Excerpted from Governor David Paterson’s January 7, 2009 State of State address.
Energy and the Environment
…Today, I announce one of the most ambitious clean energy goals in America. By 2015, New York will meet 45 percent of its electricity needs through improved energy efficiency and clean renewable energy. We call this our “45 by 15” program. Now is the time for us to change how New York uses energy. Now is the time for New York to take an energetic step toward shaping our future.
This effort will help rebuild our economy, meet our energy needs, and protect our environment. Improving energy efficiency at schools, hospitals, and local governments will allow us to cut costs and hopefully cut taxes in the future. We have state programs to help pay 7 for these energy efficiency improvements. The greening of our schools and hospitals is a critical priority, because we can use the money we save in energy costs to balance our budgets, educate our children, and keep our families healthy.
That is why I am announcing today the creation of a clearinghouse to serve as a single point of access for information on all energy efficiency programs for schools, hospitals, and local governments. As a public private partnership between State agencies and the private sector, the clearinghouse will coordinate the dissemination of energy information around the State.
To reach our goal of “45 by 15”, we will need to create a clean energy economy – that includes retrofitting homes and businesses. I call on the Public Service Commission and other public authorities to provide financing mechanisms to help New Yorkers invest in energy efficiency and renewable energy now to lower their costs and our energy burden.
Realizing this “45 by 15” goal will create an estimated 50,000 new jobs. Already, New York has one of America’s most ambitious clean-energy workforce training programs and we will continue to improve it. This is how we will provide jobs for our displaced and unemployed workers and create the workforce necessary for our clean energy economy.
But we won’t stop there. The future of America’s energy and transportation policies rest on the development of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. The state that positions itself in this market will revitalize its economy for years to come. The key technology needed is a rechargeable electric battery that can drive a car longer distances for less money. New York, particularly upstate New York, already possesses the research infrastructure and the manufacturing base to help develop these batteries and drive the U.S. auto industry into a cleaner and competitive future. So the future of the Big 3 auto companies may run through upstate New York. To maximize the extraordinary academic and scientific resources available in the Western, Central, and Capital Regions, we will create an upstate research consortium on hybrid electric batteries and energy storage technologies. This will help reshape the upstate economy and create a clean corridor that includes cities in the Erie Canal corridor built some two hundred years ago. We will also create a New York Energy Policy Institute to coordinate the necessary knowledge base and expertise of our higher education institutions. By disseminating state-of-the[-]art information and analysis on energy technologies and policies, the Institute will assist in keeping New York decision makers on the cutting edge. While we will start this effort here at home, we will seek to partner with Washington in a joint venture.
Our “45 by 15” program will not simply revitalize our economy; it will help protect our environment. We have made environmental protection a critical goal because we recognize that the decisions we make affect our planet. That is why New York is a charter member of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and is participating in the nation’s first carbon cap and trade framework. We in New York are leading the fight against global warming, because we understand that reviving our economy and protecting our planet go hand in hand, so long as we have the vision and courage to act on our convictions. Our energy policies will drive our economic revitalization and help protect our environment.
Policy action items highlighted in bold by this blogger. Here for a fact sheet prepared by the Governor’s office providing more detail to these energy policy points.