Environmental groups want New York to turn away from fossil fuels
Michelle Del Rey reports in the Times Union that environmental activists in New York are consistently insisting that the state turn completely to electric power, rather than burning fossil fuels, to slow global warming and attempt to save the planet. Many environmental groups, for instance, are opposing a new anti-pollution bill from Democrats Carrie Woerner and Kevin S. Parker aimed to lower the intensity of on-road transportation by 20 percent by 2030. “There is a right way to fund our climate law and a wrong way,” said Peter Iwanowicz, executive director of Environmental Advocates NY. “Regressive policies like this that also continue pollution hotspots are clearly the wrong way.” The New York City Environmental Justice Alliance said, “This policy focuses only on the carbon intensity of a fuel rather than taking into account the overall greenhouse gas emissions and resulting co-pollution. By proposing the use of fuels for transportation rather than electrification, this policy would continue to incentivize the combustion of fuels other than fossil gas, which still contribute to climate change and result in severe health impacts, particularly in disadvantaged communities where pollution is concentrated.” Buildings account for 32 percent of the New York's climate-heating greenhouse gas emissions, and legislators earlier this year considered banning fossil fuels in new buildings. Washington state recently became the first in the country to mandate that newly constructed buildings be outfitted with all-electric space heating and hot water systems, as more of the country moves away from fossil fuels. Read more about this story in the Times Union.