New Yorkers Call For Action on Offshore Wind

Diverse Coalition of Environmental, Business, Public Health, and Labor Leaders Call on Federal and State Agencies to Bring Clean Energy Ashore

12-21-2011 // Catherine Bowes

A broad coalition of New York’s environmental, business, and labor organizations today called on state and federal leaders to move forward with offshore wind development. New York has substantial offshore wind resources and there are currently several proposals to develop job-producing clean energy off the coast of Long Island.

The Wind Works 4 Long Island Coalition set a single, clear message: It is time to get moving and generate much-needed clean energy for New York from offshore wind.

Statements from coalition partners:

“The diversity of this coalition demonstrates broad and unprecedented support for harvesting the region’s abundant offshore wind resource,” said Gordian Raacke, Executive Director of Renewable Energy Long Island, a regional not-for-profit organization. “As environmental, business, public health, and labor groups we know that offshore wind power means cleaner air, a stronger economy, and more jobs.”

“In 2012, LIPA and Governor Cuomo will make significant energy decisions for Long Island that will impact us for decades to come. Offshore wind needs to be advanced and embraced as part of our energy mix in order to lead us away from the hazards of fossil fuels. Our new coalition is here to let Albany and LIPA know that we need their leadership to achieve the essential goals of cleaner air, energy independence and cost control,” said Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director at Citizens Campaign for the Environment.

"Our energy challenges present economic development opportunities for Long Island. Renewable energy projects like offshore wind initiatives can help our environment and our economy. Long Island has the potential to be the clean energy capital of the east coast and we are supportive of the wind and solar industries as we think it will create jobs for Long Islanders," said Kevin S. Law, President & Chief Executive Officer of the Long Island Association.

"We must continue with a common goal to push the boundaries toward a renewable energy future,” said Action Long Island Chairman Sheldon R. Sackstein. “It is essential to recognize that we are here today writing the energy history of Long Island, being called upon by the future to take action now. This must be our legacy.”

“Wind energy and other renewable energy sources can create hundreds of thousands of new American jobs,” said Roger Clayman, Executive Director of Long Island Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO. “Clean energy plays a vital role in our economic recovery.”

“Expanding the use of renewable energy sources such as offshore wind power will not only conserve energy, it will reduce pollution and improve the quality of air we all breathe,” said Michael Seilback, VP of Public Policy and Communications at the American Lung Association in New York. “New Yorkers, including the 2.5 million who suffer from lung disease, deserve the clean air benefits that wind power provides.”

“With progress on clean energy short-circuited in Washington, New York has an unprecedented opportunity to lead the nation,” said Marcia Bystryn, President of the New York League of Conservation Voters. “Offshore wind energy will not only help clean the air, it will create 21st century jobs that are desperately needed on Long Island and around New York State. We urge Governor Cuomo, Senate Majority Leader Skelos, Speaker Silver and LIPA to get behind this and other clean energy advancements.”

"By failing to capture the power of offshore wind, we're ignoring pollution-free power for nearly four million New York homes," said Ross Gould, Air & Energy Program Director for Environmental Advocates of New York. "So while New Yorkers are debating the dangers of industrial gas drilling and fracking, we should be harnessing a true clean energy source--offshore wind."

“Governor Cuomo has a golden opportunity to lead the nation in the pursuit of local, job-producing clean energy from offshore wind,” said Catherine Bowes, Senior Policy Representative at National Wildlife Federation. “On behalf of our over two hundred thousand members and supporters in New York, National Wildlife Federation calls on our state and federal leaders to rapidly move offshore wind energy development forward in order to protect future generations of people and wildlife from the harmful pollution resulting from our reliance on fossil fuels.”

"Offshore wind can help New York meet its renewable energy goals while creating new green collar jobs and sustainable economic growth," said Carol E. Murphy, Executive Director of the Alliance for Clean Energy New York. "The level of economic impact that offshore wind has to offer far exceeds that of conventional generation, and when combined with the environmental benefits of having an emissions-free resource that is immune to the volatility of fossil fuel prices, offshore wind is easily one of the best options for meeting Long Island and New York City's growing energy needs. We encourage our leaders and policy makers to keep the momentum going and ensure the successful development of Long Island's proposed offshore wind projects."

“Long Island and New York State are blessed with an abundant offshore wind resource which presents a unique opportunity to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels while reducing our carbon footprint,” said Robert Catell, Chairman of the Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center at Stony Brook University. “We must increase the amount of renewable energy in Long Island’s energy mix and environmentally acceptable and competitively priced offshore wind projects should be seriously considered."

“By harnessing the wind blowing off our shores, not only can we power New York with clean energy, we can create much-needed jobs and attract new industry to the state,” said Brandi Colander at Natural Resources Defense Council. “With enormous potential for offshore wind power in New York, we can develop a sustainable source of domestic energy here at home, while capturing the enormous economic and environmental benefits that come with it.”

"Offshore wind has the potential to reduce New York's reliance on dirty fossil fuels, improve our air quality and our health, and provide thousands of local jobs," said Vanessa Pierce, Director of the Eastern Region for the Sierra Club's Beyond Coal Campaign. "By being the first state to develop offshore wind in the Atlantic, New York can lead the way to a cleaner energy future."

"For the first year ever, more global investment capital went toward renewable energy than fossil fuels. Offshore wind is an exciting, technologically-available form of renewable energy that can rapidly contribute to fulfilling our energy needs and creating a cleaner environment, while keeping billions of energy dollars in Long Island's economy, where they belong." Bob DiBenedetto, President/Executive Director of HealthyPlanet.

“The HIA-LI applauds the offshore wind coalition for this much needed effort toward a renewable energy future,” said Terri Alessi – Miceli, President, Hauppauge Industrial Association (HIA-LI). “We understand that offshore wind power helps create a more efficient economy.”

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