Climate Act Guide: What You Can Do

The Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (Climate Act) has been described as the most ambitious and comprehensive climate and clean energy legislation in the country.  However, most New Yorkers are not aware of the law or the implications of the Act on the future of New York.  On December 30, 2021, the Climate Action Council released the Draft Scoping Plan for public comment on December 30, 2021. The public comment period extends through at least the end of April 2022, and will also include a minimum of six public hearings. The Council will consider the feedback received as it continues to discuss and deliberate on the topics in the Draft as it works towards a final Scoping Plan for release by January 1, 2023.

Given the intrusive changes to lifestyles, risks to a reliable electric system, substantial cost increases, serious environmental impacts of the necessary wind, solar and storage technologies, and the lack of any direct global warming benefits, it is appropriate for all New Yorkers to research the effects of the law and comment to the Climate Action Council and your lawmakers.

Get Involved

The New York State Climate Act webpage includes a link to sign up to “be among the first to learn of New York State climate news and developments”.    This puts you on the mailing list to get notices of Climate Act meetings and events.  According to the webpage: “This page will be further updated as more information on the work being done across the state to support our fight on climate as outlined in the Climate Act becomes available. Please be sure to visit often or bookmark this page.”  For the other side of the story please visit and bookmark the Citizens Guide to the Climate Act page and the Pragmatic Environmentalist of New York website.

Commenting

The Scoping Plan draft was released to the public on December 30, 2021.   

The release of the Draft Scoping Plan, available at the New York State Climate Act website, kicks off a  public comment period that has been extended to June 10, 2022. New Yorkers are encouraged to submit comments via the online public comment form, via email at scopingplan@nyserda.ny.gov, and via U.S. mail to Attention: Draft Scoping Plan Comments, NYSERDA, 17 Columbia Circle, Albany, NY 12203-6399. 

The Climate Action Council announced the public hearing schedule on March 15, 2022.  There will be eight in-person public hearings scattered across the state and two virtual hearings.

In the previous incarnation of a New York plan to address climate change (Climate Action Plan) comments submitted were documented and made available to the public.  Given the enormity of the impacts of the Climate Act on New Yorkers I would hope that the same standard of transparency will be continued.  

I encourage all New Yorkers to comment early and often.

Pragmatic Environmentalist of New York Comments

In order to give readers ideas for comments I have listed the comments that I have submitted below:

  • March 18, 2022: Because there are no responsible solar siting requirements for utility-scale projects I requested a moratorium on utility-scale solar development until they are in place
  • March 16, 2022: DEC’s denial of the Astoria Gas Turbine Title V application because it: ”Does not demonstrate compliance with the requirements of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act”  is at odds with need for safe and reliable electric service.  I commented that the Climate Action Council should step in and make sure that agencies are not prematurely enacting policies or making decisions that could be at odds with the Final Scoping Plan.
  • March 11, 2022: This comment explains why an accurate and detailed evaluation of renewable energy resource availability is crucial to determine the generation and energy storage requirements of the future New York electrical system and recommends that such a study be commissioned as soon as possible.
  • February 15, 2022: This comment evaluates home heating electrification costs. I found that a primary driver of the total cost will be the cost to upgrade the building shell and explained that I did not think that Draft Plan provided enough documentation to reproduce their cost estimates and check the assumptions used.
  • February 5, 2022: At the time of this comment there was nothing available to describe how the evaluation of the Draft Plan would proceed. Subsequently some answers were provided but the point that the comment process has to confront technical issues related to reliability, affordability and the Scoping Plan benefits still has not been resolved satisfactorily.
  • February 1, 2022: This comment argued that the Draft Scoping Plan Social Cost of Carbon Benefit calculation methodology is flawed and noted that I could replicate the values in the Scoping Plan. Because this is the primary rationale used to claim that the benefits of the Climate Act are greater than the costs this should be resolved.
  • January 24, 2022: Noted that there was an error in Figure 11
  • January 12, 2022: Suggested that it would be useful to break up the scoping plan document by chapter.
  • January 1, 2022: Noted that the resource spreadsheets had not been updated since mid-November. The spreadsheets were updated a couple of weeks later
  • December 31, 2021: Requested more time for public comments. Note that at the time the comment submission form did not allow attachments