Climate Action Council Meeting on in NY’s Clean Energy Future

Climate Action Council Meeting on in NY’s Clean Energy Future

Nuclear and Hydrogen Role in the NYS Climate Action Plan

Monday, November 7, 2022

On Monday, November 7, 2022, the Climate Action Council (CAC) convened a hybrid meeting in Albany, New York City, and virtually to receive updates from the sub-committees driving the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (Climate Act). This included presentations by NYSERDA who provided an overview of the role of nuclear power, alternative fuels, clean transportation standards, and overarching edits to the Draft Scoping Plan which is expected to be finalized in December.

Attendees included, but not limited to: NYSERDA’s Doreen Harris; NYS DEC’s Basil Seggos; NYS AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento, Independent Power Producers of New York (IPPNY) President Gavin Donohue; Zach Thai; Thomas Berkman; Sarah Osgood; Sally Rowland; Megan Lynch; Mark Lowery; Jenny Cox; Farrah Andersen; Dereth Glance; David Vitale; Catherine Morris; Brian Steinmuller, Anne Reynolds; Paul Shepson; Peter Iwanowicz; and more.

On the Clean Fuel Standard, the Independent Power Producers of New York recommended that carbon reduction goals should be “performance based” and the CLCPA should stay away from using terms like “banning certain types of fuels” before it is known how the technology “actually” performs.

NYSERDA found that without nuclear, NY ratepayers face a $9 billion increase in energy prices. The revised integration analysis ultimately supported continued operations of existing nuclear and the introduction of new nuclear technology. They went on to emphasize that there are federally funded programs to help install new nuclear and continue the operations of existing nuclear power to achieve the 2035 and 2050 carbon reduction deadlines.

Toward the end of the meeting the CAC panel member Peter Iwanowicz noted that he would like to see the draft language move toward the “emissions intensity” definition for hydrogen power.

In reply, Gavin Donohue of IPPNY responded, “If we are going to define green hydrogen then let’s define what is the definition of fossil gas? It is a fairness issue and a credibility issue that the panel must address. We should not be picking winners and losers. If we have a definition for one, we should have definitions for others.”

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, “Absolute targets aim to reduce GHG emissions by a set amount. An intensity target is a normalized metric that sets an organization's emissions target relative to an economic or operational variable.”

At this point in time, it is unclear which “variable metric” the CAC will use to define hydrogen; however, the new issue of defining hydrogen’s role in the CLCPA will be further discussed in future meetings.

The meeting agenda is available here and the video and meeting materials will be posted to the CAC website in the coming days.

The Clean Energy Jobs Coalition live tweeted during the meeting, capturing key comments and observations by panelists and participants.

You can view our full thread on Twitter here (scroll to November 7, 2022) and get additional insight from Politico’s energy reporter Marie French here (scroll to November 7, 2022).

For more information, you can view past meetings and materials of the CAC as follows:

Upcoming Meetings

  • Monday, November 21, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

  • Monday, December 5, 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

  • Monday, December 19, 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Previous Meetings

Tuesday, October 25

Thursday, October 13

Thursday, September 29

September 13, 2022

August 23, 2022

July 11, 2022

May 26, 2022

April 18, 2022

March 3, 2022