New York will eliminate its use of coal power by 2020, Gov. Andrew Cuomo pledged in yesterday’s State of the State address.
The state currently has three active coal-fired power plants that produce less than 4 percent New York’s energy load. One plant is scheduled for closure in 2016.
To achieve the state’s goal of reducing carbon dioxide emissions from the energy sector 40 percent by 2030, Cuomo said he wants to close or repower the three remaining coal power plants to cleaner energy sources by 2020. To accomplish this, he will direct the Department of Public Service and the DEC to work with the New York Independent System Operator to develop a regulatory framework that will ensure system reliability while facilitating repowering to cleaner fuel or closure no later than 2020.
The governor, in his sixth State of the State, also announced that New York will allocate $300 million for the state’s Environmental Protection Fund — the highest amount ever for the fund and more than double the fund’s level when the Governor first took office.
“Protecting our environment is a top priority,” Cuomo said. “We previously set a goal that 50 percent of New York’s energy must come from renewables by 2030. This year it’s no longer a goal — it is now a requirement. And it makes New York the nation’s leader in the fight against climate change and that’s something we should all be proud of.”
President Obama’s annual State of the Union address, delivered on Tuesday, also emphasized the nation’s transition to clean energy with Obama pledging to “change the way we manage our oil and coal resources, so that they better reflect the costs they impose on taxpayers and our planet.”