News from the Subcommittee on
Renewable Energy

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Assemblyman Ryan Scott Karben
Ryan Scott Karben
For Immediate Release:
June 3, 2005

Karben to Chair Assembly Subcommittee on Renewable Energy
Rockland lawmaker appointed to address critical statewide energy issues

Assemblyman Ryan Scott Karben (D/I-Rockland) has been named chairman of the newly formed Assembly Subcommittee on Renewable Energy. Karben, who has served as a member of the Assembly's Energy Committee since 2003, was appointed by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver to help lead efforts to implement a renewable energy strategy for the state.

"I am honored to have been chosen to lead the effort to develop a sensible renewable energy strategy for New York," said Karben. "Rising gas prices and home utility bills are the best evidence of America's need for energy independence."

"With the growing cost of gasoline and other energy fuels taking a bigger and bigger chunk of cash from the budgets of households, municipalities and businesses, it is clear that more attention must be paid to renewable energy sources," said Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. "I'm confident that Assemblyman Karben has the interest and commitment necessary to examine thoroughly this promising area of the energy field for opportunities that could lead to not only reducing energy costs to the state's energy consumers, but also our reliance on foreign oil."

"I look forward to working with Assemblyman Karben in his new capacity as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Renewable Energy," said Paul D. Tonko (D-Amsterdam), Chairman of the Committee on Energy. "Now, more than ever, renewable energy will play a major role in curbing our appetite for foreign oil, reducing air pollution and providing economic development opportunities throughout the State. New Yorkers will be well-served by his expertise and leadership in this complicated issue area."

Renewable energy sources are constantly replenished and will never run out, as opposed to nonrenewable energy sources, which are finite and will eventually dwindle. Renewable energy sources include solar energy, wind energy, biomass energy, hydrogen energy and geothermal energy.

Karben said that his committee will investigate how to encourage greater use of renewable energy by the public and private sectors, encourage energy efficiency, utilize renewable energy research and development as an economic development tool and examine ways to lessen New York's dependence on finite energy sources that are becoming too costly and detrimental to our environment.

"We are hopeful this new subcommittee will help the state to meet its goal of ensuring that by 2013, at least 25% of the electricity sold to consumers in New York State is generated by renewable resources," said Marcia Bystryn, Executive Director of the New York League of Conservation Voters. "Assemblyman Karben is a fine choice to lead such an important effort."

Howard Shapiro, President and CEO of the Energy Association of New York State, today congratulated Assemblyman Karben on this important appointment. Mr. Shapiro went on to say that he expects that the Assemblyman, while helping to implement the state's renewable energy strategy, will remain cognizant of a statement by environmental interests reported in the May 15, 2005 edition of the New York Times, that alternative technologies together are "just a fraction of" what is needed. "We believe Assemblyman Karben appreciates the importance of encouraging not just renewables, but base load p ower plants (including nuclear) and necessary related infrastructure, to assure New Yorkers continue to enjoy the diverse, secure and adequate supplies of energy we will need going forward."

"We applaud the Assembly for forming this sub-committee. New York is on the right path - toward greater reliance on wind, solar and other clean forms of renewable energy," said Christine Vanderlan, Global Warming Program Director at Environmental Advocates of New York. "With more wind farms being proposed in New York and the potential for environmental benefits and new jobs, now is the perfect time to address this issue. We hope this sub-committee will lead to great advancement of clean energy usage in New York State."

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