Legislative Alert: January 21, 2022

President's Message

LABOR IS LEADING CLIMATE ACTION

Working with dozens of affiliates including the NYS Building and Construction Trades, numerous manufacturing, utility and transportation unions that are directly impacted by energy and environmental policy, the NYS AFL-CIO has developed an agenda of initiatives to help the state meet its zero emission requirements in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA).  

Unions in New York have elevated strong labor protections as part of a just transition policy to which the state must adhere. Last year’s budget enacted strong language to require prevailing wage and project labor agreements on construction of renewable energy projects, domestic content preferences for component parts and labor peace agreements for operations of the permanent facilities.

Governor Hochul has included numerous CLCPA related proposals in her state of the state and budget bills including the development of cleaner electrical power generation, a statewide electrical vehicle charging network, the increased use of electrical vehicles in public fleets and a $4 billion “Clean Water, Clean Air and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act”. Each of the proposals can be successful only if we include labor standards.

We have an opportunity to create new, green jobs in energy production, transmission, manufacturing and construction. But, we must also be mindful of not sacrificing existing jobs  and instead transition workers into new jobs through retraining and workforce development. 

We need to expand what we started last year, and allow state support of low emission, non-renewable energy production to meet the CLCPA goals and include the same labor standards that apply to renewable energy projects. 

New York State can be a leader in green hydrogen, carbon capture technology and other clean energy production alternatives, but we must leave every option on the table, and we cannot tie our own hands by enacting blanket restrictions on development of much needed, clean power.

Mario Cilento, President

Upcoming Meeting

LABOR LOBBYISTS MEETING

Monday, January 31, 2022, 1:00 p.m.
This will be a zoom meeting.

Issue of the Week

SUPPORT ZERO EMISSION DEVELOPMENT

(S. 6497A Parker/A. 8094 Cusick)

This legislation would establish a zero-emissions energy system for New York State. These systems would generate electricity or thermal energy through technologies that do not lead to a net increase in greenhouse gases. Moreover, this legislation also includes important labor protections, such as prevailing wage, project labor agreements, and Buy American provisions that build on the Just Transition policies for renewable energy enacted in the 2021-22 state budget.

To achieve the goals of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, New York State must utilize as many energy systems that do not create a net increase in greenhouse gas emissions as possible. This includes hydrogen and nuclear power as well as other green technology and emerging energy sources as well.

This bill will also create and retain union jobs in New York, help encourage the repurposing of existing facilities and incentivize private investment in new, zero carbon emission technologies that strengthen local communities. A Just Transition to clean energy can only occur if workers in the current industry are allowed to participate in the zero-emission energy future. This legislation will ensure that occurs. 

Therefore, this Federation urges this bill be passed.