openings and several bonus article summaries with links, usually on the Saturday before website publication.
NYS Gas Planning White Paper – The staff of the NYS Department of Public Service (DPS) has released a long-awaited white paper, developed primarily in response to alleged gas shortages in the state. NY-GEO released the following statement: “’The Department of Public Service has put forth important conditions that, if followed properly, should make NEW gas installations unaffordable, undesirable and unnecessary,’ said Bill Nowak, Executive Director of the New York Geothermal Energy Organization (NY-GEO). ‘It is good that this document should stop us from actively digging deeper into the climate hole, by signaling the end of gas expansion, which ultimately should signal an end to gas use. However, there is very little in this white paper addressing the need to plan and execute measures that will equitably get us to a 40% reduction in greenhouse gases by 2030. NY-GEO, in conjunction with other key stakeholders, would like to work with the DPS to determine a glide path showing the number of buildings that will need to move off fossil fuels annually to achieve a 40% reduction. Major reductions of fossil gas use are required by New York State’s climate law, so in addition to what’s outlined in this White Paper we need to develop a clearer mapping of those reductions.’”
NY-GEO had provided extensive comments early in this proceeding urging the Commission to require documentation from the utilities on the costs of the 100-Foot Subsidy that provides free pipes and other infrastructure to new gas customers. The white paper did not mention the 100-Foot Subsidy. Clean energy groups had hoped the paper would focus more on the steps necessary to meet New York’s legally mandated greenhouse gas goals and responded in a Renewable Heat Now press release
. A major bright spot in the white paper is a requirement that new gas infrastructure be fully depreciated by 2050, the date by which NY is to have cut GHG emissions by 85% under the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. Shorter depreciation terms make gas infrastructure more expensive and can be seen as signalling the end of widespread fossil gas use. The white paper can be found here
and the DPS press release on the paper here
. A related Moratorium Management Proposal can be found here
Banks in NYS to Get Credits for Funding Climate Solutions – The New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) has issued guidance alerting banking institutions subject to the New York Community Reinvestment Act (the “New York CRA”) that they may receive credit for financing activities that support the climate resiliency of low- and moderate-income (LMI), and underserved communities. “Climate change is happening now and there is no time to waste in addressing its financial risks. At the same time, climate change disproportionately impacts disadvantaged communities, many of whose members are people of color. DFS is issuing today’s guidance to provide examples of climate resilience activities that may qualify for credit under the existing New York CRA,” said Superintendent of Financial Services Linda A. Lacewell. Find the full release here.
Your Chance to Support a Fossil Fuel Sunset – Renewable Heat Now Makes It Easy – “New York is considering whether to set dates for the end of fossil fuels in new construction and eventually the elimination of all fossil fuel appliances in buildings. Make your voice heard. The Energy Efficiency and Housing Advisory Panel to the NY Climate Action Council is developing recommendations right now. Comment today”. Renewable Heat Now has set up a comment form that makes it easy to participate. Comment deadline is Thursday 2/18, and it takes only a few seconds to drop your comment today.