Mark Ruffalo is throwing his celebrity behind legislation in New York that would lower the cap on emissions (mostly from coal-fired power plants) and help provide hundreds of millions of dollars in incentives for solar energy.
"We know now the huge potential of solar power, not only as a clean economic energy source, but as a source of something else: jobs," the actor says in a new PSA. "But we all have work to do to help solar reach that potential as part of a driving, vibrant part of New York's economy. Albany needs to pass the solar jobs bill to help kick-start this job-producing energy source."
With only three days left in the legislative session before summer recess, organizations such as Alliance for Clean Energy New York, Environmental Defense Fund, Natural Resources Defense Council and Ruffalo's own Water Defense are putting pressure on representatives to sign the legislation.
While a majority of New Yorkers support the bill, state utilities are naturally against it — saying that costs will rise for consumers. Nevertheless, a recent poll found an overwhelming 85 percent of voters are willing to pay a little more for electricity to "ensure that more New York power is produced by the solar industry."
Putting his money where his mouth is, Ruffalo also recently installed a solar array at his farm in Callicoon, N.Y. The "Avengers" actor wanted to show that the financial barrier to clean energy is no longer as prohibitive as it once was. He's currently leasing a $40,000, 14 kilowatt system that only cost him $9,000 upfront and will save more than $1,300 annually in electricity costs.
"This system did not involve huge upfront costs," he told the Sullivan County Democrat. "The great thing about the system is that it can be leased with no upfront money. Most middle-class families can get this system without shelling out a huge amount of cash. In the past, solar was prohibitive because it cost a large sum of money to put it up. With leasing, they take your monthly fee out of the energy you are saving every month by producing your own energy."
You can check out Ruffalo's PSA for the solar jobs bill below.