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New York's New era includes wind power—lots of wind power

By Kathy Hochul, Governor of New York State

As I stand before you, I am well aware of the significance of this moment: the first time 

in New York’s history that a woman has delivered this annual address. 

But I didn’t come here to make history. I came to make a difference.

I’m fond of quoting a former member of this body, and one-time Governor, Teddy Roosevelt, who said: “It’s not the critic who counts. The credit belongs to the man—or, shall we say, the woman—who is actually in the arena.”

To my colleagues and partners in government, for too long, Albany’s Executive and Legislative branches were fighting each other in that arena. No more. That ends now.

What I am proposing is a whole New Era for New York. The days of Governors disregarding the rightful role of this legislature are over. The days of the Governor of New York and Mayor of New York City wasting time on petty rivalries are over. The days of New Yorkers questioning whether their government is actually working for them are over.

We know that women are always held to a higher standard. So I know that I must not just meet but exceed expectations for this to no longer be an historic achievement—but rather the norm. So we will do things differently.   

From now on: we will share success. We will find common ground. We will restore trust in this government, because it has been eroded for far too long. And we will fight like hell—not for turf…not for credit—but for New Yorkers.

I know you’re exhausted; I know you want this pandemic to be over. 

We’ve endured so much hardship over these past two years. We’ve buried loved ones, experienced seismic shifts in our daily lives and missed out on so many of life’s precious milestones—holidays, weddings, graduations, the birth of a grandchild.

I know you’re all asking: Will we ever get through this? Yes. We will.   

We’re New Yorkers. We’ve been knocked down before. We’ve been counted out. And in response, we never fail to defy the odds and rise to new heights.

New York always rises from the ashes. That is why I believe that this is not a moment of despair…. but a moment of great possibility. Because while we are in the midst of an all-consuming crisis, we must also remember that if we make the right choices, right now it will end.

Beyond the pandemic, my agenda reflects my belief that we cannot allow the virus to grip us so tightly that it constrains us from looking to the future. Longing for a simple return to our pre-pandemic world and way of life would not only be timid and unimaginative. It would ignore our history and go against everything that makes New York, New York.

In November, I stood with my former colleagues in Congress on the White House lawn when President Joe Biden signed the historic Infrastructure Bill, giving us a once-in-a-century chance to invest. 

We cannot let this moment slip by, and we won’t.

There’s a critical piece of our plan to rebuild our infrastructure—making it more resilient against climate change. Just days after being sworn into office, we were slammed with Hurricane Ida. I walked the flooded streets of East Elmhurst, Queens, and witnessed the aftermath of an epic collision between Mother Nature and our inferior infrastructure, with devastating consequences.  

It was a cruel reminder that too much time has already been lost in the fight against Climate Change. These events are no longer rare—the next one is coming. This is a threat to our way of life—here and now—and that’s why we must, and will, implement an ambitious agenda to meet this moment.

We’ve already started with increasing the Environmental Bond Act to $4 billion to go on the ballot this Fall so we have the resources we need.

I’m now announcing a nation-leading, $500 million investment in offshore wind energy that will create thousands of good-paying green jobs.

As we build out our wind-energy capacity, and continue our transition to clean energy, our reliance on fossil fuels must be phased out. In September, I announced two clean energy mega-projects to put us on a path to achieve the ambitious goal of cutting 80 percent of New York City’s power plant emissions by 2030. New construction in the State will be zero-emission by 2027, and we will build climate-friendly, electric homes and promote electric cars, trucks, and buses.

Let us seize this moment with great confidence and optimism.

And create a legacy of accomplishment that will endure through the ages: A New Era for New York.

For the Record is an edited version of the State of the State address by New York Governor Kathy Hochul, presented in January 2022.

Q2 2022