New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has called on U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke to exempt New York from the draft plan to expand offshore drilling off the Atlantic Coast, due to the plan conflicting with the state’s agenda to develop offshore wind.
In a letter to Secretary Zinke, Cuomo emphasizes that the unprecedented risk of extremely hazardous oil spills collides with New York’s plans to develop offshore wind and contributes to the acceleration of climate change.
The draft plan undermines the state’s effort to combat climate change by shifting from greenhouse gas emitting fossil energy sources to renewable sources, Cuomo said, urging Zinke to start working jointly on the development of offshore wind.
“Building upon my administration’s mandate that 50 percent of the State’s electricity come from renewable energy by 2030, I have committed New York to achieving 2.4 gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030 – enough power for over 1.2 million homes,” Cuomo said.
“Rather than working against us to thwart New York’s clean energy goals and hinder one of our state’s most promising emerging industries, I urge your Department to continue focusing on our collaborative efforts to establish new areas for offshore wind energy development.”
Cuomo also noted that Zinke’s decision to remove Florida from any new oil & gas plans before concluding a fact-finding process “appears arbitrary.”
The state has also launched a petition against offshore oil & gas drilling off New York’s coast, encouraging citizens to take part in stopping something that would, as Cuomo said, devastate the state’s economy and environment, cause irreparable harm to coastal ecosystems and interfere with nationally significant coastal economy.
Earlier this month, Cuomo called for a procurement of at least 800MW of offshore wind power between two solicitations to be issued in 2018 and 2019.
The solicitations will be the first in a set schedule to reach the 2030 target set last year, Cuomo said while presenting the 20th proposal of the 2018 State of the State, an agenda to combat climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and growing the clean energy economy.