Julie Tighe

Julie Tighe- New York League of Conservation Voters

Julie Tighe is the president of NYLCV and NYLCVEF. In that role, she played a significant role in passing the CLCPA, congestion pricing, and all-electric school buses. She also secured increased funding for water infrastructure and parks, a commitment for citywide curbside composting, and was instrumental in the campaign that led to the passage of the $4.2B Clean Water, Clean Air, Green Jobs Bond Act. Previously, she served as chief of staff at NYSDEC.

What is one thing your organization hopes to accomplish in 2024?
We need to act on multiple sectors to fight climate change. 1: Transportation – we need a clean fuel standard to slash our use of dirty diesel and fund electrification. 2: Buildings – We must turn off the gas spigot and start the clean heating and cooling transition with NY Heat plus start to build thermal energy networks. 3: Energy – we need bolder offshore wind goals – and speed up transmission, because there is no transition without transmission!

Do you have any advice for someone looking to pursue a career in your field?
Take the win. Don’t make the perfect the enemy of the good. There will always need to be compromises but don’t forego a win today so you can get an incrementally bigger win tomorrow. You don’t stop fighting to get to the end zone when you get the first down. But it’s a lot easier to score the touchdown when you keep moving the chains down the field.

What is one thing everyone can do to help protect the environment?
We say this often at the League: Our Vote is Our Power. The most important thing you can do to protect the environment is to vote. In every election. We can only do so much as individuals. Elected officials are the ones who can deliver systemic policies that will–or won’t–protect our environment and stem the tide of climate change. By voting for candidates who prioritize the environment, we can help ensure a sustainable and just future.

What can policymakers do to aid in your organization’s work?
The League advocates for policies and initiatives that protect our air and water, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and promote clean energy. We need policymakers to educate themselves on these issues and partner with us to adopt more sustainable policies and practices. And if they don’t, we’ll hold them to account!

John O’Leary

John O’Leary- Office of Governor Kathy Hochul

John O’Leary serves as deputy secretary for energy and environment in the Office of Governor Kathy Hochul where he leads the Governor’s strategy for clean energy, climate action, and environmental protection. John oversees a portfolio of thirteen state agencies and authorities which are mobilizing billions in clean energy investment, implementing the $4.2 billion Environmental Bond Act, taking action to decarbonize buildings and transportation, and managing parks and public lands.

What is one thing your organization hopes to accomplish in 2024?
In 2024, New York will continue to grow the clean energy economy, protect energy affordability for families and businesses, and make concrete progress toward the ambitious goals set in the 2019 Climate Act. We have major clean energy projects under construction across the state. We’re launching the offshore wind industry. We’re developing an ambitious Cap and Invest program, growing a statewide EV charging network, and we’re supporting cost-saving energy efficiency and electrification of buildings.

Do you have any advice for someone looking to pursue a career in your field?
There are so many exciting opportunities in sustainability, environmental protection and renewable energy. Find your niche and don’t stop learning until you get to the frontier of your field. You’ll add the most value and feel the most fulfilled if you’re tackling the big open questions you care the most about. Find people you admire and ask for their advice and mentorship. These relationships motivate and inspire me to keep up the fight every day.

What is one thing everyone can do to help protect the environment?
Everyone can have an impact. How you use your voice, how you vote, the work you do, and the things you choose to buy are all ways you can help protect the environment. If you’re looking for inspiration, “All We Can Save” gives examples of how individuals have helped. Read it with a group of friends and commit to taking action!

John McManus

John McManus- Harris Beach

John is the managing partner of Harris Beach’s Capital Region offices in Albany and Saratoga Springs and a member of the firm’s Energy Industry Team. Among other regulatory approvals, John successfully represented an offshore wind developer in securing a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need pursuant to Article VII of the Public Service Law from the Public Service Commission for the transmission facilities to interconnect the offshore wind farm with the State’s electrical grid.

What is one thing your organization hopes to accomplish in 2024?
Harris Beach’s Energy Industry Team is working on a number of cutting-edge projects in 2024 that will help the State meet its nation-leading energy and environmental goals in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act or CLCPA. Our Team hopes to file two Article VII applications with the Public Service Commission for major electric transmission facilities that will assist the State in meeting its offshore wind requirements under the CLCPA.

Do you have any advice for someone looking to pursue a career in your field?
Become a subject matter expert. Energy law is a highly regulated and technical sector. Staying current on regulatory changes and technical innovations is crucial to be able to guide clients through an ever-changing legal landscape with the clients’ ever-evolving technology.

What is one thing everyone can do to help protect the environment?
Take time to think about your impact on the environment and then take steps to reduce your impact. Everyone can do their part to reduce their individual impact on the environment from recycling to using a programmable thermostat. Aggregated together, these positive individual steps will result in meaningful changes that will benefit the environment.

What can policymakers do to aid in your organization’s work?
In order to meet the State’s nation-leading energy and environmental requirements in the CLCPA, among other steps, a significant amount of renewable energy generation and battery energy storage facilities are going to need to be sited over the next several years. In order to meet these goals, policymakers should strive to provide regulatory certainty to allow for project developers to site these types of projects in a timely, economical, and responsible manner.

Doug Perkins

Doug Perkins- Community Offshore Wind

As president and project director, Doug drives the strategy and implementation of the project and supports engagement with key stakeholders across local communities, including policymakers, suppliers, community leaders and elected officials. Doug has worked in clean energy for more than a decade and has worked for the past five years in offshore wind development.  A native Long Islander, Doug graduated from Boston University with a B.A. in environmental science with a concentration in coastal ecology.

What is one thing your organization hopes to accomplish in 2024?
In 2024, we want to continue to connect with New Yorkers through listening and community service, to ensure the clean energy future is just and equitable. Whether it’s offering workforce training programs to prepare workers for new jobs in offshore wind, or funding community programs like reduced-cost childcare to break down long-standing barriers to economic opportunity, we’re focused on delivering the benefits of the clean energy transition to every New York worker, family and business.

Do you have any advice for someone looking to pursue a career in your field?
It’s never too early to start preparing and training for a career in offshore wind. From taking swimming lessons to pursuing degrees in engineering and marine sciences to interning with environmental research or advocacy organizations, this is an industry that brings together workers from all kinds of fields of expertise and training. And anyone, at any stage of their career, can start preparing for tomorrow’s offshore wind jobs today.

What is one thing everyone can do to help protect the environment?
Speak up! Whether it’s calling lawmakers to ask for policy changes that support clean energy development, forest and water conservation, or working to mobilize our neighbors to clean up the natural environments around us, your voice and actions are the most important ways to bring others to the table and make a collective impact. Protecting our environment requires everyone to do their part, and participating in those conversations is absolutely vital to this work.

What can policymakers do to aid in your organization’s work?
The creation of a robust supply chain and related infrastructure are vital to the success of our growing industry. With supportive policies, lawmakers can help accelerate new manufacturing infrastructure, transmission upgrades to accommodate power generated by offshore wind projects, and workforce programs needed to prepare New Yorkers for the clean energy jobs of tomorrow. We see these as opportunities for developers and lawmakers to work hand-in-hand to reach New York’s ambitious climate targets.

Jeffery Brault

Jeffrey Brault- Hornblower Group_page-0001

Jeff leads community engagement, communications, and public affairs strategies across Hornblower’s ferries and transportation portfolio of public transit, offshore wind, and public-private partnership operations. At NYC Ferry, Jeff expands and diversifies the community engagement and communications that have supported the record ridership and growth of the Ferry Discount Program. Jeff led the communications and public affairs strategies to help Hornblower successfully win the competitive procurement process to continue as the founding operator of NYC Ferry.

Why did you pursue a career in transportation?
Public transportation sits at the center of so many issues impacting everyday people and allows me to play a small part in responding to each of them by helping to expand access and usage of reliable, convenient, and affordable transit options.

What is your favorite travel experience?
My morning commute – hands down the best views of the sunrise in New York City is on the water.

What is your preferred method of transportation?
A bike-to-NYC Ferry combo for travel across the five boroughs

Anne Reynolds

Anne Reynolds- Alliance for Clean Energy New York

Since 2014, Anne Reynolds has served as the executive director of the Alliance for Clean Energy New York where she has successfully advocated for New York’s 70% Clean Energy Standard and a NYSERDA procurement program to support that mandate, and the development of the New York Offshore Wind Alliance. Prior to ACE, Ms. Reynolds served as a deputy commissioner and as assistant commissioner for Policy and Planning at the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).