Watchdog Report: #TakeTrumpOn

Local Officials Join #FixOurPipes Campaign

“Saranac Lake is in the same boat as most other communities in the North Country. A lack of investment over many decades means our pipes are old — we’re talking 50 to 100 years in many cases — which isn’t good for our economy, health, or environment.”
- John Sweeney, Village Manager of Saranac Lake 

With Governor Cuomo preparing to release his next state budget proposal in a matter of weeks, Environmental Advocates and our partners are working around the clock to ensure our communities receive new funding to help #FixOurPipes. We’ve led important victories in the last two budget cycles, which have helped dozens of communities get long overdue projects moving. But with drinking and wastewater infrastructure needs continuing to grow, and water contamination issues raising public health concerns statewide, New Yorkers need Governor Cuomo and state legislators to step up even more. Our campaign has been joined by more than a dozen local officials who are sounding the alarm on the dangers that a lack of funding creates for our communities. Check out our press release!

Mr. Trump has Declared War on our Lungs

The Trump Administration remains in formation, and the type of people being nominated to run our government is alarming. Environmental and public health concerns cannot and should not be dismissed, and it will be more important than any time in modern history for members of the U.S. Senate – like New York’s own senators, Chuck Schumer and Kirstin Gillibrand – to put nominees through a thorough and rigorous process. A few years ago, Senate Republicans stalled confirmation of current Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chief Gina McCarthy for strictly political reasons. Now, Mr. Trump’s appointment of Scott Pruitt, a man whose claim to fame has been suing the EPA to block life-saving clean air protections, is a declaration of war on our lungs. We’re also facing an oil tycoon (whose company is being investigated for climate fraudas the nation’s top diplomat, as well as someone who has advocated the abolition of the Department of Energy (DOE) as its head. Now is the time to speak out against Trump’s reckless nominees, educate your loved ones about the dangers they present, and contact Senators Schumer and Gillibrand telling them to reject climate deniers for cabinet posts.

It Starts Locally

It’s no surprise that local governments have often had to take the lead on issues in recent years as the dysfunction in Washington D.C. and in our state Senate has ground progress on many environmental issues to a halt. We are very pleased to share that the Albany County Legislature, a body which has often led on public health and environmental concerns, is advancing legislation to ban plastic foam containers in the food service industry. You know those cups, plates, etc. which we use for about 15 minutes? They outlive us by hundreds of years, polluting our streets, taking up landfill space, harming wildlife, and creating a health danger due to chemicals like benzene used to make them. Just as we did with last year’s successful microbeads ban, we’re rallying local governments to take the lead in order to pressure state and federal action. You can help by taking a few minutes to contact your county Legislature and urge them to propose and support Albany County’s bill, the Food Service Waste Reduction Act of 2016, in your own community!

#TakeTrumpOn… with Offshore Wind!

The groundbreaking environmental, labor, religious, and community advocacy coalition we have helped to build, NYRenews, has been holding a series of events statewide urging Governor Cuomo to #TakeTrumpOn when it comes to climate change. The call is for the Governor to turn his climate and clean energy commitments into action by including the Climate and Community Protection Act in his upcoming State Budget. Of course, a big part of meeting his renewable electricity goals must be wind energy, particularly the development of offshore wind. Just last week, the first offshore wind farm in the country (off Rhode Island) began operation. Another exciting development occurred with the auctioning of rights for a wind farm off the coast of Long Island. The Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) is reportedly finalizing details with Deepwater Wind to serve the East End of the island. The project will be three times the size of the Block Island wind farm, capable of producing 90 megawatts of electricity (enough energy to power 50,000 homes)! We’ll be continuing our efforts to ensure Governor Cuomo seizes the opportunity to establish his legacy as a climate leader by working with LIPA and other agencies to fully take advantage of New York’s vast offshore wind potential.