Dear Sarah, This summer was one of the busiest on record for those of us working at the NRDC* Action Fund. We started it off with some major legislative wins here in New York and then ended it with the largest federal investment ever to fight the climate crisis with the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act. But this summer’s momentum is at risk of stalling as we head into fall – and into election season. New York needs Governor Hochul to take these necessary next steps NOW. Two critical bills are sitting on her desk waiting for her signature and budget season is quickly approaching. Take action to urge Governor Hochul to sign these bills and prioritize clean air and water in next year’s state budget before the midterm elections really take off. Here’s how Governor Hochul can create some big gains for New York in the next couple of weeks before all her focus is on getting re-elected:
Sign a two-year moratorium on crypto mining operations in the state (S6486D). The crypto industry has brought defunct oil and gas power plants back online to power the energy-intensive computers needed for mining — and now, they’re heating the planet without environmental review. This bill will allow New York to assess the environmental impact of this new industry.
Sign a bill requiring transparency in the affordability of running water (A7554B). Water and sewer services are vital to keeping New Yorkers safe and healthy, but the state has no way of knowing whether residents can afford them. This bill will require utility companies to collect and report data on the water affordability crisis — which in turn will help inform policies to ensure that residents have affordable access to these essential services.
Draft a 2023 state budget that uses federal funding to bring clean water and clean buildings to New York. Between the passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act, New York will receive tens of billions of dollars that could be used to fix our water infrastructure, improve public transit, and electrify buildings, homes, and schools. These priorities for federal spending must be reflected in Governor Hochul’s next state budget.