Struggling New Yorkers Demand Action from Gov as #HeatDomeHochul Hits

After killing climate legislation this session, Governor continues to offer nothing more than thoughts and prayers to families struggling to survive the heat

NEW YORK, NY (06/18/2024) (readMedia)-- Last week, the NYS Assembly failed to pass any meaningful legislation to address climate change after Governor Hochul derailed the end of the legislative session. Now, as New Yorkers face a historic and deadly heat wave, impacted residents and advocates are demanding the Governor and legislature do more to help their constituents and pass the NY HEAT Act, instead of tweeting her way through another weather event.

"Extreme heat makes staying in my home unbearable, and because I can't afford to run an air conditioner all day, my life revolves around trying to stay safe from my own home until the heat breaks. I am forced to spend each day traveling between cooling centers across the city and eating at senior centers to survive. But there are many other New Yorkers like me that are forced to endure this climate injustice. Lawmakers need to step up and pass the NY HEAT Act, which would help make energy affordable and save lives during deadly heat waves like the one we are experiencing this week, and help tackle climate change that's impacting the most vulnerable New Yorkers every day," said Mone Choy, a member of WE ACT for Environmental Justice who was featured in an ad campaign this spring urging lawmakers to pass the NY HEAT Act.

"Our members are struggling every day to stay safe from the extreme weather that's becoming 'the new normal' under Governor Hochul, who continues to do nothing about it. New Yorkers - especially communities most impacted by climate change and skyrocketing energy bills - are desperate for relief. Rather than tweet the equivalent of thoughts and prayers to New Yorkers in need, the Governor should start acting like the climate leader she claims to be and get the NY HEAT Act done. NY HEAT would help households suffering from high energy bills and begin to address climate change; it's the single most impactful thing she can do on climate, right now," said Annie Carforo, Climate Justice Campaign Coordinator at WE ACT for Environmental Justice.


Last week, Senator Liz Krueger, Chair of the Senate Finance Committee and Senate sponsor of the NY HEAT Act, told New York Magazine that Gov. Hochul's congestion pricing decision killed the nearly-finished negotiations on the NY HEAT Act between the Senate, Assembly and Executive. She said, "We literally were in three-way negotiations for several weeks and we were so close. And then the governor's people weren't responding to calls or requests for that very last meeting... So, then they stopped reaching out and NY HEAT did not pass because we never got to the three-way agreement that we were sure we would."

Despite lawmakers' failure to pass the bill, the NY HEAT Act has support across the legislature. Governor Hochul embraced key parts of the NY HEAT Act in her Executive Budget proposal, the Senate passed the bill twice, and the bill has support from a majority of Assemblymembers.

The Home Energy Affordable Transition Act, also known as the NY HEAT Act, will stop the expansion of New York's outdated and dangerous fracked gas system. The bill gets rid of the 100-foot rule, which forces New York families to pay $200 million every year to subsidize new gas hookups, and amends the obligation to serve fracked gas. The bill would allow utilities to provide cheaper and clean heating alternatives at no additional cost to customers – a win-win for New Yorkers and the environment.