Advisory: New legal analysis shows how NY cities and counties can phase out fossil fuels & protect public health

Thursday February 11, 2021

Webinar features legal experts, elected officials, climate activists

NEW YORK — In the fight against the climate crisis, New York State’s cities, counties, towns, and villages have broad legal authority to pass building electrification policies and to ban oil train terminals, gas stations, and fossil-fuel unloading docks. That’s according to a new statewide legal analysis from environmental organization’s SAFE Cities movement and the Pace Energy and Climate Center at Pace Law that will be released on Feb. 17. The analysis demonstrates how local governments in New York State possess numerous legal pathways to enact these kinds of policies — and many others — that will phase out fossil fuels, protect public health, and lead the charge into a climate-safe, decarbonized future. 

Join’s SAFE Cities movement, the Pace Energy and Climate Center at Pace Law, and Elected Officials to Protect New York in a virtual webinar on Wednesday, Feb. 17, to dissect this legal analysis, discuss how it will set the stage for a new wave of fossil fuel action in New York State, and hear about the fossil fuel policies elected officials will champion in 2021 and beyond. 

What: “How local governments can phase out fossil fuels in New York State” webinar

When: Wednesday, Feb. 17, 12 p.m. Pacific time / 3 p.m. Eastern time

Where: RSVP at The webinar is open to the public and media representatives are invited to attend.

Who:’s SAFE Cities movement, the Pace Energy and Climate Center at Pace Law, and Elected Officials to Protect New York. Speakers include:

  • Craig Hart, Director of Pace Energy and Climate Center at Pace Law
  • Jessica Laird, Staff Attorney at Pace Energy and Climate Center at Pace Law
  • Anne Pernick, Community Manager at’s SAFE Cities movement
  • Dominic Frongillo, Former councilmember in Caroline, New York, and co-founder of Elected Officials to Protect New York
  • Additional speakers will include local elected officials from New York State talking about the policies they have already passed, or hope to pass, in 2021

Why: As the Biden administration brings the U.S. back into the Paris Agreement and New York City gains worldwide attention for its robust suite of climate actions, this legal study is perfectly timed to support growing efforts for climate change policies from local governments across New York State.

These local governments are in a powerful position to take the actions necessary to protect their communities from hazards associated with fossil fuel use — including spills, explosions, and indoor and outdoor sources of air pollution — while empowering the transition to a clean energy economy. 



Media contacts: 

Peter Jensen, SAFE Cities Communications Coordinator,, +1 415 532 3817 (Pacific Time)
Matt Krogh, U.S. Oil & Gas Campaigns Director,, +1 360 820 2938 (Pacific Time)