This spring, socialists and allies in New York State passed legislation empowering the state to build renewable energy and create tens of thousands of good jobs. It can serve as a model for starting to build the Green New Deal at the state level across the US.

by Lawrence Wang, Jacobin

Four years after Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez introduced the Green New Deal, the New York chapters of Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) and allies took what could be a major step in transforming that policy into reality.

It’s called the Build Public Renewables Act (BPRA), and its passage in the New York state budget puts public power instead of private corporations in the driver’s seat for the transition to renewable energy. The law mandates the state’s public power authority, the New York Power Authority (NYPA), to plan, build, and operate renewable projects to meet New York’s ambitious decarbonization timetable — 70 percent renewable electricity by 2030, 100 percent by 2040 — where the private sector fails to do so on its own.

dsa members advocate for the public renewables act

But the BPRA is more than “just” a climate bill. It is part of an unabashedly socialist vision of how to build a better world. The BPRA turns the renewable energy transition into a tool for empowering labor, materially improving working-class conditions, advancing racial justice, and laying the groundwork for true democratic ownership of our energy systems. It also provides an important model for other states to follow and a demonstration of the power socialists can wield in designing and passing policy.

Read More