Blog

  • What is the REV? And why should you care?

    What is the REV? Here's the punchline: 

    REV is short for Reforming the Energy Vision, an ambitious process that began in 2014, formed to fight climate change by moving New York State away from fossil fuels and towards renewable, sustainable, affordable and efficient ways of generating power, like wind and solar. The Public Service Commission (PSC) is the state body who has the authority to ensure that our power and energy producing utilities comply with regulations and policies that will achieve our climate goals, while giving New Yorkers of all income levels access to renewables like shared solar. 

    It is more important than ever for all of us who are committed to fighting climate change to come together and influence the REV so that it prioritizes people and planet over profits. For more information and ways to get involved, visit the New York Public Interest Research Group's website here

    The PSC is always reaching out for input from the community on issues relating to energy and power production. The most recent calendar of public hearings can be found here. Make sure your voice is heard!

  • Demos & Sierra Club Presidents Op Ed for Climate Justice


    Demos & Sierra Club Presidents Op Ed for Climate Justice


    Heather McGhee, president of Demos, and Aaron Mair, president of the Sierra Club, teamed up recently to pen an opposition editorial  in favor of climate justice which was published in the Albany Times Union. We have re-posted the piece here for those who are not paid subscribers to that news outlet. 

    Power on to generate cleaner N.Y.

    State leaders have taken great strides on the path toward creating a sustainable, clean energy economy for the people of New York. In 2014, Gov. Andrew Cuomo withstood a multimillion-dollar lobbying and public relations onslaught by fossil fuel interests and banned fracking across the state, preventing what would have been a huge step backward for New Yorkers' health and safety and for our environment and economy.

    In 2016, the state Assembly struck a blow for climate justice and true economic revitalization by passing the Climate and Community Protection Act, the strongest legislation of its kind in the United States. In 2017, there should be no looking back.

    We know this won't be easy, for one big reason: Fossil fuel interests have a lot at stake in trying to stop our state's clean energy momentum. As a new report from the Public Accountability Initiative shows, dozens of fossil fuel corporations, associations and related interests are pursuing their agenda through the Business Council of New York State. The council has already made its extreme and unpopular position clear in opposing the CCPA when it was introduced last spring, going so far as to attack the legislation as "the end of manufacturing, farming, buses, trucks, cars and finally people."

    But as we saw in the grass-roots driven fracking fight, people power can win the fight for clean power. And the CCPA is backed by NY Renews, a 90-member, statewide coalition of labor, environmental justice, social justice, good government and environmental groups (our organizations, Demos and the Sierra Club, are both members).

    The bill codifies into law the goal of reaching 100 percent renewable energy by 2050 and is designed to meet Cuomo's own hugely popular Clean Energy Standard of getting to 50 percent renewable energy by 2030.

    The CCPA's real strength, however, lies in its emphasis on achieving climate goals in an equitable and inclusive way. The CCPA mandates that a substantial share of the new investment we will need to achieve a zero-carbon energy system must be targeted for low-income communities (currently the share is set at 40 percent).

    With this targeted approach, the CCPA goes on the offensive for the health and prosperity of working class New Yorkers, especially low-wage workers in communities of color. Communities of color have disproportionately borne the harms of fossil fuel pollution, while gaining few of the benefits of the economic growth that, increasingly, only the richest New Yorkers enjoy. We need a clean energy policy that remedies such injustice and disadvantage in a big way.

    With targeted investment in energy efficiency upgrades for low-income households, equitable access to renewable energy, public transit and other equitable, low-carbon transit solutions, and health programs and infrastructure investments to enhance the resiliency of climate-vulnerable communities, New Yorkers struggling to get by in today's anti-worker, highly segregated economy will benefit from a surge of new, high-quality jobs.

    But the CCPA's win-win logic of marrying climate, equity and job-creation goals does have one big loser: the fossil fuel industry and its political and ideological allies in many of our country's elected bodies. On behalf of its big-money members, the Business Council of New York will be tasked with trying to stop the momentum on clean energy.

    Thankfully, Cuomo and the state Assembly have made it quite clear that New York state cannot be bought or bullied by the fossil fuel interests. Instead, the state is putting people first by forging the job-creating clean energy economy we need to secure a better future. Let's hope that further strong leadership in Albany, and legislative victory, turn 2017 into a breakthrough year for clean energy and economic opportunity across the state.

    Heather McGhee is president of Demos. Aaron Mair is president of the Sierra Club.

    #NYRENEWS #ClimateChange #EnergyDemocrcay 

    Posted on Fri, October 28, 2016 by PUSH Buffalo

  • URGENT Call to Action for the Climate!

    Our parners at the Sierra Club are calling on President Obama to build on his substantial climate legacy, and there's an easy step you can take to help!

    We're excited to announce that Climate Parents -- a national organization founded three years ago to mobilize parents, grandparents, and families for climate and clean energy solutions -- has become a new program of the Sierra Club.

    Father-in-Chief, President Obama, often cites his daughters, Sasha and Malia, as motivation to confront climate change. In a recent conversation with Leonardo DiCaprio about climate action, the president said:

    "The one thing I'm absolutely convinced about is, everybody cares about their kids, their grandkids, and the kind of world we pass on to them."

    With less than three months remaining in office, President Obama still has the opportunity to build on his already substantial climate legacy through several consequential executive actions. We've drafted a letter from parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles with five specific things President Obama can do in his final 87 days in office help put us on the path toward the 100 percent clean energy world that our kids deserve to grow up in.

    Sign the letter to tell President Obama: Create a climate legacy to help all children everywhere!

    We believe that parents and families have the power to be game changers in bringing about the bold, urgent changes our kids are counting on us to makeWhen parents begin to see taking action on climate as part of their job description, everything changes. 

    We're asking President Obama to: 

    • Set a goal of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 using 100 percent clean, renewable energy
    • Expand the coal-leasing moratorium on public lands to include a moratorium and review of new oil and gas leasing
    • Permanently protect the Arctic Ocean and unleased areas in the Gulf of Mexico from oil and gas development
    • Require a full environmental review for the Dakota Access Pipeline
    • Ban dangerous oil trains

    The fossil fuel industry will fight each of these actions, and now is a critical window to counter their influence with the power of parents and families demanding bold action. With a president who understands the stakes for our kids, we have a unique opportunity to put parent and family power in action by helping move him to end his term with a climate flourish. 

    Ask President Obama to take bold climate action for our kids!

    Our children inspire us every day to do everything we can to help preserve a livable planet for them. As Van Jones, CNN political commentator and activist, said recently, "the most powerful social movements in history have had love at their core. So does Climate Parents."  

    Thank you for taking action to keep our kids and communities healthy and safe!

    Sincerely,

    Michael Brune, Executive Director, Sierra Club

    Lisa Hoyos, Director, Climate Parents

    John Friedrich, Online Campaign Manager, Climate Parents

  • Hey! We're almost 5!


    We hope you're well and enjoying the beautiful weather. As the calendar moves forward, we wanted to share some of our achievements as we approach our 5th anniversary. The time has really flown!

    Over the last four years PUSH Green has helped a total of over 500 households across three counties in Western New York have energy efficiency retrofits completed on their homes, apartments and small businesses. Let’s get down to cases. 


    From 2012 to 2016, PUSH Green has had 330 completed retrofits through the Green Jobs/Green New York program.

    Through the free income-based program for homeowners and renters called EmPower NY, from 2012 to 2015, PUSH Green has distributed 700 applications across Western New York.  (According to Honeywell, the agency administering EmPowerNY, 250 of these households have received energy efficiency measures with our help.) 

    In our Green Development Zone alone, 217 households have gone green with us, in a lot of ways!

    (*This number is actually probably much higher, since EmPowerNY applications that we’ve given out don’t always get credited to us.)


    In our new Solar Program, we've gotten 8 homeowners to sign up for solar installations and about half of them have already had their systems installed.

    Then there’s our dynamic Small Commercial Energy Advocate Sheila, who has already met her NYSERDA goals for this year by having 30 businesses complete work through the small commercial program, and there are still more businesses working through the pipeline.


    We’re very proud of what we’ve accomplished so far and looking forward to an even  greener future!. Please tell folks you come across to call and talk to us. Besides our in-house programs, we have access to information about housing related issues for our neighbors across Erie County and the city of Niagara Falls. We’re here to connect people to energy and power!

  • Post Featured Image

    Featured partner: the Niagara Sierra Club!

    Not many people know enough about the Sierra Club, their history, mission and amazing influence. The Sierra Club was founded by the legendary John Muir in 1892. They have grown to become the nation's largest grassroots environmental justice organization in the country. Among many accomplishments, they spearheaded the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act.  Right here in Buffalo New York, there's an active chapter that has been a driving force behind important campaigns like Rise Up For Climate Justice. Want to learn more? Two meetings are coming up soon!

    • Group Meeting August 23, 2016 at 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm Daemen College, Main Street, Amherst, NY, United StatesMeetings held in Room 227, Dun Scotus Hall. Packed with discussion of current environmental issues. Meet other people and learn about on-going issues and local campaigns. All meetings are open to the public, so come join us. We look forward to meeting you.
    • Energy Committee MeetingSeptember 12, 2016 at 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm UU Church 695 Elmwood Ave. 2nd floor, Use side garden entrance All are welcome to join us as we work for renewable energy solutions to climate change.
  • Post Featured Image

    Caribbean Experience Goes Green!

    Caribbean Experience has gone GREEN with the help of PUSH Green's Building Retrofit Grant Program.  Come out and show your support for Caribbean Experience, the 2015 winner of Best Jerk. Hyacinth Patterson recently completed her combined energy efficiency and building repair project last month using NYSERDA's On-Bill Recovery program.  PUSH Green helps small businesses so give us a call to start your free energy assessment and see if you qualify for our building repair grant.

    Contact Sheila at sheila@pushbuffalo.org to get help for your small business!

  • Post Featured Image

    Meet the Andujar Family!

    Mom Iris and her son Nathaniel have lived on the West Side of Buffalo for decades. Two years ago, they were able to purchase a home that they had rented years earlier. The first winter revealed a leaking roof which they were unable to afford to repair. Too many of our neighbors have similar issues, structural repair needs that are beyond their budget, and that sadly keep them from accessing energy efficiency programs. The folks that could benefit most from energy efficiency are left out. So, we created the Warm & Dry on the West Side Initiative!

    For the Andujar's, we were able to use our funding to repair the roof and other structural issues, and then we worked with them to access weatherization, appliance upgrades and insulation through NYSERDA. Now cold rooms and drafts are a thing of the past, and they are living greener, healthier and more sustainably. Not only that, helping homeowners stay in their homes makes our community stable and healthy. When you factor in the value of reducing our carbon footprint and creating good paying green jobs - it's a win-win-win!



  • PUSH Green Looking for New Solar Energy Advocate

    PUSH Green looking for a new team member to help with getting our new solar energy program off the ground. Here's a link to the application/job description download. This is a full-time position. The respondents should send resumes along with cover letters to jason@pushbuffalo.org by no later than July 25, 2016



  • Post Featured Image

    Call To Action! NO Gas Rate Hike!

    National Fuel Gas Co. recently announced that they will be seeking to increase our utility bills by nearly 8%, while too many of us are already struggling to afford rent and other necessities. Our rents keep rising because of gentrification, and we're already stuck paying more to heat homes that are old, drafty and inefficient with energy. Based on average rents in Buffalo today, a couple both working full time at minimum wage can expect to spend almost half of income on rent - now we're being asked to put more of our money into repairing and expanding the pipelines! CEO Ronald Tanski makes $6.7 million last year, over $3200 an hour, he can certainly afford to put some of National Fuel's profits into maintaining and improving the pipelines. Mr Tanski apparently wants to take the profit and put the responsibility back onto the ratepayers - that ain't right!

    Yesterday, concerned community members gathered at the Amherst Municipal Building for a public hearing with National Fuel to say "No rate hike!" For more photos of the hearing click here. To learn more about this fight and get involved, contact PUSH Community Organizers Brenda or John at (716) 884-0356 and visit our website for updates and ways you can help!

  • Post Featured Image

    URGENT CALL TO ACTION! Call to support Senate Bill S.8005!

    Recently, PUSH Buffalo and a host of organizations championing #NYRenews from across New York State converged in Albany NY to demand passage of a historic Climate Justice Act - and we won!

    The fight hasn't ended yet though. The companion bill, S.8005, needs sponsorship in the NYS Senate. We have to ACT TODAY, call these Senators and voice our support! 

    The NYS Renews steering committee is asking us to call our local Republican Senators TODAY, Monday, June 13th and ask them to co-sponsor Senate bill S. 8005.  It’s the companion bill to the Assembly bill A. 10342, the NYS Climate and Community Protection Act which passed in the Assembly on June 1st after our rally in Albany.  The Senators are in their home offices today.

    WHY THIS CALL IS IMPORTANT:  We have 3 days left until the end of session.  We need a majority of the Senators to get this bill on the floor for a vote.  That means we need 33 co-sponsors—we’re close and we have 3 Republican Senate co-sponsors:  Senators Phil Boyle, Carl Marcellino and Jack Martins.  But we need more Republicans and are being asked to contact NYS Senators Patrick Gallivan (R-West Seneca, Lancaster, Warsaw.  .  .) andRobert Ortt (Niagara/Orleans Counties).

    WHO SHOULD CALL?  Any of us who support the NYS Climate and Community Protection Act.  If you live in the Senator’s district, it’s important to tell him or his aide that you do and give them your address.   If you don’t live in the district, tell them that you are active in one of the coalition organizations that supports the bill (e.g., Sierra Club, PUSH, Climate Action Coalition, CWA, NYSNA, etc.).  If you have friends who live in their district, ask them to call.

    WHAT SHOULD YOU SAY?  Tell them you are calling to ask them to co-sponsor S. 8005 which is being sponsored by Senator Diane Savino and it’s same as  Assembly bill A. 10342, the NYS Climate and Community Protection Act which passed in the Assembly on  June 1st.   Let them know that this bill will allow NYS to reach the governor’s goal of 50% renewable energy by 2030 and 100% by 2050; that it will provide good-paying clean energy jobs and ensure investments  in  our most vulnerable communities.  Also mention that 3 Republican Senators are co-sponsors of the bill.

    CONTACT INFORMATION. 

    NYS Senator Patrick Gallivan

    716-656-8544

    gallivan@nysenate.gov 

    NYS Senator Robert Ortt

    716-434-0680

    Ortt@nysenate.gov

RSS Feed