On Earth Day, Some Say NY Needs to Do More
Friday, April 21, 2017
NEW YORK – Tomorrow is Earth Day and, though efforts to fight climate change are under attack in the nation's capital, here in New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is getting high marks for his clean-energy initiatives.
However, some in the environmental community say he needs to do more. They give Cuomo credit for encouraging the development of offshore wind energy, banning fracking and stopping some major pipeline projects.
But according to Mark Dunlea, chair of the Green Education and Legal Fund, to meet the goals of the Paris conference on climate change, every state should be reducing its carbon emissions by 7 to 9 percent a year. Dunlea says New York is falling short of that goal.
"We think he's still way too reliant upon fossil fuels, way too reliant upon nuclear power, and really isn't doing enough to promote renewable energy," he said.
Cuomo has committed the state to getting 50 percent of its electric power from renewable sources by 2030, but Dunlea points to studies showing that 100 percent would be achievable in the same time frame.
And he says every effort to slow climate change is now critical. Dunlea notes that some scientists now estimate the world is within one to four years of reaching a tipping point for global warming, the maximum amount of carbon that can be put into the atmosphere.
"There are studies now saying that countries within a couple of thousand miles of the equator will begin to experience catastrophic climate change by 2020," he added. "That's in three years."
New York State now estimates that sea levels may rise six feet by the end of this century, and the temperature by as much as 14 degrees Fahrenheit.
Dunlea stresses that this Earth Day, people can't just leave it up to politicians to solve the problem.
"If we are concerned about what type of planet we're going to leave to our children and grandchildren, we ourselves have to take action," he explained. "And we have to look at every level of government and community for that action to occur."
He acknowledges that achieving 100 percent clean energy will require significant state and federal funds, and suggests a robust carbon tax could be the best way to raise that revenue.
get more stories like this via email
Secretary of State Shenna Bellows said a bill to require Maine voters to present photo identification in order to cast ballots is unnecessary and coul…
A bill to increase tax credits in the Commonwealth is backed up by research showing the credits lead to better nutrition for working families and bett…
Part of the deal Wyoming struck for sending its water down the Colorado River was that state residents would be able to tap electricity generated at G…
Wisconsin's primary election is two weeks away, and a high-profile state Supreme Court race is on the ballot. Several advocacy groups are behind a …
A coalition of conservation groups is giving Colorado's revised state water plan a thumbs-up for its increased focus on protecting Colorado's rivers…
Victims of investment-related fraud in North Dakota could soon recoup some of their losses through a proposed restitution fund. A bill to establish …
West Virginia is among a handful of states with the highest increases in educational attainment between 2019 and 2021, according to a new report from …
The state's "divisive concepts" law is preventing educators from holding rational discussions about race relations in America, New Hampshire civil …