Affiliate of the Week: Environmental Advocates of New York

Who We Are

For more than 45 years, Environmental Advocates of New York (EANY) has been at the center of every major environmental debate in New York. EANY has helped secure a statewide ban on fracking and a federal ban on microbeads, and advocated for the programs like the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), the Environmental Protection Fund, the Clean Indoor Air Act, and the nation’s first acid rain law. EANY has three dedicated program areas: air and energy, water and natural resources, and environmental health. Become a part of the team by texting JoinEANY to 52886!

What We Do

Environmental Advocates builds broad-based coalitions inside and outside of the environmental movement; works closely with decision-makers on the local, state, and federal levels; and empowers an advocacy network of more than 50,000 people to hold their elected officials accountable, advance environmental protections, and block unwanted proposals that would roll back hard-fought conservation victories. They also perform in-depth analyses of policy issues to develop reports on wide-ranging issues, from fracking waste to an aging clean water infrastructure.

EANY’s conservation work helps local wildlife such as beavers

Making a National Impact

New York State can be a global climate leader and a model for other states to follow by fostering a clean energy economy that creates jobs, ensures equity and clean air for every resident, and moves away from fossil fuels.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has set bold climate and clean energy goals that will move New York State to 100% clean, renewable energy by 2050.

At the same time, New Yorkers face very real challenges; leaders of the State Senate, for instance, question climate science, and the oil and gas industry pushes fossil fuel infrastructure projects because the Governor’s goals have not yet been written into law.

Two fossil fuel proposals in particular could make or break Governor Cuomo’s potential to be a true climate leader.

Image artist: John de Rosier, Image from EANY

Big Oil has laid the groundwork on a plan to make New York part of the oil patch, threatening New York communities, natural resources, and wildlife. Two proposals are being considered within miles of the state Capitol: a facility at the Port of Albany that will place tar sands on the Hudson River, and the Pilgrim Pipeline that could turn Albany into “Oilbany,” making the capital city a crude oil terminus for years to come.

Needless to say, achieving 100% clean energy is incompatible with expanding the state’s fossil fuel infrastructure.

EANY1Thanks to EANY’s roles as Co-Chair of the NWF Affiliate Climate Change Workgroup and a founding partner of the game-changing state coalition known as NY Renews, the focus now is on codifying Governor Cuomo’s goals so they cannot be dismissed. This will ensure that failing to meet benchmarks, such as generating half of all electricity from renewable sources by 2030, isn’t an option. The legislation to make it happen is one of the strongest, smartest, and most thoughtful pieces of climate legislation the public has ever seen. By transitioning to 100% clean energy, people and wildlife in the Empire State will have a brighter future.

With the Paris Climate Accords under attack, New York’s position as a climate leader is coming into focus. The state already participates in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative — a Northeast carbon dioxide cap-and-trade system that inspired the federal Clean Power Plan — and has a record of enacting strong environmental protections that help others see New York as pivotal in the climate movement. Few states have the capacity to operationalize action, from ramping up usage of electric vehicles to making buildings more energy efficient, and more, in the way that New York can.

EANY has worked with climate action partners across many disciplines to bring together NY Renews, a coalition that includes labor unions, environmental and social justice advocates, and grassroots organizations from across the state. Environmental groups are an important part of NY Renews, but the movement is larger than one voice. Together they are bringing this message to Albany: “This is how climate change is affecting our lives right now, and New Yorkers need action right now.”

One inspirational story came from Rachel Rivera, a mother of six who lost her home to Superstorm Sandy. Photo by Max Oppen, EANY

Hundreds of New Yorkers rallied on the steps of the state Capitol in May to deliver this message and demand their elected officials get serious about our climate. People also shared their stories and opinions about the need for climate action.

“You can’t be in these silos of only caring about the environment, or only caring about racial justice. It all comes together.” – Callie Jayne

EANY believes that all the pieces are coming together now for action. The 2016 election is going to be a pivotal one, and the movement that’s building and the groundwork that’s being laid to hold those seeking office accountable is real, meaningful, and inspiring.

EANY will continue to support and advocate for Governor Cuomo’s climate and clean energy goals. Once codified, aspiration will turn into action. EANY and partners are going to set the bar for the rest of the nation. Become a part of this campaign by texting ClimateNY to 52886!

Connect with EANY

Connect with EANY to get their latest news and keep up with their conservation efforts through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, or by visiting their website.