Press Release

The Real Estate Board of New York Applauds State Sustainability Moves


October 19, 2020

Share This

32BJ SEIU, REBNY presidents called for steps to shut down NYC “peaker” plants this summer and backed plan for energy investment to speed clean power

The Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) today applauded two recent moves by New York State to reduce carbon emissions and add clean energy infrastructure, improving options for building owners and advancing vital environmental goals for all New Yorkers.

Last week, Governor Cuomo and the State Public Service Commission approved REBNY-supported measures that will increase investment in clean energy production across the state, both from government and private sources. Days before, the New York Power Authority also agreed to a process to evaluate shutting down or converting New York City’s dirty “peaker” plants—something REBNY also called for earlier this year. Peaker plants burn fossil fuels to produce electricity when it is needed on days of peak energy demand.

"We applaud the governor and the Public Service Commission for approving an expansion of the State's clean energy standard to help ensure that we reach our shared goal of a carbon-free future,” said REBNY President James Whelan. “These historic efforts will raise the bar for other states and provide much greener options sooner for building owners in New York, particularly downstate where access to carbon-free energy is needed. These smart policy changes will also allow for increased private investment to support the generation of renewable power, which will speed its development statewide."

"REBNY and 32BJ SEIU commend the New York Power Authority and the PEAK Coalition for agreeing to conduct a study that could lead to the replacement dirty peaker plants in New York City with clean resources,” said 32BJ SEIU President Kyle Bragg and REBNY President Whelan. “As we wrote this summer, the air pollution caused by emissions from these plants disproportionately harms low-income communities of color and exacerbates respiratory issues associated with COVID-19. It is crucial for the sustainability, equity and health of our city that we find ways to transition to a reliably powered city using renewable sources."

In a joint opinion-editorial in Crain’s NY in July, Bragg and Whelan called for the State to approve the measures they did last week, and for the peaker plants to be permanently shut down, writing “Turning off dirty fossil fuel-burning plants in the city permanently will greatly improve the quality of life and long-term health outcomes for many of the city’s communities of color and low-income residents.”

# # #


The Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) is the City’s leading real estate trade association. Founded in 1896, REBNY represents commercial, residential, and institutional property owners, builders, managers, investors, brokers, and salespeople; banks, financial service companies, utilities, attorneys, architects, and contractors; corporations, co-partnerships, and individuals professionally interested in New York City real estate. REBNY conducts research on various civic matters including tax policy, city planning and zoning, rental conditions, land use policy, building codes, and other city, state, and federal legislation. REBNY regularly publishes market data, policy reports, and broker surveys. In addition, REBNY provides for its members: informational, technical, and technological resources; networking and charitable service opportunities; qualifying and continuing education courses; professional education programs, seminars, and designations; career-changing awards; legal advice; and a wide range of additional member benefits. For more information, please visit