DEC, DOT & NYSERDA to engage stakeholders on strategies to green state's transportation sector; sessions support state's goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Department of Transportation, and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority announced listening sessions in locations across the state to help advance a cleaner, safer, and more reliable low-carbon transportation future.
In his 2018 State of the State address, Gov. Andrew Cuomo directed DEC, DOT and NYSERDA to advance the state's transportation future by sponsoring a series of discussions with key stakeholders to promote a public conversation around low-carbon transportation policy development.
The clean transportation listening sessions are designed to engage stakeholders with diverse interests and concerns in discussion of the economic and social considerations for deploying clean transportation options, opportunities to enhance environmental and public health benefits through a modernized transportation system, how innovative, low-carbon transportation can enhance quality of life and boost economic competitiveness, and what policies and programs may help advance a clean transportation future.
DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said, "With Gov. Cuomo's leadership, New York is leading the way in the fight to reduce climate-altering emissions, including our bold commitment to electric vehicles. In addition to our full commitment to fight the extremely irresponsible rollbacks proposed by the federal government, we are working with other states and key stakeholders to maintain our stringent emission standards - ensuring we continue to protect the health of New Yorkers while attracting the clean energy jobs of tomorrow. Emissions from cars and trucks are the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in New York - more than one third of the state's total. This policy discussion is crucial to maintaining momentum toward the governor's ambitious goal of reducing greenhouse gases 40 percent by 2030."
In his State of the State address, Cuomo also directed New York agencies to collaborate with other states participating in the regional transportation and climate initiative to evaluate potential regional approaches to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector. In support of that effort, the TCI states have held four stakeholder meetings this year, including sessions attended by approximately 300 stakeholders in Albany and New York City. The stakeholder meetings are intended to complement that effort.
DOT Acting Commissioner Paul A. Karas said, "Gov. Cuomo is again taking the lead when the federal government fails to protect its citizens. The state Department of Transportation is pleased to be part of this effort, joining with other agencies and stakeholders to identify transportation enhancements that will facilitate economic growth and improve air quality for decades to come."
NYSERDA President and CEO Alicia Barton said, "Gov. Cuomo has made reducing harmful emissions from the transportation sector a priority as part of his nation-leading clean energy agenda, and the time for these listening sessions could not be more crucial given the proposed federal rollback on fuel efficiency standards. We have seen in New York an increasing number of consumers choosing cleaner transportation alternatives as part of the state's comprehensive approach to tackling climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. We look forward to working with interested stakeholders who have a commitment like we do to building a cleaner transportation infrastructure that will help preserve our environment for decades to come."
Clean transportation listening sessions are scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 16, from 9 a.m. to noon or 1-4 p.m. in the Erie Community College North Campus cafeteria, 6205 Main St., Williamsville.
The listening sessions build on the state's comprehensive, multi-agency clean transportation efforts to make EVs more affordable and accessible, and helps accelerate Cuomo's Reforming the Energy Vision
strategy to lead the fight against climate change and grow New York's economy by building a cleaner, more resilient and affordable energy system.
Cuomo recently announced a new, $250 million electric vehicle expansion initiative, EVolve NY, with the New York Power Authority. In addition to state funding, the program will also seek to create private sector partnerships through 2025 to aggressively accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles throughout New York. This commitment helps accelerate the governor's Charge NY 2.0 program to launch 10,000 EV charging stations by 2021.
In March 2017, Cuomo launched the state's "Drive Clean" rebate
program. Administered by NYSERDA, the program provides residents with a rebate of up to $2,000 for the purchase or lease of a new plug-in hybrid or battery electric car from participating new car dealers. More than 6,600 New Yorkers have received rebates in the past year for 35 different types of cars. Overall, most consumers received rebates of at least $1,100 for their new electric cars. This initiative played a central role in incentivizing the purchase of more than 10,000 electric cars in 2017, a 67 percent increase over 2016.
Since Charge NY was launched in 2013, the number of public charging stations has grown to more than 2,000 statewide. This new expansion plan puts New York within reach of the governor's 2018 goal of 3,000 charging stations across the state. These infrastructure enhancements also support New York's role in the multi-state, zero-emission vehicle plan that calls for electric vehicle sales to reach approximately 800,000 by 2025 in New York.