Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins Appoints Climate Action Council

The New York State Senate Seal

(Albany, NY) Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins today announced the appointments of Dennis Elsenbeck, Anne Reynolds, and Raya Salter to the Climate Action Council. These three appointees bring decades of experience necessary to tackle an aggressive climate plan in New York State. We have a responsibility to future generations to take action today, and the Climate Action Council will be a crucial player in environmental protection and conservation efforts.

“With Trump and his allies denying climate change and rolling back environmental protections, it’s up to New York to step up and lead,” Senate Democratic Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said. “The Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act we passed last year is the strongest environmental protection initiative in the nation. To help advance New York’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the Climate Action Council was created. I am proud to appoint Dennis Elsenbeck, Anne Reynolds, and Raya Salter to this Council, and know they will help ensure our state is a national leader in the fight against climate change.”

The 22-member New York State Climate Action Council Climate was created in the 2019 Legislative Session as part of the aggressive Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) to address and mitigate the effects of climate change by drastically cutting greenhouse gas emissions, diverting the state’s energy reliance to renewable sources, promoting environmental justice, and creating green jobs in all communities throughout New York State. The council consists of state agency leaders, business leaders, community and environmental advocates.

Dennis Elsenbeck said, “New York State has set the bar in terms of how our country should respond to the threat of Climate Change via aggressive goal setting. An equally aggressive implementation plan is required to ensure that we maintain both economic and environmental sustainability that will support New York’s green economy. It should be our priority to not only achieve our stated goals, but also act as a leader in the Global Climate economy. I am honored to be a Member of the Climate Action Council, and look forward to working with other Council Members, Governor Cuomo’s Office, our Legislative Leadership and especially the market place on this initiative. It will ‘take a village’ to nurture this critical vision.”

Dennis Elsenbeck

  • Dennis is Head of Energy and Sustainability at Phillips Lytle Energy Consulting Services.
  • Previously served as Director for National Grid US Operations.
  • Has familiarity with different regional environmental issues, having worked across Western New York and the Mohawk Valley Region for National Grid.


Anne Reynolds said, “I am honored to have been appointed by the Senate to serve on New York’s new Climate Action Council. There is so much work to do to implement the ambitious Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, enacted by New York’s legislature just last year. Thankfully, there are many actions New York can take to fight climate change and make our air and water cleaner that will also bring new jobs, investment, and economic development. I look forward to getting started!”

Anne Reynolds

  • Anne is Executive Director at Alliance For Clean Energy New York working to advocate for strengthened and improved clean energy policy improvements in New York State on behalf of diverse renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency companies.
  • Previously served as Deputy Commissioner for Administration at the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.


Raya Salter said, “I would like to thank Senate Democratic Majority Leader, Andrea Stewart-Cousins, for appointing me as a member of the Climate Action Council. I look forward to working with other council members to address and achieve a clean energy plan that is transformative and equitable for the State of New York.” 

Raya Salter

  • Raya is an attorney, consultant, educator and clean energy law and policy expert with a focus on energy and climate justice. 
  • An experienced environmental advocate working in energy and environmental law having practiced energy law and regulation in multiple jurisdictions, including New York and Hawaii.
  • Prior to starting her consultancy, Raya was Senior Attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council and a Regulatory Attorney for the Environmental Defense Fund, where she worked to engage utilities, regulators, policy makers, and opinion leaders to foster clean and renewable grid modernization. 

Senators Involved