Albany, NY...Last evening, the New York State Senate passed Senator Jen Metzger’s bill to green the State government's passenger fleet by 2030 and reduce its share of greenhouse gas emissions from transportation. The bill requires that as existing vehicles are replaced or the fleet increased, the state must purchase battery, electric, plug-in hybrids, and other zero-emissions vehicles. According to the Office of General Services, the State currently has 6,771 passenger vehicles, of which 768 are already electric or gas-electric hybrids. Metzger's legislation aligns the State's fleet procurement policy with the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act--sweeping climate legislation passed by the State Legislature the same evening.
“The transportation sector accounts for about a third of New York's greenhouse gas emissions, and our State government should lead by example in tackling climate change and reducing these emissions," said Senator Metzger, who drives an all-electric Chevy Bolt from her home in Rosendale to her Albany office, and throughout her 2,400 square-mile district. "This legislation creates a strong market signal that New York is committed to clean transportation."
“Decarbonizing the State’s transportation sector is a key component to combating the worst impacts of climate change,” said Roger Downs, Conservation Director of the Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter. “and Senator Metzger is leading the charge through legislation that expands upon incentives to electrify the state’s fleet and build the electric vehicle infrastructure of tomorrow.”
Julie Tighe, President of the New York League of Conservation Voters, said, "Encouraging use of low-emission vehicles in state fleets helps reduce pollution from the transportation sector - New York's #1 source of emissions. Senator Metzger's legislation will fight climate change and protect our environment. We commend Senator Metzger for her environmental leadership and thank the State Senate for passing this important bill."
The legislation applies only to passenger vehicles and excludes police, fire, and other emergency vehicles, as well as non-passenger vehicles, such as snow plows. The companion bill in the Assembly is sponsored by Assemblymember Pat Fahy, who represents the 109th District.
A related bill introduced by Metzger, which passed the Senate this week, directs the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority to conduct a study to identify gaps in electric vehicle infrastructure statewide. The New York Power Authority currently has a program to install high-speed chargers along key corridors in the state. High-speed chargers are already in place at select rest stops along the New York Thruway.
Jen Metzger represents the 42nd Senate District, which includes all of Sullivan County and parts of Delaware, Orange, and Ulster Counties. Senator Metzger serves as Chair of the Agriculture Committee and sits on the Environmental Conservation, Education, Health, Energy and Telecommunications, Local Government, Women’s Issues, Domestic Animal Welfare, and Legislative Commission on Rural Resources Committees.