ALBANY — A youth-oriented environmental group known for making waves in Washington is backing Jumaane Williams and Ana María Archila as the pair of progressives unveil their climate platform.
The Sunrise Movement’s endorsement of Williams and Archila in their respective bids for governor and lieutenant governor in the upcoming Democratic primary comes after climate-focused groups expressed frustration with Gov. Hochul’s reluctance to sign a cryptocurrency mining moratorium and the Legislature’s failure to approve a renewable energy bill.
“We’re confident that Jumaane and Ana María will bring bold progressive leadership to Albany and will be fierce advocates for environmental justice and the working people of New York,” Alex Graves and Tyler Hack, Sunrise NYC’s political endorsements team leaders, said in a statement.
Williams, currently the city public advocate, is facing off against Hochul and Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-L.I.) in the June 28 primary.
[ Jumaane Williams seeks to channel progressive energy in New York governor’s race ]
He and Archila are rolling out a New York-focused Green New Deal that they say would accelerate the state’s transition away from fossil fuels and move New York toward renewable energy and publicly owned utilities.
“Jumaane and I are the only ones in this race with a comprehensive plan to deliver a Green New Deal for New York, and we’re committed to making sure our state meets the climate crisis with the bold policies and resources required,” Archila said.
The two also want to see move investments in green infrastructure and public transit and the creation of a state-level independent utility consumer advocate. Hochul vetoed a bill creating such an office late last year, arguing that the office would be redundant.
Williams and Archila believe they are the state’s best shot at making the goals set forth three years ago in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. Per the law, New York must be powered by 70% renewable energy by 2030 and fully zero-emissions electricity by 2040.
Less than a third of the energy generated in the state currently comes from renewable sources.
[ Ana Maria Archila gets backing from progressives in bid to become the next N.Y. lieutenant governor ]
“Climate can’t wait, and New York can’t go another four years with climate policy coming second to cryptocurrency or corporate donors,” Williams said. “As we look ahead to the final weeks of the campaign, I’m proud to partner with them again to advance a vision to combat the climate crisis with urgency and with equity.”
Several major environmental bills that would have helped the state attain some its climate goals failed to gain approval this year.
The All-Electric Building Act, which would have banned gas hookups in new buildings in 2027, did not come up for a vote despite some early support from Hochul during budget talks.
And the Build Public Renewables Act, which would have given the New York Power Authority the ability to generate more energy from renewable sources and provide it directly to homes and businesses, stalled in the Assembly.
Lawmakers in both Democrat-led chambers did approve a two-year moratorium on cryptocurrency mining at fossil fuel power plants. During a gubernatorial debate last week, Hochul would not say whether she intends to sign off on the proposal.
“This bill came up at the very end of session,” she said, noting the Senate approved the bill in one of its final actions. “We didn’t have a chance to have our legislative team engage with it, to work out any problems or to say yes or no to any modifications that naturally occur in the process.”