Clarke Reintroduces Legislation to Fight the Climate Crisis
U.S. Reps. Yvette D. Clarke (D- Central Brooklyn) and Nanette Diaz Barragán (D-CA) yesterday reintroduced a bill to create the first federal program to build 100-percent clean energy microgrids to power critical infrastructure for communities and protect against extreme weather events and power shut-offs.
The Energy Resilient Communities Act prioritizes energy equity and environmental justice by amplifying grant applications from low-income communities and communities of color for clean energy microgrids that will combat power outages and rolling blackouts and reduce pollution, create green jobs, and fight the climate crisis.
Clarke’s Ninth Congressional District, which includes Central and South Brooklyn, is home to a thriving clean energy microgrid located at the Marcus Garvey Apartments. Through a combination of solar panels, battery storage, and fuel cell generators, the Marcus Garvey microgrid provides clean reliable energy to apartment residents and supports the neighboring electric grid when the system is particularly stressed.
The funds and technical assistance designated in this new legislation will ensure communities throughout Brooklyn gain access to federal resources to implement similar systems across the borough.
“From Superstorm Sandy to summer heatwaves, Brooklynites are all too familiar with the impacts of extreme weather on our communities. Unfortunately, the climate crisis exacerbates these impacts, particularly for communities experiencing the greatest climate and pollution burden yet have received the least in renewable energy investments,” said Clarke. T
Through the federal programs established by this legislation, local communities will have access to considerable grant funding and technical assistance to develop zero-emission microgrids that will simultaneously combat the climate crisis while fortifying our essential services and infrastructure against future climate disasters,” she added.
Energy Resilient Communities Act Highlights:
- Authorizes $50 million in annual grants for technical assistance and $1.5 billion in annual grants for clean energy microgrids to support the critical infrastructure needed in the aftermath of an extreme weather event.
- A minimum of $150 million of annual authorized funding is reserved for grants supporting the construction of community-owned energy systems.
- State and local governments, territories, political subdivisions of the state, tribal agencies, utilities, and non-profits can apply for grants.
- Grants are prioritized for applications from environmental justice communities.
- Examples of critical infrastructure include hospitals, grocery stores, community centers, public safety facilities, water systems, public or affordable housing, medical baseline customers, and senior housing.
- Projects are additionally prioritized based on several criteria, including how effectively they reduce pollution and improve public health, whether they are built on previously disturbed land, whether they provide contracts to women and minority-owned businesses, their utilization of apprenticeships, and whether the proposed project will be a community-owned energy system.
- The maximum federal cost share of 60%, except for environmental justice communities, where the maximum federal cost share is 90%.
- Includes Buy American provisions to maximize American manufacturing jobs in producing materials and technology for microgrids.
- There are worker hiring targets for each project to maximize the number of local and economically disadvantaged workers, including those who live in environmental justice communities or were displaced from a previous job in the energy sector.
Treyger To Announce Proposal to Vaccinate Homebound Seniors
Council Member Mark Treyger will be joined by State Sen. Diane Savino (D-Coney Island, Staten Island) , Inna Lukyanenko, JCH Bensonhurst, Donna Bailey, Program Director, JASA and local senior community leader Pamela Pettyjohn are ramping up the pressure on the de Blasio Administration to provide a comprehensive plan to vaccinate homebound seniors and increase access to the COVID-19 vaccine.
In a virtual press confereenc, Treyger will outline his five-point plan to address the lack of vaccine outreach to seniors.
This event is slated to take place at 1:30 p.m. today, Jan. 26, at https://www.facebook.com/CouncilMemberTreyger/
Adams Demand Release of Ethinc Vaccine Data
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams joined elected leaders to announce that he is teaming up with famed civil rights attorney Norman Siegel on a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request to the City of New York demanding it release racial and ethnic data of those who have received the COVID-19 vaccine to date.
Borough President Adams, who recently joined the City Council’s Black, Latino, and Asian Caucus (BLAC) to call for the City to implement a real-time reporting system for such data, is now demanding the release of the data collected to date to ensure the dosages of the vaccine are administered equitably. During a press briefing this morning, Mayor de Blasio committed to releasing data from the City with an ethnic and racial breakdown of vaccine recipients to date later this week.
“We cannot afford to wait any longer. For weeks, we have been calling on the City to release the data on who is being vaccinated, to determine if the vaccine is being distributed equitably. Now, a troubling — but predictable — pattern is developing in states that have released the data, showing that Black Americans are falling behind in vaccination rates. We need real-time data on the racial breakdown of those who have been vaccinated, and we need it now. I’m proud to partner with Norman Siegel, a staunch advocate for justice and equality, in demanding the City show us the numbers. It is heartening to hear that Mayor de Blasio has committed to releasing this data as of this morning, but we should have been collecting and reporting it from the start of our vaccination efforts. The longer we wait to get a clear picture of our vaccination rollout, the more we risk making the same mistakes we did in the early days of the pandemic,” said Adams.
James on Fraudulent Sales of PS5 Gaming Consoles
New York Attorney General Letitia James announced that her office is looking into potentially fraudulent sales of Sony PlayStation 5 (PS5) gaming consoles after receiving complaints from consumers who paid for consoles but never received them.
The complaints center around “Prestigious Marketing Concepts,” a company that claimed to have the in-demand consoles available for purchase, yet has failed to provide them to customers who paid full — and even above retail — prices upfront and have gone months without receiving them.
James encourages anyone who purchased a PS5 from Prestigious Marketing Concepts, but has not received it, to file a complaint with her office online or by calling 1-800-771-7755.