Governor David Paterson, an advocate of renewable energy, issued on April 9, 2008, his second executive order since taking office, to establish a state energy planning board tasked with creating a state energy plan.
The State Energy Planning Board consists of the Chair of the Public Service Commission, the Commissioner of Environmental Conservation, the Commissioner of Transportation, the Commissioner of Health, the Commissioner of Economic Development, the President of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, the Director of the Budget, the President of the Urban Development Corporation, the Secretary of State, the Governor’s Deputy Secretary for Environment, and the Governor’s Deputy Secretary for Energy (appointed Chair of this Board).
The Board is tasked with creating a wide-ranging state energy plan, focused on energy diversification, clean energy, and reduced consumption. The plan must include, among other things:
a statement of long-range energy policy objectives and strategies appropriate to increase energy supply and reduce energy demand, considering factors such as: (i) diversity of fuel supplies; (ii) protection of public health and safety; (iii) the needs of vulnerable communities; (iv) consumer cost impacts; (v) the relative economic competitiveness of the State; (vi) the State’s natural resources, (vii) the reduction of greenhouse gases; (viii) energy conservation and efficiency; (ix) clean and renewable energy resources; (x) the maintenance of reliable electric and natural gas systems; and (xi) existing energy policies and objectives, including the Statewide Transportation Plan and State Implementation Plan.
A draft plan is required on or before March 31, 2009, with the final plan due three months later. Every state agency will be required to take the plan into account (unless forbidden by law) in the decision-making process.
The executive order is consistent with that of former New York governor George Pataki (R). In Executive Order No. 111 of June 10, 2001, then Governor Pataki required that state agencies have “green and clean” buildings — that is, that they “seek to purchase” 10% of their energy needs for buildings from renewable sources (including wind) by 2005 and 20% by 2010. The Order was continued as a matter of course by Pataki’s successors, Elliott Spitzer (D) (on January 1, 2007), and David Paterson (D) (on March 20, 2008).
At the close of program year 2006, state agency purchases of clean energy pursuant to the “clean and green” Executive Order were estimated to be only 34% of the 2006 target. (See NYSERDA, New York State Renewable Portfolio Standard Performance Report Program Period ending March 2007 at 11, Aug. 2007)