Community Groups and Local Leaders Call on Mayor de Blasio to Power NYC with Offshore Wind

For Immediate Release

Contact: 
Emily Pomilio, Sierra Club, (480) 286-0401, Emily.pomilio@sierraclub.org
Dan Sherrell, Sierra Club, (732) 589-2412, dan.sherrell@sierraclub.org
Catherine Bowes, National Wildlife Federation, (802) 552-4311, bowes@nwf.org

Community Groups and Local Leaders Call on Mayor de Blasio to Power NYC with Offshore Wind

Press Conference and Rally at City Hall on February 18

NEW YORK CITY, NY - Today, more than 100 New Yorkers joined community groups, environmental justice leaders, national environmental organizations, and local officials on the steps of City Hall to thank Mayor Bill de Blasio for his commitment to power 100 percent of City operations with renewable energy and urge him to ensure that offshore wind power plays a major role in achieving that goal.

At the rally, a letter signed by over 50 diverse organizations calling for offshore wind power was delivered to the Mayor. The letter highlights the massive potential of offshore wind power to reduce pollution and spark transformative job creation in New York City and across the state. Prioritizing offshore wind power for NYC is also crucial for meeting Mayor de Blasio’s broader goal of cutting climate pollution in New York City 80 percent by 2050 and 35 percent within government operations by 2025. The letter also calls on New York State and the Federal Government to take the actions necessary to launch offshore wind power for New York. 

With the Supreme Court issuing a temporary stay to President Obama’s federal Clean Power Plan just last week, moving forward to develop clean energy—and especially offshore wind—has never been more important.

In addition to the Mayor’s goals to drastically cut carbon emissions 80 percent by 2030, New York City is the largest city in the world to set a 100 percent renewable energy generation goal for city operations.

There's something in the air...

Event partners offered the following quotes detailing their support for offshore wind power:

“The construction and utilization of offshore wind power has the potential to transform New York’s economy and environment, replacing dirty coal with a clean and abundant form of energy. As New York strives to meet the goal of 50 percent generation of electricity from carbon-free renewable by 2030 outlined in Governor Cuomo’s ambitious Reforming the Energy Vision initiative, wind power will play an increasingly essential role. Achievement of these long-term goals, however, will require a long-term commitment from our state. Working with stakeholders like the Sierra Club and my colleagues in the legislature I look forward to implementing a progressive plan for wind power production that invests in New York’s future while respecting the interests of local communities and wildlife habitats.”

-- State Senator Brad Hoylman, Ranking Member of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee

"Thanks to Mayor de Blasio, New York City is leading by example by pledging to make the switch to renewable energy. Investing in offshore wind power will help us make that transition while creating jobs for New Yorkers and reducing local air pollution. I look forward to working with the administration, the Sierra Club, NYPIRG, and the Center for Working Families to make ensure we make smart choices as we move away from fossil fuels."

-- New York City Councilman Ben Kallos

"We applaud Mayor de Blasio for making New York City a leader on equitable climate action. Now the state and federal government can take the next step with a commitment to build a thriving offshore wind industry which would mean tens of thousands of good jobs in New York City and communities upstate alike." 

-- Bill Lipton, Director, New York Working Families

"With his bold commitment to power city operations with 100 percent renewable energy, Mayor de Blasio is continuing to set a high bar for climate leadership, and we're calling on him to make offshore wind a significant part of reaching that 100 percent goal. Not only is offshore wind power poised to make a serious dent in our climate pollution, but a significant commitment to developing offshore wind promises improved urban air quality, long-term job creation across a wide variety of sectors, lower, more predictable energy costs, and the opportunity to invest our energy dollars locally."

-- Lisa Dix, Sierra Club, Senior Representative of the New York Beyond Coal campaign

“New York City can no longer afford to ignore the golden opportunity of offshore wind power. We need Mayor de Blasio, Governor Cuomo, and the federal government to take swift action to launch offshore wind power for New York at the scale necessary to spark massive job creation, reduce local air pollution, and protect wildlife and communities from the dangers of climate change.”

-- Catherine Bowes, Senior Manager, National Wildlife Federation

“As an organization that formed in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, we deeply understand what is at stake if we, as a city, state, nation and world do not get serious about transitioning to renewable energy now. We are excited at the great potential for local jobs and sustainable energy that offshore wind would bring to NYC. We call on Mayor DeBlasio to stand with those communities most impacted by climate disaster and support offshore wind development. We can lead the way to a healthy, safe and just future. We can be the example that coastal cities across the nation look to. The future is looking bright...and windy!”

-- Kalin Callaghan, Rockaway Wildfire

"New York City is now positioned as a national climate leader with goals for New York City to cut emissions by 80 percent, divest from coal, expand green buildings, double solar power, and power 100 percent of city operations with renewable energy. One of the key next steps is for the state and federal government to open the door for offshore wind development. Building a thriving offshore wind industry will create thousands or tens of thousands of good jobs, slow climate change, and help prevent future storms like Hurricanes Sandy and Irene. The U.S. Energy Department has estimated that it would create nearly 40,000 jobs and 100 businesses around New York are ready to start building components for turbines."

 -- Stephan Edel, Policy Director, Center for Working Families.

"Offshore wind energy has the power to transform our city. This technology could create good local jobs, make us more resilient in the face of climate change, and hasten our transition away from the dirty fuels of the past. The sooner Mayor de Blasio commits to offshore wind, the sooner we can make that transformation a reality, and lead New York State into the renewable economy."

-- Patrick Robbins, Co-Director, Sane Energy Project

"Offshore wind is a proven technology worldwide that needs to grow in New York. The offshore wind industry stands ready to help New York City meet its clean energy goals."

-- Anne Reynolds, Executive Director, Alliance for Clean Energy New York

"NYPIRG applauds Mayor de Blasio’s leadership in committing to power its buildings through 100 percent renewable energy by 2030—an ambitious and doable goal.  But the Mayor must take tangible steps to make the promise come to life. New York City can be a global leader in renewable energy by committing to offshore wind now."

-- Brennan Ortiz, NYPIRG member and Hunter College student. 

“New York State banned hydraulic fracturing of dirty natural gas, stopped the creation of the Port Ambrose LNG port, and defeated the coal industry. It is now time to devote resources to building the renewable energy infrastructure, which depends on massive offshore wind, to propel us to meeting our reduced greenhouse gas emissions goals. Let's Win Wind now and provide clean air and green jobs to thousands of New Yorkers as we protect our state from the pending devastation of climate chaos.

-- Marilyn Vasta, 350NYC

“Scaling up offshore wind power around New York City can play a key role in delivering on the mayor’s bold commitment to power the city’s governmental buildings and operations with 100% renewable energy,” “Not only will boosting local offshore wind power help fight climate change, reduce harmful air pollution and protect public health, but it will create good clean energy jobs right here in the city. We look forward to working with the city to get homegrown New York offshore wind power off the ground.”

-- Kit Kennedy, Energy & Transportation Program Director, NRDC

“Offshore wind can help power New York with abundant pollution-free energy. We look forward to working with city and state leaders to make New York City a leader in the transition to 100 percent renewable energy.”  

-- Heather Leibowitz, Director of Environment New York

“Staving off the worst impacts of our changing climate means we must transition from an electricity grid reliant on fossil fuels to systems powered by clean resources such as solar and wind. New York City has an opportunity, with its commitment to 100 percent renewable energy, to offer cities around the world a roadmap to a clean energy future. One of the keys to maintaining reliability and affordability will be a diverse and consistent clean energy supply. Offshore wind has proven it is up to the challenge and should be an integral component to the City’s plan.”

-  Conor Bambrick, Air and Energy director, Environmental Advocates of New York

"Offshore wind is potentially the best option for delivering large scale renewable electricity generation to New York City and Long Island. Offshore wind power will not only reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fossil fuel use for New York City, it will also generate jobs and stimulate local economy. With climate change and sea level rising, time is of the essence. New York City needs to begin developing offshore wind power now." 

-- Ling Tsou, Co-Founder, United for Action

"The Bronx, much of which is an environmental justice community, much of which suffers from environmental racism, much of which is an environmental sacrifice zone, demands a rapid shift to a just, 100 percent renewable energy economy and massive investments in energy efficiency and retrofitting. Bronx Climate Justice North stands with the rising tide of people all over New York City urging Mayor de Blasio to make offshore wind a significant component of a democratic energy future for all New Yorkers."

-- Jennifer Scarlott, Bronx Climate Justice North

“As a community-based peace and justice group with hundreds of members throughout Brooklyn, Brooklyn For Peace sees the issue of renewable energy as central to a long-term strategy for achieving peace for ourselves as well as for future generations. Development of renewable energy sources such as offshore wind will give our nation the possibility of energy independence and remove one of the major sources of conflict leading to war. We urge Mayor de Blasio to lead the way!”

-- Charlotte Phillips, M.D, Chairperson, Brooklyn For Peace

“There is no way for the US to avoid catastrophic climate change without a massive offshore wind effort. We look forward to the leadership of Mayor de Blasio to jumpstart offshore wind by having our city make a long term commitment to purchase electricity from wind."

-- Mark Dunlea, Green Education and Legal Fund

“Unlike offshore drilling, offshore wind provides power directly to coastal communities where we need energy the most, without the risk of oil spills or carbon pollution, while protecting our precious ocean ecosystems and marine-life.”

-- Claire Douglass, Climate & Energy Team Campaign Director, Oceana

“NYC is in the position to be a leader on climate change, but in order to reach the 100 percent renewable goal, we need to begin investing in offshore wind now. We have the potential to generate 5,000 to 8,000 MW of wind power off the coast of Long Island alone, but we need a firm commitment from our elected leaders to ensure offshore wind projects move forward.”

-- Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director, Citizen’s Campaign for the Environment

Moving to clean energy, like the abundant wind power off our coasts, can help us tackle rampant racial and economic inequality. The federal Clean Power Plan, combined with  ambitious state and local initiatives to move forward with renewable energy offers states a chance to expand economic opportunities, especially for communities of color and low-income communities.

-- Edgar Gomez, organizer with Community Voices Heard, an affiliate of National People's Action. 

On Friday February 19, Sane Energy Project will be hosting a forum entitled “Offshore Wind for NYC From 4 Perspectives” at Saint Peter’s Lutheran Church, 619 Lexington Avenue at 54th Street, New York, NY. For more details, call (917) 364 7461.

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The Sierra Club is the oldest and largest grassroots environmental organization in the United States. It was founded on May 28, 1892 in San Francisco, California by the well-known conservationist and preservationist John Muir, who became its first president. The Sierra Club has hundreds of thousands of members in chapters located throughout the US, and is affiliated with Sierra Club Canada.

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