Albany, NY – In response to the announcement of a proposed three-year rate agreement for National Grid’s upstate territories (Case Nos. 20-E-0380 & 20-G-0381), Bob Cohen, Esq., director of research and policy for Citizen Action of New York, released this statement: 

“The Public Service Commission (PSC) has had over two years since the passage of the state climate law to develop new policies to address climate change through rate cases, yet this proposed agreement represents mostly business as usual. This past summer, New Yorkers experienced some of the most severe weather in memory due to climate change. In response to the climate crisis, the state legislature passed landmark climate legislation that directed New York State and state agencies like the PSC to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming by 40% by the end of the decade and 85% by 2050. Given the urgency of climate change, yesterday’s agreement to hold billed gas usage at its current levels during the three-year period of the rate agreement and to wait to consider actual reductions in greenhouse gas emissions after a company study is completed is simply woefully inadequate. New York utilities simply can’t wait three years to make serious progress on climate if we’re going to meet the mandates of the 2019 climate law.

“Since taking office, Governor Hochul has clearly stated that she realizes the urgency of dramatic action on climate. We call upon our new Governor to match her words with action by directing the PSC to take policy steps equal to the urgency of the moment.”

Citizen Action of New York is a membership organization dedicated to social, racial, economic and environmental justice with eight regional chapters and affiliates throughout the state, including several chapters in National Grid’s upstate territories. Mr. Cohen directs Citizen Action’s climate and energy program and is representing Citizen Action in the National Grid case.