Recent investments in renewable energy projects will generate around 6.5 gigawatts of electricity, enough to power more than 2 million New York homes. (Adobe Stock)

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By Edwin J. Viera

November 17, 2023   

New York elected officials who are veterans are rallying around the Inflation Reduction Act’s clean energy investments.

The massive federal spending package is providing New York with $34 billion for energy storage and large-scale renewables through 2030. And currently, more than $1 billion is being put into a slew of offshore wind and clean energy projects, equal to nearly 80% of the state’s 2030 energy goals.

Asm. Angelo Santabarbara, D-Amsterdam, who served in the Army Reserve, said the Inflation Reduction Act supports national security.

“By embracing renewable energy, our goal, of course, is energy independence, reduced reliance on fossil fuels,” Santabarbara explained. “Ultimately, that benefits consumers nationwide.”

Energy independence has become a rising concern since Russia and Ukraine went to war in 2022. According to World Population Review the U.S. imported 405,000 barrels of oil a day from Russia before the war started, the fourth most from any country.

A survey from the Pew Research Center found two thirds of Americans feel renewable energy sources needs to be a priority, twice the portion who say growing fossil fuel production should be considered.

John Polimeni, a city council member in Schenectady and an economist on the National Leadership Council of Elected Officials to Protect America, said the Inflation Reduction Act will develop a strong, clean economy for New Yorkers.

“Tax credits will further expand these opportunities all of which will create thousands of new high paying jobs at the prevailing wage,” Polimeni pointed out. “Combined with investment in workforce development, many New Yorkers will be lifted into the middle class.”

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority reported clean energy jobs across the state grew to more than 171,000 last year.