State Senate One-House Budget Includes Landmark Statewide Ban On Fossil Fuels In New Construction

Today, the New York State Senate revealed its One-House budget, including a landmark statewide ban on fossil fuels in new construction. The language borrows from both the groundbreaking legislation passed in New York City last year and The All-Electric Building Act (S6043B/A8431), sponsored by Senator Kavanagh and Assemblymember Gallagher, and would ban fossil fuels in new construction, beginning with buildings under seven stories starting in 2024.

By including a statewide gas ban in her One-House budget today, Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins has thrown her weight behind the critical movement to keep fossil fuels out of new buildings statewide.

Governor Hochul’s current state budget proposal includes a ban on fossil fuels in new buildings beginning no later than 2027.

Advocates applauded the Governor’s support for a statewide ban, while also calling for a much faster timeline to slash climate-heating pollution, improve air quality, and create good jobs.

In New York, fossil fuel-burning buildings are New York state’s top source of climate-heating greenhouse gasses, making the immediate ban a critical and necessary step to take in fighting climate-warming emissions statewide.

The ongoing war in Ukraine, fueled by fossil fuels, only drives home the urgency in reducing our reliance on fossil fuels.

Advocates, including more than 100 groups statewide, are now demanding Governor Hochul embrace the immediate ban in her state budget due April 1.

“State leaders have every reason to pass an immediate ban on fossil fuels in new buildings via the state budget: the people want it and our climate needs it,” said Food & Water Watch Northeast Region Director Alex Beauchamp. “If we are serious about meeting New York’s emission reductions goals and combating climate change, time is of the essence. When it comes to fossil fuel phaseout, delay equals death. Governor Hochul must follow Sen. Stewart-Cousins’ lead and establish an immediate gas ban in the final state budget. We’ll be watching.”

New York City is on track to electrify new buildings in 2023 — Governor Hochul should take note and heed Frank Sinatra’s wisdom: If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere, including the rest of New York,” said Anne Rabe, NYPIRG Environmental Policy Director. “New Yorkers learned the hard way — Superstorm Sandy, Hurricanes Irene, and Lee, and Tropical Storm Henri last summer — the climate crisis is real and causing tragedy and devastation. New York’s grid operator forecasts sufficient electric energy through at least 2030. Governor, we need to ban gas-fueled buildings in 2023, not three years later.” Source: NYISO 2021 Load & Capacity Data Report (Gold Book)

“My family lost everything in Sandy. I know the impact of the climate crisis. Now, with another fossil-fueled war, instead of trying to find some middle ground between what’s needed to cut pollution and the fossil fuel corporate lobbyists’ objections, Governor Hochul should deliver an immediate ban on gas in the state budget,” said Rachel Rivera, a member of New York Communities for Change. “We applaud the Senate for including the bill in their proposed budget. New York City passed it in December and now it’s time for the state to do the same. There’s no time left to waste: the country needs major climate action now, and New York, a deep blue state, should lead.”

“The best way for New York to cut air pollution, lower our overall emissions and create good green jobs is bypassing the All-Electric Building Act this year. Communities that are hit first and worst by climate change deserve a chance for clean air and safe, sustainable, all-electric homes, said Annie Carforo, Climate Justice Campaign Coordinator for WE ACT for Environmental Justice. We are thrilled that the Senate understands the urgency of the current moment and has included the All-Electric Buildings Act in their one-house budget. We now urge Governor Hochul to take bold action on climate in her April 1st budget and get New York off of fossil fuels.”

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