ICYMI: In New Video, Mark Ruffalo Urges Gov. Hochul and NY Legislature to Pass Full NY HEAT Act in the Budget

The new video is part of an overwhelming push from New Yorkers to get the full NY HEAT Act in the budget

NEW YORK, NY (04/11/2024) (readMedia)-- Today, actor and long-time environmental advocate Mark Ruffalo released a video urging Governor Hochul and state legislative leaders to pass the full NY HEAT Act in the budget. The video describes what the NY HEAT Act will do and the critical need for it to protect our climate and save New Yorkers money. In recent weeks, an overwhelming chorus of organizations and New Yorkers have urged the Governor and the Legislature to stand up to the fossil fuel industry and pass the full NY HEAT Act in the budget.

The video is available here: https://twitter.com/MarkRuffalo/status/1778146700562944198

As Mark Ruffalo says in the video, "The bill is vital for public health and the climate, reducing air pollution and greenhouse gasses from homes and buildings. Passing the full New York HEAT ACT in this budget will be a big step forward to ensure New York achieves its ambitious climate goals while putting money in your pocket. The NY HEAT Act is a big win for New Yorkers and it has a lot of support, but the fossil fuel industry is making a lot of noise to try and stop it - so please join me in calling on our State's leaders to pass it now!"

Earlier this week, a new report exposed National Fuel Gas's extensive effort to block passage of the NY HEAT Act. Since lawmakers first introduced the legislation to limit family's utility costs, NFG has increased its contributions to candidates by over 300% - while simultaneously filing plans to raise rates on its customers by 13.7%.


According to a recent Siena Poll, cost of living is the most important issue facing most New Yorkers this election season, while more than two-thirds of New Yorkers want to see bold action on climate change. Double-digit rate hikes from ConEd, National Grid, NYSEG, RG&E, Central Hudson, National Fuel Gas, and O&R only exacerbate the cost of living problem. New York lawmakers have an opportunity to protect families by passing the NY HEAT Act in the budget and putting a limit on household utility bills to 6% of a family's income.

According to a new statewide report from WIN Climate and NY Renews, the NY HEAT Act would save the 24% of all households that struggle to afford their energy bills an average of $142 each month-cutting bills in half. In Erie County, where National Fuel Gas operates, the NY HEAT Act would save the 24% of energy burdened residents an average of $109 per month.

New York lawmakers have an opportunity to protect families by passing the NY HEAT Act in the budget and putting a limit on household utility bills to 6% of a family's income. The bill would curtail new investments in the dirty, outdated, fracked gas system to the tune of more than a billion dollars every year on the backs of utility bill payers, while accelerating fossil fuel-generated climate change that supercharges storms, floods, and wildfires and drives deadly extreme heat and cold. The bill also amends the utilities' obligation to provide gas service to allow utilities to provide cheaper and clean heating alternatives at no cost to customers. In addition to cost savings detailed above, the bill gets rid of the unfair 100-foot rule, which forces New York families to subsidize new gas hookups to the tune of $200 million every year.

In January, Governor Hochul included key provisions of the NY HEAT Act in her Executive Budget proposal. Last month, the Senate reaffirmed its support for the NY HEAT Act by passing the full bill, and for the first time, the NY HEAT Act has 76 sponsors in the Assembly-majority support in the chamber. It is a budget priority for the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic & Asian Legislative Caucus. Now, Governor Hochul and Assembly leadership have an unprecedented opportunity to pass legislation that would modernize New York's utility regulations and include critical language to save New Yorkers struggling to afford their heating bills more money for other crucial expenses.

Despite widespread support for the NY HEAT Act, in recent years, major fossil fuel companies have set up a front group called "New Yorkers for Affordable Energy" to spread misinformation about New York's climate policies. Last year, utility company National Fuel Gas was caught spending ratepayer money to advocate against the All-Electric Building Act and the NY HEAT Act - policies that are in ratepayers' best interests. The President of National Fuel Gas was also recently the chairperson of the Business Council of New York State, which announced in October 2023 a $1 million ad campaign urging Governor Hochul to roll back New York's nation-leading climate law. The fossil fuel industry is more interested in spending big to protect its profits than in protecting the pockets of struggling New Yorkers and preventing catastrophic climate change.

About Better Buildings New York

BBNY is a coalition of organizations working for the equitable decarbonization of homes and buildings in New York State. We are committed to environmental justice and a just transition to all-electric homes and buildings.