New York City has announced intention to ban new fossil fuel projects

Katie Hill - Editor-in-Chief, My Green Pod

Home » No fossil fuels in NYC

Published: 11 February 2020

This Article was Written by: Katie Hill - My Green Pod

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New Yorkers are celebrating a groundbreaking win in the fight for climate justice: Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced New York City’s intention to stop all new fossil fuel projects within and serving the city.

This is the largest municipal ban announcement of its kind globally. It builds on the mounting global movement for a just transition away from fossil fuels to a renewable-energy economy that works for all.

‘This is a monumental step for New Yorkers in making our home a model for real climate leadership, and a massive victory for frontline communities and climate activists everywhere.

‘As we enter the climate decade, we need transformational climate action, and now the financial center of the world is moving to stop all new fossil fuel projects. This move invigorates us to protect our communities from all gas, oil, and coal projects, including the Williams fracked gas pipeline, and implement a Green New Deal that works for all New Yorkers.’

DOMINIQUE THOMAS
New Yorker and 350.org organiser

A ‘nail in the coffin’ for fossil fuels

The announcement builds on recent moves by New Yorkers who are pushing the city to take concrete climate action. This includes divesting its $215.5 billion pension funds from fossil fuels, enacting nation-leading legislation to slash pollution from big buildings, pursuing Exxon and other Big Oil corporations in court for climate costs and damages, expanding investments in wind and solar and more.

Community resistance to fracked gas projects within and around New York City continues to grow, including over 70 elected officials opposing the Williams fracked gas pipeline and tens of thousands of New Yorkers calling on Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) to stop Williams and all fracked gas projects.

‘The Mayor of New York City announcing a ban on new fossil fuel projects will reverberate across the nation and around the world as a nail in the coffin of the fossil fuel economy.

‘As our communities protect our health and safety by keeping fossil fuels in the ground, Wall Street banks and insurers enabling projects like Keystone XL, Line3, and coast to coast fracking need to wake up. The writing’s on the wall: move your money out of toxic fossil fuels and into real climate solutions.’

TAMARA TOLES O’LAUGHLIN
New Yorker and 350.org North America director

Holding energy needs hostage

The Mayor is set to issue an executive order to implement this ban. This will be a critical step towards climate action, including ordinances, regulations, building code changes and legislation, to maximise the efficacy of a ban and to ensure all staff and city agencies use all tools at their disposal, including how they engage in rate cases and Public Service Commission (PSC) hearings.

In New York, utilities National Grid and Con-Ed have attempted to hold New Yorkers’ energy needs hostage. In the midst of the Trump administration slashing hard-won climate protections, US municipalities have begun to restrict new gas hookups and require electrification of buildings.

Governor Cuomo and the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) retain overall decision-making on new and existing projects.

Now, New Yorkers are escalating the demand for Cuomo to stop the Williams fracked gas pipeline once and for all, and build on this announcement by declaring a ban on new fossil fuel projects across the state.

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