Tag Archives: NYS Governor Kathy Hochul

NYS Goes on Offensive in Protecting CyberSecurity With First-in-Nation Joint Security Ops Center

New York State Governor Kathy Hochul has proposed a historic $61.9 million investment in the state’s cyber protections, which includes creating the first-in-nation Joint Security Operations Center to oversee cybersecurity across the state and $30 million to help local governments bolster their cyber defenses © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

The New York JSOC Will Serve as a First-of-its-Kind Hub for Data Sharing and Cyber Coordination Across New York State, New York City, the Five Major Upstate Cities, Local and Regional Governments, Critical Infrastructure and Federal Partners

Announcement Builds on Governor Hochul’s Unprecedented $61.9 Million Investment in the State’s Cybersecurity Infrastructure as Part of FY23 Budget

Governor Proposes Historic New $30 Million Program for Localities to Help Bolster Cyber Defenses Statewide

As reports have come in about cyberattacks to cripple Ukraine, New York State Governor Kathy Hochul announced the creation of a Joint Security Operations Center in Brooklyn that will serve as the nerve center for joint local, state and federal cyber efforts, including data collection, response efforts and information sharing.  A partnership  launched with New York City Mayor Eric Adams, Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan, Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, Rochester Mayor Malik Evans, Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano, and cyber leaders across the state, the JSOC is the nation’s first-of-its-kind cyber command center that will provide a statewide view of the cyber-threat landscape and improve coordination on threat intelligence and incident response.

“There is a new type of emerging risk that threatens our daily lives, and just as we improved our physical security infrastructure in the aftermath of 9/11, we must now transform how we approach cybersecurity with that same rigor and seriousness,” Governor Hochul said. “I’m proud to announce this dynamic and innovative partnership to establish the Joint Security Operations Center in collaboration with New York City, our upstate cities, and government and business leaders across the state. Cybersecurity has been a priority for my administration since Day 1, and this command center will strengthen our ability to protect New York’s institutions, infrastructure, our citizens and public safety.” 

This innovative collaboration has been months in the making and is the result of Governor Hochul and her team’s early vision and commitment to enhancing the State’s cybersecurity posture. No other state has brought together cybersecurity teams in a shared command space at this scale including federal, state, city, and county governments, critical businesses and utilities, and state entities like Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, Office of Information Technology Services, New York State Police, MTA, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the New York Power Authority, among others.

New York’s leadership in finance, energy, transportation, healthcare, and other critical fields makes the State an attractive target for cyberattacks that can disrupt operations, including critical infrastructure and services to citizens. While government entities across the State have historically taken an independent approach to cyber defense and protecting the safety of their technology assets, acting alone is no longer optimal. As the frequency and sophistication of cyberattacks have grown, so too has the need for a “whole of government” approach.

The JSOC, headquartered in Brooklyn and staffed by both physical and virtual participants from across the state, will improve defenses by allowing cyber teams to have a centralized viewpoint of threat data. This will yield better collaboration on threat intelligence, reduction in response time, and quicker remediation in the event of a major cyber incident. It will help participating entities respond to potential issues and elevate systemic trends that may have otherwise gone undetected. This approach leverages all the cyber defense assets at the state, city, local and authority-level under one umbrella.

New York State will collaborate with city and regional leaders on cyber trainings and exercises as the JSOC becomes operational over the coming months. The Governor and her team will continue ongoing conversations with the White House and federal partners to ensure coordination.

This builds on Governor Hochul’s historic proposal in this year’s budget for investment in New York State’s cyber protections, which includes $61.9 million for cybersecurity, doubling the previous investment. These investments will fund critical protections, including the expansion of the state’s cyber Red Team program to provide additional penetration testing, an expanded phishing exercise program, vulnerability scanning and additional cyber incident response services. These investments help ensure that if one part of the network is attacked, the State can isolate and protect the rest of the system.

As part of this proposal, the Governor is also proposing a $30 million “shared services” program to help local governments and other regional partners acquire and deploy high quality cybersecurity services to bolster their cyber defenses. The interconnected nature of the state’s networks and IT programs means that attacks can quickly spread across the state. Many government entities often do not have the funding or resources necessary to protect their systems, some which provide critical services like healthcare, law enforcement, emergency management, water treatment, and unemployment insurance, to name a few. 

In remarks announcing the new cybersecurity effort, Governor Hochul said, “Given the increasingly volatile geopolitical circumstances with Russia and Ukraine. And we just heard from President Biden moments ago on the advancing troops from Russia, we can no longer act independently. And that has been the case where the state of New York has its plan. City of New York has a plan. Our mayors, our local governments throughout the state of New York. And that is not sustainable in light of the threats that we’re seeing. And we can’t expect cities and counties to go it alone. They don’t have the resources, they don’t have the technological know-how and we’re rethinking our entire approach to cybersecurity really based on the model that was put together after 9/11, when we had a fight and talk about how we can bring people together for our physical security. And that was the genesis of the joint terrorism task force…

We realized that we’re only as strong as our weakest link and the synergy between even our local governments, our cities, and our counties, they’re connected to our state operations. So an attack on them could lead to a larger attack and disruption of service from the state as well. So again, breaking down the silos, the data sharing that has not gone on and bringing it together under one place, and we can strengthen our defenses exponentially.

“And we all know that cyber criminals are relentless. They are motivated, whether they’re state actors, whether they’re rogue individuals, they’re trying to disrupt our operations. Their intent is truly malicious, and that’s why we want to take serious steps here today.

“They’re trying to disrupt our systems and sometimes even extort us for money. And we’ve seen that with hospitals and schools and universities in our own state. And in fact that right now, even costs us $5 to $10 billion a year annually. And just in the last year, 2020 to 21, we’ve had actually 85 serious attacks. And this is even before we’re dealing with the geopolitical situation that I referenced earlier.

“So we know cyber-attacks will continue to happen. And in the long term, this joint security operation, which we call JSOC, you always have to have an acronym if you’re talking about anything in law enforcement, JSOC, this’ll be the tip of the spear for our cybersecurity operations in the state.

“So we know cyber-attacks will continue to happen. And in the long term, this joint security operation, which we call JSOC, you always have to have an acronym if you’re talking about anything in law enforcement, JSOC, this’ll be the tip of the spear for our cybersecurity operations in the state.

“And here we are at 11 MetroTech. And again, this will allow us to have a statewide view and operation sharing. They’ll be doing tabletop exercises. They’ll be working closely together. And I have to tell you, this is absolutely unprecedented. I anticipate that this will be a model for other states. Other areas should be dealing with the same sense of urgency that we [bring] to this. But we know New York state, New York City, we are always going to be in the line of sight for the terrorists and those who want to disrupt our way of life. And knowing that we are the epicenter of financial institutions, and our operations are large infrastructure, and our transportation systems, the MTA, the Port Authority. So that is why we were working so closely with them. And I want to thank Mayor Adams and Chief Technology Officer, Matt Fraser for their partnership.

“We just had a tour of the facility. It is state-of-the-art. This, again, is an incredible model of what collaboration and partner looks like as well. As I mentioned, Albany Mayor Sheehan and, Mayor Spano, who’ve traveled here together today. So this is what collaboration looks like. Physically here, but also we have to put money behind this. And I realized as Governor, and I started asking questions about what we’ve done, where our investments have been, they have been lacking. And I’m proud that my administration is proposing a historic $62 million investment in cybersecurity. More than double what has been spent in previous years and making sure that we have the resource.”

Local governments will get $30 million to buy, at a subsidized price, the technological know-how they need to defend themselves.

Hochul said the state would also be increasing the number of cybersecurity professionals in the state’s workforce, with a plan to hire 70 immediately. “We’re going to be aggressive about identifying cybersecurity individuals who are early in their careers through our Excelsior Fellows program. Also mid-year technologists who have specialties in this, offering them 18 months deployments to become embedded with these operations right here, an incredible experience for them and we’ll take from their experience as well.”

SUNY and CUNY systems are also primed to be training the next generation of professionals. The College Of Emergency Preparedness and Homeland Security at the University of Albany is the first of its kind in the nation. “We need to replicate this. So we have cybersecurity degrees all over the State of New York. These are our ways that we’re going to be attracting more people getting more talent here and using, the very best and the brightest that we can to address this threat.”

Hochul added, “This is also an individual challenge. And I’m afraid that many of members of the public become desensitized when they say, well, ‘You need to make sure that you have a strong passwords and multifactor authentication,’ which people not even quite sure what that means. You need to protect yourself and change your passwords. Be prepared. Act as if you know that attack is coming, because if it comes and you’re not ready, it can be devastating. Your access to your money, your ability to make purchases. You do not want to be there at a place where you would say to yourself, ‘I wish I had taken steps.’

“This is the warning. This is the warning in light of what’s happening globally. This is what is happening, throughout a normal course of our years, as we’ve seen with these attacks, we’ve experienced over the last decade. And so, now is the time for New Yorkers to be prepared. And those of us with older parents or grandparents, tell them not to open up an email if they do not know, it’s not pictures from their grandchildren, don’t open it up. Because there really is a lot of phishing going on, a lot of opportunities for people to really take your personal information and use it in nefarious ways. And so we want to make sure that our older loved ones hear this warning, understand what they need to do, or not do, in a circumstance that we’re describing here as well.

“So, I’ll close by saying the threat of cyber-attacks is very real. Particularly now, that is the warning we’re receiving out of Washington, particularly for a place like New York, and therefore our state and our cities will be taking a leading role in fortifying our defenses in the battlefield against cyber warfare.

“And we will be as relentless in our defense as the criminals are in their aggression. Mark my words, we will thwart them at every step of the way. And this is proof of what we’re doing here today. Again,first in the nation. And I do hope that other states and other governors will follow the lead of what we’re doing here today.”

New York City Mayor Eric Adams said,”New York City is a prime target for those who want to attack our cyber infrastructure to cause destruction. While New York City Cyber Command is already a national model for impeding these threats, it’s time our cybersecurity moved to the next level. We know that when it comes to cyberattacks, the difference between a minor disruption and a catastrophe can be a matter of minutes. That is why the new Joint Security Operations Center will take an integrated and holistic approach to hardening our cyber defenses across the state. I thank Governor Hochul and our fellow mayors for their partnership, and look forward to working with them to confront this common threat.”

Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Director Jen Easterly said, “In today’s globally interconnected world, everyone plays a role in protecting Americans against the threat of cyberattacks. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) applauds the creation of the NY JSOC and, as always, stands ready to partner with our state and local counterparts in keeping New York’s critical infrastructure safe and secure. Proactive cybersecurity incident response and recovery planning will help mitigate risk and ensure a unified response when an incident happens. Collaboration is at the heart of CISA’s mission, and we look forward to supporting this effort as it becomes operational.”

Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Jackie Bray said“Thanks to Governor Hochul’s leadership and vision, we are bringing an integrated, statewide approach to cybersecurity with our government partners. The JSOC will become the nerve center for collecting intelligence on potential threats, keeping an eye out for intruders and breaches, and responding to cybersecurity threats and incidents.”

New York State Office of Information Technology Services Chief Information Officer Angelo “Tony” Riddick said,”Governor Hochul’s commitment to safeguard our state’s infrastructure and the personal information of all New Yorkers has been a priority since her first day in office. The new normal of constant cyber risks threaten every level of government, so we must take innovative steps and work together. Creation of a JSOC will better protect our information and ensure we remain even more vigilant against cybercrime while keeping New Yorkers safe.”

New York State Police Superintendent Kevin Bruen said,”Collaboration and information sharing are crucially important when it comes to providing security and assessing threats.  We appreciate the efforts by Governor Hochul to form this innovative partnership, which will help strengthen cybersecurity efforts and improve response to future incidents.”

Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton said“The safety and security of the Port Authority’s transportation facilities remain the highest priority of the Port Authority – including a relentless focus on cybersecurity. We applaud Governor Hochul, Mayor Adams and leaders from across the state for creating the JSOC that will enhance the ability of government agencies to identify, resource and implement best practices TO combat cyber threats as they continue to evolve.”

Interim President and CEO of New York Power Authority Justin E. Driscoll said,”As the nation’s largest public state utility, cybersecurity is of utmost importance to NYPA. We are thankful to our city and state partners for their collaboration in creating the JSOC. This center will help NYPA keep our systems safe and enable us to continue to generate clean electricity and maintain one-third of the state’s transmission system without incident or interruption, all while providing a whole-of-state approach to protecting New York State from emerging threats.”

MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber said, “Cross-agency collaboration is key to providing the best cyber defenses. We are eager to share information and expertise about the MTA’s multilayered cybersecurity systems as we work to protect the state against potential threats.”

Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan said, “Every day, the City of Albany – like organizations across the nation – defends itself against cyber attacks originating from across the globe. As the victim of a successful ransomeware attack in 2019, the City of Albany knows full well the impact this cybersecurity threat can have on the systems that serve our residents and protect our infrastructure. Thankfully, New York State was there for us when it mattered most, and now we will proactively partner within the Joint Security Operations Center to help identify and respond to cybersecurity threats not only to our city, but other local and state agencies across New York. Thank you to Governor Hochul, Commissioner Bray, and Chief Information Officer Riddick for making this investment and deepening the vital partnerships that will help protect our entire state.” 

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said, “Cyber attacks are an emerging threat that state and local governments must take swift action to protect against, and I am thankful Governor Hochul has the vision to apply a statewide, all-hands-on-deck approach to ensure our safety. I am pleased that Buffalo is part of the launch of this first-of-its-kind Joint Security Operations Center that will position us to be better prepared to prevent, protect against, respond to and recover from cyberattacks.”

Rochester Mayor Malik Evans said, “We look forward to working with the state and our other municipal partners to address the critical issue of cybersecurity. We appreciate the Governor’s investment to protect our data. Any attacks on our technical infrastructure systems is actually an attack on the citizens we serve, so bolstering our defenses is a wholly worthwhile endeavor.”

Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh said,”Cybersecurity is a challenge facing every public and private sector organization every day. Cities are dealing with very similar vulnerabilities, threats and risks. Through the JSOC we will be better able to share intelligence and solutions and better protect our critical assets and the people we serve. I thank Governor Hochul for not just providing resources to our communities but for creating a command center so the state can share more data, information and expertise to confront this always-changing risk. We are always stronger working together.”

Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano said,”The recent wave of cyber security attacks serves as a wake-up call for cities across our country. I thank Governor Hochul for her proactive approach in giving Mayors, who are the generals on the frontlines, a seat at the table to work one on one with some of the most brilliant cyber defense minds in the country as we amplify our cyber security.” 

NY Governor Hochul Announces Start of Construction of State’s First Offshore Wind Project

South Fork Wind Project to Kickstart New York’s Offshore Wind Industry, Provide Clean Energy to Long Island

Supports the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act Goal to Develop 9,000 Megawatts of Offshore Wind by 2035

Back in 2017, Long Island advocates for offshore windpower cheered the Long Island Power Authority for contracting to move forward with wind energy and begin to move away from fossil-fuel powered energy.Then the Trump Administration reversed course. © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

New York State Governor Kathy Hochul, alongside United States Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland and other elected officials, on February 11 celebrated the start of construction of South Fork Wind, New York’s first offshore wind project, jointly developed by Ørsted and Eversource off the coast of Long Island. Building on the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s (BOEM) January issuance of the Final Sale Notice for the New York Bight, the recent key offshore wind contract milestone, and the State of the State announcement of a nation-leading $500 million investment in offshore wind ports, manufacturing, and supply chain infrastructure to accompany New York’s next offshore wind solicitation, New York continues to advance the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act goal to develop 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035.  

“The harsh impacts and costly realities of climate change are all too familiar on Long Island, but today as we break ground on New York’s first offshore wind project we are delivering on the promise of a cleaner, greener path forward that will benefit generations to come,” Governor Hochul said. “South Fork Wind will eliminate up to six million tons of carbon emissions over the next twenty-five years benefiting not only the Empire State, but our nation as a whole. This project will also create hundreds of good-paying jobs, helping spur economic growth across the region as we continue to recover from COVID-19. This is a historic day for New York, and I look forward to continue working with Secretary Haaland as we lead our nation toward a greener, brighter future for all.”  

“America’s clean energy transition is not a dream for a distant future – it is happening right here and now,” US Department of Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said. “Offshore wind will power our communities, advance our environmental justice goals, and stimulate our economy by creating thousands of good-paying union jobs across the nation. This is one of many actions we are taking in pursuit of the President’s goal to improve both the lives of American families and the health of our planet.”

The Governor, who made today’s announcement in Wainscott, celebrated South Fork Wind kickstarting New York’s offshore wind generation when it becomes operational in late 2023. South Fork Wind will be one of the first commercial-scale offshore wind projects to commence operation in North America. Selected under a 2015 Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) request for proposals to address growing power needs on the east end of Long Island, the project will be located about 35 miles east of Montauk Point and its 12 Siemens-Gamesa 11 MW turbines will generate approximately 130 megawatts of power – enough to power over 70,000 homes. Its transmission system will deliver clean energy directly to the electric grid in the Town of East Hampton. Over a 25-year period, South Fork Wind is expected to eliminate up to six million tons of carbon emissions, or the equivalent of taking 60,000 cars off the road annually.

NYSERDA President & CEO Doreen M. Harris said, “With construction beginning on the South Fork Wind project, we are solidifying New York State’s clean energy vision and blazing a trail as we lead the nation in offshore wind development. As our state’s first offshore wind project, South Fork is helping to usher in the grid of the future as New York continues to build the most robust offshore wind project and supply chain in the nation, strengthen workforce development and partnerships with labor to provide a pipeline of talent for these critical projects, and establish the green economy that will power New York for years to come.”

Long Island Power Authority CEO Thomas Falcone said,”In 2017, the forward-thinking approach of the LIPA Board of Trustees led to the approval of the South Fork Wind project at a time when there were no other power purchase agreements for offshore wind in the country,” Long Island Power Authority CEO Thomas Falcone said. “As the first offshore wind farm in New York, South Fork Wind is the beginning of a new industry for our region that will be vital to New York meeting its goal of a zero-carbon electric grid by 2040.”

Indeed, the campaign to get offshore wind power for Long Island and New York State has been years in the making – activists had to battle back against efforts by fossil fuel industry to create NLG terminals in the very area the best in the nation for an offshore wind farm. But just as everything was in place, in 2017, Trump reversed course on promoting clean, renewable energy in favor of fossil fuel and even reignited the prospect of off-shore drilling. The Biden Administration moved swiftly to restart offshore windpower – in California and in New York, seeing the benefits of climate-action initiatives as not only protecting the environment and the economy but promoting jobs.

Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos said,”New York is setting the example for the nation on tapping into the potential of offshore wind to help meet our energy needs while the state transitions to a cleaner, greener energy future. South Fork Wind is an exciting and transformative project that will help achieve our state’s ambitious goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and ramp up renewable energy sources while safeguarding our natural resources and driving new economic opportunities here on Long Island and across the state.” 

“South Fork Wind’s groundbreaking is a historic milestone for New York’s offshore wind industry and for all New Yorkers in our efforts to address climate change,” Acting Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez said. “The Department of State continues to work with our stakeholders and government partners to minimize potential project impacts and avoid disruptions to our coastal economy as we transition to a cleaner, greener future. Through our combined efforts, New Yorkers will continue to enjoy Long Island’s pristine beaches and the rich ocean resources off our State as we reduce the State’s carbon footprint.”

“This significant milestone solidifies New York’s global leadership in the clean economy,” New York State Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon said. “The groundwork we lay today is creating new, exciting employment opportunities for New Yorkers while also protecting our environment for future generations. As Co-chair for the Just Transition Working Group, I thank Governor Hochul for leading the charge and for her unending commitment to ensuring the inclusion of disadvantaged communities in this movement.”

Public Service Commission Chair Rory M. Christian said, “The South Fork project will play a key role in developing much needed clean-energy for New York State and it will help New York achieve its nation-leading renewable energy goals while creating jobs and opportunities for individuals and industries. South Fork is a win for Long Island, and a win for all New Yorkers.”

Office of General Services (OGS) Commissioner Jeanette M. Moy said, “The start of the first off-shore wind project in New York State demonstrates Governor Hochul’s strong commitment to meeting the challenges of sustainability and ensuring New York’s future is green. OGS is proud to have a role in the South Fork Wind project and in advancing the State’s forward-looking climate and green-energy initiatives.”

“Offshore wind is crucial to fueling a green economy and promoting sustainable economic opportunities,” Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and President & CEO-designate Hope Knight said. “The start of construction at New York State’s first offshore wind project at South Fork Wind signifies at important step towards achieving clean energy goals and creating green jobs, which advances Empire State Development’s mission to prepare our economy for the future. With today’s announcement, New York State will continue to be leaders in the fight against climate change while strengthening our standing in offshore wind manufacturing.”

This milestone follows BOEM’s approval last month of the project’s Construction and Operations Plan (COP). The COP outlines the project’s one nautical mile turbine spacing, the requirements on the construction methodology for all work occurring in federal ocean waters, and mitigation measures to protect marine habitats and species. BOEM’s final approval of the COP follows the agency’s November 2021 issuance of the Record of Decision, which concluded the thorough BOEM-led environmental review of the project.

Senator Todd Kaminsky said,”Today’s announcement helps solidify New York as a leader in the green economy. The CLCPA set the most aggressive goals in the country and offshore wind on Long Island is central to meeting them. This project is a catalyst and shows that you can think big and get it done on Long Island.”

Assemblymember Steve Englebright said,”The South Fork Wind Project is a key first step to our state’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gases and meeting the challenge of climate change. I applaud Governor Hochul’s vision and determination to advance and enhance New York’s renewable wind energy portfolio.” 

Assemblymember Fred Thiele said,”I’m proud to say that Long Island is an emerging trailblazer in renewable energy and will soon lead the state and the nation in offshore wind energy production. South Fork Wind Farm opens an exciting new chapter for us here on the East End, and I look forward to soon having a greener grid powered by this historic investment. I thank Governor Hochul for her continuous leadership and support.”

“Long Island has been a leader in all things clean energy, and as we begin construction on New York’s first wind farm, we are changing how we power our homes and businesses here in Suffolk,” Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said. ”This historic project, which puts Suffolk County at the heart of the offshore wind industry and will power roughly 70,000 homes, is a major victory for our economy, for labor, and for our environment as we remain committed to addressing the impacts of climate change on our region.”

East Hampton Town Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc said,”In 2014 East Hampton was the first municipality in New York to adopt a 100% renewable energy goal. Today, with the beginning of the construction of New York’s first offshore wind farm we are very close to reaching that goal. We applaud Governor Hochul’s nation leading investment in offshore wind energy which puts New York at the forefront of our country’s efforts to combat climate change.”

New York League of Conservation Voters President Julie Tighe said,Today, we are moving from concept to reality with the groundbreaking of South Fork Wind Farm, New York’s first offshore wind project. Congratulations to Ørstedand Eversource! This day is the culmination of years of perseverance to launch this project and new industry that will change the way we power our economy. We have a long way to go to meet our climate goals, but major investments like this combined with the leadership and commitment of Governor Hochul, Secretary Haaland, and BOEM Director Lefton are setting us on the course for a clean energy revolution.”

“With the start of construction on New York’s first offshore wind farm, we continue to deliver on our vision of a new U.S. energy industry that will generate clean power, jobs, and economic opportunity,” Ørsted Offshore North America CEO David Hardy said. “I am grateful for the many champions who have supported South Fork Wind to get us to this critical moment, and for the Biden Administration and New York’s leadership and commitment to the offshore wind industry.”

Eversource Energy President & CEO Joe Nolan said, “Today we make history as we celebrate the start of construction on New York’s first offshore wind farm. As homegrown experts in regional energy transmission, we have led the way on countless infrastructure projects, but today, we commemorate something entirely new and different. For the very first time, we will be leveraging our expertise to harness the vast, untapped potential of offshore wind.”

Nassau Suffolk Building and Construction Trades Council President Marty Aracich said, “The start of the construction phase for Offshore Wind marks a new era in reaching New York State’s goal of significantly reducing emissions. The skilled trades have a role by placing shovels in the ground as they implement the last leg of this relay race and position NYS to reign supreme along the Eastern Seaboard in combating climate change. Governor Hochul’s shared vision and commitment with NYSERDA enhances the alliance of Orsted/Eversource and North America’s Building Trades Unions. New York State remains focused on providing opportunities that will create a local workforce leading to a brighter, cleaner future for generations to come. Many thanks to Governor Hochul, Secretary of Interior Deb Harland, Amanda Lefton, Doreen Harris, and our partners in Labor for providing leadership as well as a moral compass guiding the earth on a path to heal itself.”

Long Island Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO President John R. Durso said,”This is a victory for Long Island and all New Yorkers. This is not only a crucial step forward in the fight against climate change, but it means jobs and new clean energy resources on Long Island where it is needed most. After many years of hard work in planning and development by Ørsted and Eversource, with support from labor and community allies, we are realizing the success we have all been waiting for.”

South Fork Wind will be built under industry-leading project labor agreements and specific partnerships with local union organizations, ensuring local union labor’s participation in all phases of construction on the project. Onshore construction activities for the project’s underground duct bank system and interconnection facility are the first to begin and will source construction labor from local union hiring halls. Ørsted and Eversource reached these provisions and protections working closely with a range of external organizations and experts, a commitment the companies carry to all stakeholder relationships to support coexistence.

Long Island-based contractor Haugland Energy Group LLC (an affiliate of Haugland Group LLC) was selected to install the duct bank system for the project’s underground onshore transmission line and lead the construction of the onshore interconnection facility located in East Hampton. This agreement will create more than 100 union jobs for Long Island skilled trades workers, including heavy equipment operators, electricians, lineworkers, and local delivery drivers who will support transportation of materials to the project site. Fabrication of the project’s offshore substation is already underway.

New York State has five offshore wind projects in active development, the largest portfolio in the nation. This current portfolio totals more than 4,300 megawatts and will power more than 2.4 million New York homes, and it is expected to bring a combined economic impact of $12.1 billion to the state. The projects are also expected to create more than 6,800 jobs in project development, component manufacturing, installation, and operations and maintenance. Achieving the State’s 9,000 megawatt by 2035 goal will generate enough offshore wind energy to power approximately 30 percent of New York State’s electricity needs, equivalent to nearly 6 million New York State homes, and spur approximately 10,000 jobs.

New York State’s Nation-Leading Climate Plan

New York State’s nation-leading climate agenda is the most aggressive climate and clean energy initiative in the nation, calling for an orderly and just transition to clean energy that creates jobs and continues fostering a green economy as New York State recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. Enshrined into law through the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, New York is on a path to achieve its mandated goal of a zero-emission electricity sector by 2040, including 70 percent renewable energy generation by 2030, and to reach economy wide carbon neutrality.

It builds on New York’s unprecedented investments to ramp-up clean energy including over $33 billion in 102 large-scale renewable and transmission projects across the state, $6.8 billion to reduce buildings emissions, $1.8 billion to scale up solar, more than $1 billion for clean transportation initiatives, and over $1.6 billion in NY Green Bank commitments. Combined, these investments are supporting nearly 158,000 jobs in New York’s clean energy sector in 2020, a 2,100 percent growth in the distributed solar sector since 2011 and a commitment to develop 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035.

Under the Climate Act, New York will build on this progress and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent from 1990 levels by 2050, while ensuring that at least 35 percent with a goal of 40 percent of the benefits of clean energy investments are directed to disadvantaged communities, and advance progress towards the state’s 2025 energy efficiency target of reducing on-site energy consumption by 185 trillion BTUs of end-use energy savings.

Hochul Standing Firm in Defense of Women’s Reproductive Rights, Issues Invitation to Come to NYS for Care

#StopTheBans Rally, NYC, May 2019. New Yorkers rally against abortion bans. The assault on women’s reproductive rights have only intensified, climaxing with Texas total abortion ban enforced by incentivizing vigilante bounty hunters, which the theocratic majority on the Supreme Court allowed to go forward. The Department of Justice has now sued Texas, while other states move to mimic the Texas law. © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

By Karen Rubin, News & Photo Features, news-photos-features.com

New York State Governor Kathy Hochul came out hopping mad over the Texas abortion ban strategy and swinging at the Planned Parenthood Day of Action Rally in support of abortion access, making a sweeping invitation to any woman in a state where abortion access is obstructed, to come to New York, a sanctuary.

“We are here to show the rest of the nation that New Yorkers stand with every single one of you. Women across this nation, we have your back.”

She declared, “Right now, we have oppression going on in our own country when people are trying to tell women what to do with their own bodies. It stops here in New York. Let’s take this battle all across the nation. To Washington, to Texas, and anywhere else that they think they have a right to have their hands on our bodies.

“Keep your damn hands off our bodies.”

In addition, Governor Hochul announced an agenda to affirm abortion rights and cement New York’s status as a place to welcome women seeking abortion care.

Governor Hochul was joined by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand to lay out their combined efforts to fight for reproductive rights. As part of these efforts, the Governor is directing State agencies to coordinate a statewide public information campaign, including the development of a patient bill of rights, in coordination with stakeholders. This campaign will help women know their rights and legal protections and ensure this information is accessible and widely available. The Governor also directed the Department of Health to take immediate action to develop and widely distribute modern and comprehensive provider guidance on the right to provide abortion care and to ensure updates to existing regulations are adopted so that medication abortion can be more easily accessed during telehealth visits.

“Abortion access is safe in New York – the rights of those who are seeking abortion services will always be protected here,”  Governor Hochul said. “This plan will affirm that in our state, and leaders like Senator Gillibrand will fight on a national level. To the women of Texas, I want to say I am with you. Lady Liberty is here to welcome you with open arms.”

Recognizing that national attention on abortion issues may make misinformation more likely to spread, the Governor also wrote a letter to Facebook urging the company to provide information on any current efforts to mitigate the spread of abortion misinformation online and to take new action to combat misinformation about abortion laws, regulations, and availability.

Here is a highlighted transcript:

Are you all fired up? I am fired up. I love a good fight. But I’ll tell you, my friends, this is a fight that I thought ended when my mother was starting out as a parent, as a young person. I had no idea that all these years later we’d be fighting the same fight that grandma and my mom fought, that my own daughter now has her rights threatened by crazy people in places like Texas.

We are sick and tired of being sick and tired, are we not? Have you heard that before? We don’t want to be fighting this anymore, but we are ready. We are here to show the rest of the nation that New Yorkers stand with every single one of you.

Women across this nation, we have your back. We will not abandon you just because we are far more enlightened in our respect for women’s bodies, and I have been a fighter on the forefront of this battle since 27 years ago when I ran for local office, running for a simple town board in a small town, and I was told in this very conservative community, if I didn’t take the “Right to Life” political line that I would never get elected in a million years. And I said, well watch this. I would not touch that line. I ran for office and I won overwhelmingly, time and time and time again.

And I say that because that is what’s going on in other parts of our nation and even in parts of our own state. And I’ll tell you one more story. I am so passionately engaged in making sure that every woman never has to find her way to a back alley, or to fight for simply having contraception access. I will join this battle and I will help lead the nation in this fight because when I was a member of congress, as member of congress I fought for the Affordable Care Act, because I thought health rights are human rights. It’s that simple. Everybody deserves the dignity of good healthcare and included in that was the right to contraceptive coverage by employers. They had to provide this, and I stood firm for that, and as a result that was an issue that I lost my seat in Congress on, and I would do it all over again because sometimes you just have to stand up and do what’s right and stand up for other people. And that’s what you’re doing here, standing in the rain in Brooklyn today. I am so proud of you, every one of you.

I want to thank our great borough president, Eric Adams, who is hosting us. Thank you, future Mayor Eric Adams. And to all of the elected officials who are here today. This is a battle that’s always happening in the streets. It’s happening at the Planned Parenthoods facilities that I’ve gone to after they’ve been subjected to attacks and terrorist actions.

We have to stand together and let people know that there is a reason why we feel we should be the sanctuary for people across this nation whose rights are attacked, whether it’s Texas or anywhere else because in 1886 they erected a beautiful woman in our harbor with her hand held high with torch in it, a beacon of hope for people who are oppressed.

And right now, we have oppression going on in our own country when people are trying to tell women what to do with their own bodies. It stops here in New York. Let’s take this battle all across the nation. To Washington, to Texas, and anywhere else that they think they have a right to have their hands on our bodies.

Keep your damn hands off our bodies. Keep your damn hands off our bodies. We are sick and tired. We are going to take this battle anywhere it occurs, and I want to thank all of you. You inspire me. You inspire me, each and every one of you when I come out here and I see your passion to fight for other people and make they have their dignity and rights. I want to thank you, Joy, and all our friends at Planned Parenthood for being there when we need you the most.

I am going to join this army, I’m going to help lead this army, whatever you need me to do, I will be there my friends. It’s all about showing up just like you showed up here on this beautiful day in Brooklyn. Thank you everybody.

Standing Up for Women’s Reproductive Rights

Senator Gillibrand said,”Having control over your own body and your own future is a basic human right. But that right is being threatened every day. The recent law in Texas – and the Supreme Court’s refusal to block it – is dangerous and disturbing. This law is not just unconscionable, it’s unconstitutional. At the federal level, we must pass the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would create federal protections against state restrictions that fail to protect women’s health and intrude upon personal decision-making. Here in New York, we luckily have a governor who understands and champions fundamental reproductive rights. I stand ready to support Governor Hochul’s efforts to ensure that providers, patients and the people of New York have the best information about abortion care and the resources to get the care they need.”

Representative Carolyn B. Maloney said, “The Supreme Court’s failure to block the draconian Texas anti-choice SB8 law flies in the face of decades of precedent and is a major blow to Americans’ constitutional right to an abortion. SB 8 makes it illegal to end a pregnancy under nearly all circumstances after 6 weeks — before most people even know they’re pregnant. This devastating ruling by the highest court will most impact BIPOC and lower income individuals who often do not have the same access to health care or ability to travel out of state to access an abortion. The House has already voted to repeal the Hyde Amendment, and we must pass the Women’s Health Protection Act.  Here in New York, I’m so proud to have a governor like Kathy Hochul, who I know will work each and every day to protect New Yorkers’ reproductive rights.”

New York Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said, “In New York, we have shown that we are ready to protect women’s right to choose and access high quality reproductive healthcare,” “I want to thank Gov. Hochul and all the partners involved in this campaign, for amplifying the message that in New York, we will continue to be the standard bearers for women’s reproductive rights. With this campaign we are saying that in New York, women’s health matters, women’s decisions matter and the reproductive rights of ALL New Yorkers’ and visitors alike are protected.”

Senator Liz Krueger, Co-Chair of Bipartisan Pro-Choice Legislative Caucus said, “For many years before we passed the Reproductive Health Act in New York, we were told by opponents of choice that it was unnecessary, because the Supreme Court would never overturn Roe v. Wade. And yet here we are: just two years after passing the RHA, a Court packed with radical extremists has upheld Texas Republicans’ flagrantly unconstitutional forced-birth law. Opponents of reproductive freedom have made clear that their attacks on women will not let up, so neither can we. I thank Governor Hochul for taking a strong stand for the rights of women and families to make their own reproductive decisions without government interference.”

Assemblymember Deborah J. Glick said, “Texas’ draconian abortion ban is deeply disturbing, but not surprising. Despite a majority of Americans supporting a pregnant person’s right to choose, anti-choice extremists continue to try to undermine our constitutional right to seek reproductive health care, including abortions. I have worked tirelessly to protect and strengthen reproductive rights, and I am proud to have led the charge to codify Roe v Wade in New York State state law in the Reproductive Health Act for just this eventuality. Texas’ disgraceful law shows us why we must continue to fight to protect our right to choose.”

Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn, incoming Chair of the New York State Assembly Task Force on Women’s Issues said, “We cannot allow oppressive, anti-woman bans on our bodies to penetrate our state or nation. The GOP-led stripping of women’s rights in Texas must be stopped. We need to protect women from the Court’s inaction, which could jeopardize our reproductive rights everywhere. I am grateful to the Governor, Kathy Hochul, and Sen. Gillibrand for taking a stand to make sure these archaic laws never undermine our health care in the state of New York.”

Assemblymember Kimberly Jean-Pierre, Chair of the Legislative Women’s Caucus said, “Make no mistake, Texas’s draconian new abortion law is an unconstitutional attack on the reproductive rights of women across our nation. Here in New York, we will always stand up for the right of women to make their own reproductive health choices, and under the leadership of Governor Hochul, I know that our state will continue to be a safe haven for women and their access to care in the face of this abhorrent assault on our fundamental rights to reproductive freedom.”

Assemblymember Karines Reyes, Co-Chair of Bipartisan Pro-Choice Legislative Caucus said, “The abortion ban recently enacted in Texas is completely reprehensible. A women’s right to an abortion is just that – a right – and in New York we will always do everything we can to protect a women’s right to choose. I thank Governor Hochul for taking aggressive actions to affirm abortion rights in New York and making sure that every woman in New York knows her rights.”

Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer said, “While other states are cracking down on reproductive rights with needless and extreme laws, here in New York State Governor Kathy Hochul is taking action to ensure that we remain a beacon of hope. All reproductive health, including abortion must be legal, safe, accessible, and affordable. That’s what today’s announcement by Governor Hochul aims to promote.”

Robin Chappelle Golston, President & CEO of Planned Parenthood Empire State Acts said, “Make no mistake – there is a national effort to destroy access to abortion in this country and we must be just as aggressive to expand reproductive healthcare. This is our moment, to not just hold the line on access to abortion here in New York, but to boldly advance it. Everyone deserves the freedom to control their own body, make personal decisions and shape their own future. I want to thank Governor Hochul for her shared and unwavering commitment to this vision, and for the steps she is taking to ensure New York remains a beacon of freedom and access for all.”

Donna Lieberman, Executive Director of the New York Civil Liberties Union said, “We’ve done it before and we’ll do it again: New York will open its doors to those in need of an abortion and stand up against any state that puts a bounty on reproductive freedom. In the face of Texas’ blatantly unconstitutional attacks on abortion access, we applaud Governor Hochul’s decisive action in partnering with experts and stakeholders to ensure New York is a haven state for all who need abortion care. We will not let Texas, or any other state that tries to follow suit, turn back the clock.”

Camille A. Clare, MD, MPH, CPE, FACOG, chair of ACOG District II said, “In a time when women’s reproductive healthcare is under attack across this country, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, District II is proud to stand with Governor Hochul as she prioritizes access to comprehensive abortion services. Abortion is health care and ACOG District II supports and uplifts the voices of the women seeking abortion services and the medical professionals who provide them. New York State must become a safe haven for anyone seeking abortion care and our medical leadership looks forward to partnering with the Governor and the Department of Health as they work to ensure a comprehensive and transparent system of abortion care here in New York.”

Andrea Miller, President of the National Institute for Reproductive Health Action Fund said, “Texas has passed the most extreme abortion ban in the country, leading to a crisis point for abortion access. The NIRH Action Fund is pressing forward in every state and city we can to secure equitable access to abortion care — because everyone who needs care should receive with it with support, with dignity, and without fear. We applaud Governor Hochul for taking bold action to ensure that New York State is doing all it can to ensure access to all New Yorkers and all those who travel here for care. We invite governors and legislators in states across the country to follow her lead.” 

Plan to Ensure the Right to Abortions in New York State 

In an effort to ensure the right to abortions in New York State, the Department of Health will develop webpage on the provision of abortion care, complete with a Patient Bill of Rights. This will include information on abortion care in New York State, patients’ rights to abortion care within New York State, and links to identify providers who offer abortion services.

DOH will convene a group of experts to develop and issue a guidance document on the provision of abortion care in New York State. This will include collaboration from American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists, National Abortion Federation, National Institute for Reproductive Health, Planned Parenthood Empire State Acts, New York Civil Liberties Union and clinical providers with an expertise in abortion care. Webinar on guidance document and clinical considerations will be open to providers across New York State and recorded for ongoing availability on the DOH website.

Guidance for Individual Provider Discretion Under Reproductive Health Act

The New York State Department of Health will develop guidance with an emphasis on clarifying the full scope of individual provider discretion under the Reproductive Health Act, and the definition of the term “commencement of pregnancy” as it relates to abortion care. The New York State Abortion Guidance Document will be shared with all New York State clinical providers able to perform abortion in New York State via the Health Commerce System.

Regulatory Updates

The Department of Health will enact regulatory updates including to allow for provision of services via telehealth. These updates will ensure that medication abortion is more easily accessed during telehealth visits, and with the goal of making this an option irrespective of the pandemic.

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NYS Gov Hochul Surveys Superstorm Damage, Joins 9 Other Governors to Demand Congress Take ‘Impactful Climate Actions’

Governor Kathy Hochul comes Great Neck LIRR station to show support for Great Neck and Nassau County after devastating tropical storm Ida wreaked havoc, flooding buildings and streets, and causing Long Island Railroad to shut down. Here with State Senator Anna Kaplan, Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, Great Neck Plaza Mayor Ted Rosen, Village of Great Neck Deputy Mayor Barton Sobel, executives of the MTA and LIRR and transport workers union. © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Governor Kathy Hochul: “One thing I want to make clear: we’re not treating this as if it’s not going to happen again for 500 years. What we saw, the record rainfall that precipitated, the situation out here in Great Neck as well as what we’ve seen all the way from here to Suffolk to the five boroughs to Rockland to Putnam to Westchester, it was an unbelievable amount of rainfall in an incredibly short amount out of time.”

Hochul: “We know how to build resiliency. … Many of our coastal areas are in a far better place to be able to handle the wind and wave action. … But what we’re not prepared for and what I’m not satisfied with, what’s happening on our streets at the higher elevations. … The raging flood waters cannot be contained by the existing storm sewers and drainage systems, and then the flood starts going into our subway system. That’s what happened here. It happened all over Long Island. It happened in New York City and our surrounding counties. That’s what we have to address.”

Thank you for joining us as we continue our survey of storm effects and also now the cleanup and what I was just witnessing moments ago was an extraordinary effort by the incredible team literally a few feet away who worked through this morning and through the night to try and restore service here on Long Island and Nassau County and here in the Great Neck Station.

“The Port Washington Line has been disrupted considerably and they are working tirelessly to restore the tracks so they are safe once again and they anticipate in the next few hours they’ll be able to make some announcements on that timing so that’s something I just saw, but I want to thank the incredible leaders who are with me here today…

“What we saw last night was nothing short of unprecedented. I cannot imagine a community having gone through this before. In fact we were told it was a 500-year event. I’m not sure how they know that; I’m not sure who was here 500 years ago to tell us that but that is the scale we’re talking about.

“One thing I want to make clear: we’re not treating this as if it’s not going to happen again for 500 years. What we saw, the record rainfall that precipitated, the situation out here in Great Neck as well as what we’ve seen all the way from here to Suffolk to the five boroughs to Rockland to Putnam to Westchester, it was an unbelievable amount of rainfall in an incredibly short amount out of time.

“We’re talking about literally from 8:50 p.m. to 9:50 p.m. last night, a record shattering rainfall, at LaGuardia, JFK, at Central Park. Records are broken, but what is fascinating is that the records that they broke were literally set a week before. That’s what we’re dealing with now, my friends, so when we talk about how is this happening, people have been warning for decades that the effect of climate change and what it would do to our communities – it’s happening right now. It is not a future threat. It is a current situation and it is the status quo.

“We know how to build resiliency. We saw that particular here on Long Island after Superstorm Sandy. Many of our coastal areas are in a far better place to be able to handle the wind and wave action. I just was down last week in anticipating the onslaught of Hurricane Henri. I was on the beaches and I saw what we had done to build up.”

Just a day earlier, as Hurricane Ida barreled through the south up toward the Northeast, Governor Hochul joined 8 other governors to Congressional Leadership urging passage of impactful climate actions.

GOVERNOR HOCHUL, 9 OTHER GOVERNORS ISSUE LETTER TO CONGRESSIONAL LEADERSHIP URGING PASSAGE OF IMPACTFUL CLIMATE ACTIONS

Letter Urges Congress to Prioritize Key Elements of President Biden’s Build Back Better Agenda that Protect the Climate

Governors Request that 40 Percent of Benefits of Climate and Clean Infrastructure Investments Are Directed to Disadvantaged Communities

Governor Kathy Hochul and nine other Governors today issued a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer urging the passage of both the bipartisan infrastructure deal and a bold reconciliation bill that meets the urgency of the moment and tackles the climate crisis. The Governors urge Congress to prioritize key elements of President Biden’s Build Back Better Agenda that will have the most impact in protecting the climate, including programs that support a carbon free grid, the electrification of the transportation system, and investments in climate resilience. The Governors also request that 40 percent of the benefits of the climate and clean infrastructure investments included in these legislative packages are directed to disadvantaged communities.

Here is the full text of the letter:

September 1, 2021 

Dear Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Schumer: 

As Governors from across the country, we strongly support your joint efforts to pass landmark legislation that will create millions of good jobs, rebuild our country’s infrastructure, improve public health, advance environmental justice, and tackle the climate crisis. 

Climate change is intensifying the wildfires that burn in the West, hurricanes that threaten the East, and extreme heat that endangers people and animals throughout the country. Now is the time for bold climate action. The most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report details what we already know – the window for preventing irreversible climate consequences is closing and we need to act quickly and comprehensively. 

As we approach the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP 26) in November, it is imperative that the United States demonstrates that America is ready to lead and solve the climate crisis. President Biden has committed America to cutting its greenhouse gas emissions to 50 percent to 52 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. America’s ability to meet this goal rests on how we respond to climate change today. 

President Biden proposed the Build Back Better Agenda to rebuild America in a just and equitable way and ensure America’s economy flourishes in the 21st century. It is vital for Congress to adopt both the bipartisan infrastructure deal and a bold and comprehensive reconciliation bill to achieve the goals of the Build Back Better Agenda. Each of the elements of the Build Back Better Agenda are worthy of inclusion in an infrastructure package, but as Governors of states on the front line of the climate crisis, we place particular emphasis that the combined package includes the most impactful actions to protect our climate: 

  • Carbon Free Grid: A Clean Electricity Performance Program, expansion of tax credits for clean energy generation and storage, and funding for new and upgraded electricity transmission. 
  • Transportation Electrification: Tax credits for manufacturing of zeroemission vehicles; incentives for consumers, especially low-income consumers, to purchase zero-emission vehicles; funding for zero-emission infrastructure; and elimination of statutory obstacles to charging on federal rights of way. 
  • Methane Emissions Reduction: Funding to plug orphan wells and adoption of a methane polluter fee for the venting or burning of excess methane. 
  • Climate-Smart Agriculture: Investment in climate-smart agricultural and forest management programs for farmers and rural communities. 
  • Climate Resilience: Investment in protections for communities and transportation infrastructure from the impacts of climate change, as well as robust funding for a new Civilian Climate Corps. 
  • Clean Building Incentives: New consumer rebates for home electrification and weatherization. 
  • Clean Energy and Sustainability Accelerator: Establish an accelerator to mobilize private investment into distributed energy resources; retrofits of residential, commercial, and municipal buildings; and clean transportation.

We also respectfully request that any infrastructure package ensure 40 percent of the benefits of climate and clean infrastructure investments are directed to disadvantaged communities and invests in rural communities and communities impacted by the market-based transition to clean energy. We are excited to build back better with both of you and are committed to taking action to advance this crucial agenda. 

Sincerely,

Governor Kathy Hochul, New York

Governor Gavin Newsom, California 

Governor Ned Lamont, Connecticut

Governor David Ige, Hawaii 

Governor Janet Mills, Maine

Governor Steve Sisolak, Nevada 

Governor Kate Brown, Oregon
Governor Tom Wolf, Pennsylvania 

Governor Dan McKee, Rhode Island

Governor Jay Inslee, Washington