Mamdani, who serves on the Assembly Energy Committee, sees the BPRA’s defeat this year as a mandate to elect more people with organizational backgrounds to serve in Albany. DSA currently supports a list of main challengers increase his number in the New York legislature; their elections are later this month. “I don’t think we need to get to a point where we have a numerical majority,” he said of the DSA-backed elected officials. “What we need is an elected body of socialist organizers who will come into this body, organize it and make sure they are above their weight,” Mamdani says. “We just don’t have enough of us in this corps to do this job of whipping and organizing and counting.”
The fiercest opposition to the BPRA has come from the Independent Power Producers of New York, or IPPNY, and the Alliance for Clean Energy New York, or ACE NY, commercial lobbies for merchant power generators that sell on the New York network. As in other deregulated systems, New York investor-owned utilities — which distribute the electricity — are barred from generating it as well. Instead, they buy it through the New York Independent System Operator, which links generation capacity (much of it privately owned) to utilities that sell electricity to consumers. The New York Power Authority currently owns and operates one-third of New York’s transmission lines, as well as a fleet of generating facilities that supply about a quarter of the state’s electricity. The BPRA would demand that NYPA shut down its fossil fuel generation facilities by 2030 and affirm its ability to build, own and operate large-scale renewable energy.
In a memo opposing the bill, IPPNY and ACE NY called it “unnecessary,” arguing that private companies were already on track to meet the goals set by the Climate Protection Act and to community, or CLCPA, in 2019 to achieve 100% emissions-free electricity by 2040. (they claim) have a proven track record of building renewable energy that NYPA would struggle to improve upon.