ALBANY, N.Y. (NEXSTAR) — The governor talked more thoroughly about the state’s continued push towards green energy with a $29 billion investment including multiple offshore wind and solar projects Wednesday. It also includes an offshore wind turbine manufacturing facility in the Port of Albany and a training institute through the State University of New York.
“Nature is telling us, do something or I will,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.
Cuomo talked about putting a green energy system in place that’s self-sustaining, can compete with and win in the global green market. New York is also working on solving the problem of green energy battery storage with a “state of the art” project.
The battery storage project and Offshore Wind Training Institute are two of three green projects the state is taking bids for. The other project is aimed at breaking up congestion in the energy grid with the building of new transmission lines. Governor Cuomo said other proposals to meet the state’s green energy goals not outlined in the State of the State will also be considered.
Green energy projects will create thousands of jobs helping the state’s economy recover post-COVID-19. The governor’s Green New Deal set a goal of providing energy to the state’s 1.2 million homes and businesses through 100% clean energy by 2040.
New York’s COVID-19 response, the budget shortage, rebuilding the state’s economy, and reopening the arts were Cuomo’s primary focus in the first two days of his State of the State. He also talked in-short about expanding broadband access, expanding telehealth, public safety, racial inequity, election reform, and the legalization of recreational marijuana as well as online sports betting.
On Monday the governor said there was a $15 billion deficit in the state’s budget. He said the federal government was to blame for the COVID-19 pandemic overtaking the nation and that New Yorkers could not be asked to foot the bill.
He called on Washington to make more financial aid available and called on them to tax the nation’s wealthiest in order to help rebuild the economy. New York will “do its part” in the economic recovery efforts by legalizing recreational marijuana and online sports betting, said Cuomo.
He unveiled a seven-point plan that includes defeating COVID-19 and vaccinating all New Yorkers. It also included managing the short-term deficit, investing in the future, moving more towards green energy, and understanding the long-term effects of COVID-19.
Tuesday Cuomo switched gears and spent the greater part of 30 minutes discussing how to reopen arts and entertainment venues. He said hundreds of rapid testing sites would be opening in the coming weeks and that the shift to remote business should be embraced.
The state would continue its plan to make broadband service not only available to all New Yorkers but affordable too. As part of that plan, internet companies will be mandated to provide broadband access for $15 a month to low-income families. A state fund will also be set up to help families get access to broadband who cannot afford the $15 a month.
Commercial and private evictions, utility disconnections during emergencies, greater access to SUNY and CUNY resources for nurses, modernizing the office of professional medical conduct, domestic violence and gender-based violence, and pedestrian access to Moynihan Train Hall are also on the governor’s agenda for 2021.