Huber Discusses the Build Public Renewables Act in Public Power Review Articles
November 13, 2023
Public Power Review
Matthew T. Huber
In May, the New York State passed budget legislation that included an initiative to allow the New York State Power Authority (NYPA) to own and operate renewable energy projects across the state. This new law built upon previous legislation drawn up by a campaign of environmental groups and Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) chapters across New York State under the name the “Build Public Renewables Act” (BPRA).
In part one of his essay, published in Public Power Review, Professor of Geography and the Environment Matthew Huber examines the labor question and argues the BPRA win is a product of DSA’s impressive electoral success and power in the New York legislature. That’s despite the campaign’s inability to gain traction with the highly organized workers in the electricity/utility system—a reality obscured by much of the hype surrounding the victory.
In part two he assesses similarly dubious campaign claims that BPRA is a climate victory, i.e., that it will use the public sector to spur rapid decarbonization, and more broadly that it represents a model for a “Green New Deal.”
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