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Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Citizens Union
 

environment

environment

  • Cuomo Gore climate change

    Gov. Cuomo and former VP Gore in 2015 (photo: The Governor's Office)


    New York’s 2018 gubernatorial election has largely been eclipsed, like so many things in United States politics, by a massive Trump-shaped shadow. Within that shadow, Andrew Cuomo and Marc Molinaro have argued about the health of upstate New York, management of the MTA, and dueling corruption charges, among other topics. But one looming issue, climate change, has seemed

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  • govcuomo vpgore

    (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of the Governor)


    Think of it: a bold vision that simultaneously addresses the greatest existential threat facing humanity while providing thousands of good jobs across New York. Want an added bonus? There won’t be a need to increase taxes on ordinary New Yorkers.

    A “Green New Deal” for New York could mean thousands of jobs and a pathway to 100% renewable energy, which will be necessary to stave off the worst effects of climate change, all paid for by charging a fee on corporate polluters that pump greenhouse gases

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  • affordable housing align green climate

    photo via the Urban Green Council


    When it comes to combating climate change, the stakes have never been higher. The Trump administration’s failure to address this crisis means progressive urban leaders must do much more to reduce carbon emissions – especially in large apartment buildings that contribute so heavily to climate change.

    One of the greatest challenges to addressing carbon emissions in residential buildings is ensuring that crucial energy efficiency upgrades don’t trigger rent hikes for low- and

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  • cynthia nixon gas

    Cynthia Nixon (photo: @CynthiaNixon)


    Governor Andrew Cuomo seeks to portray himself as a leading environmentalist. But in reality, he is too wrapped up in his own political ambitions to be the 21st century climate champion New York needs.

    The surface is rosy. Governor Cuomo formed the impressive sounding U.S. Climate Alliance, he banned fracking (while building infrastructure to transport fracked gas from nearby states) and is expanding wind farming in the state.

    Take a closer look, however, and it’s much seedier.

    While portraying

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  • 2016 adri chall

    (photo via the Governor's Office)


    The summer season is in full swing, with New Yorkers flocking to weekend getaways across the state, from Coney Island to Long Island beaches to the Catskills and beyond. But it is critical that we remain vigilant as good stewards of our shared natural treasures. With environmental protections under siege from the current federal administration’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), it is imperative that New Yorkers understand and exercise their civil justice rights to protect their communities and hold polluters

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  • solar panels de Blasio energy 

    A city energy announcement (Ed Reed/Mayor’s Office)


    A de Blasio administration program to reduce the energy consumption of city agencies has yielded millions of dollars in rebates for the city from energy providers.

    The Department of Citywide Administrative Services, which manages properties and resources for city agencies, received $9.3 million for cutting back on energy use during peak demand hours last summer. The program, called Demand Response, is in place at 414 municipal facilities and cultural institutions under 25

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  • Cuomo climate change

    Gov. Cuomo on climate change (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Governor's Office)


    A task force convened by Governor Andrew Cuomo last year to study plastic bag use by New York consumers, and to propose solutions to reduce their usage, released its report on Saturday, and New York City officials are again disappointed in Cuomo on the subject, to say the least.

    It’s been just about a year since the governor signed state

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  • voting election ballot proposals

    Voting (photo: Samar Khurshid/Gotham Gazette)


    A state constitutional amendment slightly loosening stringent environmental protections in the Adirondacks and Catskills in certain cases will be on the ballot this fall, the state Board of Elections announced this week.

    The legislation, which has passed through two consecutive sessions of the Legislature in order to make it onto the ballot, allows for select infrastructure projects deemed necessary for the safety and economic vitality of nearby areas to be installed without a

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  • 32541723780 9deef3a979 z

    Mayor de Blasio tours the Electrical Industry Training Center in Queens (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


     Soon after reports surfaced that President Donald Trump would withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement, a landmark accord to limit global temperature increases signed by nearly every country, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that he would sign an executive order committing New York City to the agreement. On June 2, after Trump confirmed the rumors in a White House Rose Garden speech, the Mayor ...

  • indian point


    Climate change is a serious threat to New York. With so much of the state’s population, infrastructure and economic activity crammed into the coastal communities of the New York metropolitan area, sea level rise and increasingly intense hurricane seasons spell certain disaster in the long term.

    In light of this, I’m sure that I share the concerns of many New Yorkers in expressing my disgust with President Trump’s executive action aimed at dismantling Obama-era climate regulations. That’s why it’s more important than ever to take action at the state level to combat this

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  •  latrice walker

    Assemblymember Latrice Walker, the author


    Here are a few things we know:

    President Trump’s policies benefit the one-percent.

    His agenda, particularly dismantling the Environmental Protection Agency, as well as rolling back climate and public health protections that New Yorkers benefit from, disproportionately harms low-income communities of color. (The World Health Organization just released data that 1.7 million children die annually worldwide due to environmental pollution.)

    Trump’s denial of the overwhelming

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  • dec hudson river hudson falls upper hudson

    Hudson Falls, upper Hudson River (photo: NY DEC)


    Who is responsible for keeping the Hudson River free from pollution? Actually, it is a responsibility shared by Federal and State authorities. Sometimes they agree; other times, they may be at cross purposes. That can make for some interesting political debate and interplay between the federal and state governments.

    Two current environmental issues are good

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  • solar panels house

    Solar panel installation (SolarCity)


    Let’s start with the good news.

    Solar energy is growing and more popular than ever.

    The amount of solar energy installed in the United States has quadrupled since 2010, generating enough energy to power 1 in 20 American homes.

    In 2016, the United States witnessed its millionth solar installation and the industry expects to hit 2 million solar installations in just the next two years.

    All this growth in solar power brings tangible benefits to local communities across New York.
    Environmentally, solar

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  • hudson river park aerial

    photo: Hudson River Park Trust


    Building sites for so-called "parks" or other misplaced uses in or over the water offshore is a ruinous policy. Unprecedented proposals now before the City Council to help finance such in-water construction by selling legally dubious "air rights" (supposedly unused development rights) from sites in the lower Hudson River--starting with Pier 40--or other public waterways to mega-developers would magnify this harmful policy's potentially catastrophic citywide impacts.

    Joanne Witty's ...

  • Costa Constantinides

    Council Member Constantinides, the author


    As we continue to digest the results of the election, a troubling reality emerges that our core beliefs are under attack. As New Yorkers, we stand in unity with our neighbors, especially Muslim, Latino, and LGBTQ communities across our city.

    We are also left with deep disappointment because President-elect Trump has attacked climate change as a hoax. He has pledged to undo American efforts to prevent a global warming catastrophe, including retreat from the Paris Agreement on Climate, Clean Power Plan, and new EPA

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  • city school PS


    With National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week coming to a close, it’s important to reflect on the work needed to reduce our children’s exposure to lead and prevent its serious health effects. Over the past year, the nation has watched a tragedy unfold in Flint, Michigan, as an entire community’s drinking water was contaminated with lead. But the problem extends well beyond Flint. In ...

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  • Cuomo bridge water

    Gov. Cuomo (photo: Governor's Office on Flickr)


    In 2014, Gov. Andrew Cuomo was looking at how to fund the construction of a new Tappan Zee Bridge and in such a way that he could promise minimal toll hikes. Construction had actually already begun on the $4 billion project despite no clear funding plan in place and pressure to detail the spending was mounting.

    On June 13, 2014 Cuomo announced that the state Environmental Facilities Corp. would loan the state up to $511 million for the multi-billion dollar project from the Clean Water State

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  • hoosick falls town

    Hoosick Falls (photo via The Governor's Office on Flickr)


    Just imagine knowing that the water you are drinking is quietly making you sick. That it gave you or someone you love kidney cancer. That it took years to get your government to listen, then when you got its attention, ...

  • plastic bag fee rally

    A rally for the plastic bag fee bill (photo via @bradlander)


    It’s a fact: people who live in America’s most polluted environments are most commonly people of color and poor. New York City is no exception; thanks to decades of unfair policies, over 75 percent of the city’s entire solid waste stream is now processed in a handful of low-income neighborhoods and communities of color in the outer boroughs. Consequently, these communities bear the disproportionate burden of high truck traffic, diesel fuel emissions, unsanitary conditions, and noise

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