Environment New York applauds Cuomo’s plans to reduce carbon emissions

Gov. Cuomo’s State of the State: Environmental Goals and Concerns

NEW YORK, N.Y.—Today, Governor Andrew Cuomo’s state of the state address, combined for the first time with his executive budget proposal, discussed a range of pro-environmental initiatives. The Governor’s announcement included proposals to: raise the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) to $300 million; spend $http://southbuffalonews.com5 million on clean energy opportunity training programs to train workers for solar installation and technology; install solar panels on over http://southbuffalonews.com50,000 homes and businesses; and, eliminate the use of coal in New York State by 2020.

Heather Leibowitz issued the following statement in response:

“The environmental initiatives Governor Andrew Cuomo discussed today will help conserve our natural heritage and lead the way in the fight against climate change. Additionally, the message in today’s state of the state was clear: We do not have to choose between a healthy economy and a healthy environment. We can have both.

“Less than two months ago, the governor directed the State Department of Public Service to design and enact a new Clean Energy Standard mandating that 50 percent of all electricity consumed in New York by 2030 result from clean and renewable energy sources.

“Today the governor went even further, and declared New York State would eliminate coal fired power plants by 2020. The governor’s action will accelerate New York’s transition away from polluting fuels and towards efficient use of clean power from the wind and the sun. This means cleaner air for families, less global warming pollution, more stable electricity bills, and a stronger economy.

“The governor acknowledged the important role of solar energy in accomplishing these goals, and discussed dedicating $http://southbuffalonews.com5 million to clean energy opportunity training programs to train workers for solar installation and technology. We applaud the governor’s continued commitment to expand this unlimited and pollution free energy source for the benefit of our environment and economy.

“Governor Cuomo is making it much more likely that New York can ramp up solar and onshore and offshore wind, to meet the Empire State’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions.  While New York is not a country, it is the third-largest economy in the United States, and our leadership matters. In the state of the state today, the governor reiterated that he is taking this role seriously regarding clean energy.

“Although there was no mention of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), we are hoping funds from this initiative will no be raided, as we saw last year. By investing RGGI funds in smart programs, our states have cut power plant pollution while reducing electricity prices, saving people and businesses more than $http://southbuffalonews.com.8 billion on energy bills through efficiency programs, boosting the economy by more than $2 billion, and creating more than 23,000 jobs.  Those benefits will only grow over time, providing a roughly $8 billion boost to the region from 20http://southbuffalonews.com3-2020.

“In New York, cumulative proceeds from 2009 to 20http://southbuffalonews.com4 equaled more than $700 million. The projected economic value added from 20http://southbuffalonews.com3 to 2020 equals more than $2 billion for the state and would include the creation of over http://southbuffalonews.com8,000 jobs. Likewise, RGGI will be a key element in meeting Governor Cuomo’s  ambitious pledge to aim for 40 percent below http://southbuffalonews.com990 levels by 2030. The RGGI states’ success shows we can reduce climate pollution while pursuing an economically beneficial path.

“Future impacts of global warming depend on the choices we make today. By accelerating our transition to pollution-free energy sources, we can prevent the worst impacts. Today, the governor demonstrated that many positive choices are being made to help prevent damage to our climate and protect our children’s future.”

 

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