Scott Stringer, an early front-runner for New York City mayor, pledged to completely phase out fossil fuels, drive private utility companies out of the nation’s largest metropolis, and “electrify everything” in a near total embrace of climate activists’ demands ahead of this year’s election.
The 34-page proposal Stringer laid out Sunday would transform the five boroughs, glazing the rooftops with solar panels and battery units, prioritizing bike lanes and pedestrian walkways over highways, and providing new programs to make electricity cheaper and green jobs more plentiful for the city’s squeezed working class.
“The time for pie-in-the-sky platitudes is over,” he said in a Zoom press conference. “The time for incrementalism has passed.”
He promised to block all new fossil fuel infrastructure, including a controversial pipeline currently under construction in Brooklyn, and vowed to ban all gas hookups in newly built and renovated construction. He called the city’s network of roughly a dozen gas- and oil-burning power plants “relics of the past, and that’s where I’ll put them,” and promised a fleet of electric buses and subway improvements. He said he’d implement a standing proposal to shutter the infamous prison on Rikers Island and convert the facility to a solar farm and target aid to communities that suffered the worst excesses of both polluters and policing.
“Emissions are up since 2017, we’re still putting pipelines in the ground, and air emissions have led to more COVID deaths in the Bronx than anywhere in the country,” Stringer said. “To move forward, we must turn the page on decades of environmental racism. We gotta say it, it’s true. The buck stops with me. No more excuses.”