ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — State lawmakers say they want to be the leading example to create a cleaner and greener world for future generations by starting with our state run buildings. On Monday, legislatures and advocates of the SHARE Coalition showed their support for The Renewable Capitol Act.
The bill would require all state buildings to operate on renewable energy rather than fossil fuels. It would take three years to achieve this goal.
Just five years ago state agencies planned to install two new gas turbines at the Sheridan Avenue Power Plant that would generate heat and electricity for the Empire State Plaza. That’s when the Sheridan Hollow Alliance for Renewable Energy Coalition was created. Their efforts were able to redirect the plant funding towards renewable energy endeavors.
The plant now gets 50% of their electricity from solar farms. They also partially electrified the AC system for the state plaza buildings, ultimately reducing burning of fracked gas by 20%.
A big concern that came out of that initial push was tracking the health impacts from the plants exhausts. Those who live near the power plant say they experience higher rates of cancer and asthma.
Doctor of Nursing Practice, Brenda Robinson has family members who lived close to the plant. She hopes if the Renewable Capitol Act passes, there will be more studies of fumes and pollution in those areas.
“Regular monitoring is so important and I think accountability as well. That’s something that has been elusive for underserved communities, minority communities. That accountability seems to be so elusive, so I think that it will bring a lot of accountability and research as well,” she said.
People in the Arbor Hill Neighborhood say they want state leaders to make lasting changes for a safer New York. Assembly member John Mcdonald is on board with doing just that.
“Let’s set the tone, let’s set the state for the future generations. Let’s make the capitol run on renewable energy and the rest of its buildings,” he said.
As of right now, state lawmakers don’t know exactly which type of renewable energy will be used. The bill is receiving support across both sides of the aisle.