For Immediate Release: March 27, 2013
State Budget: Environment and Economic Development Work Hand-in-Hand
Statement by Rob Moore, Executive Director
“Governor Cuomo and legislators have finalized a state budget that signals their understanding that protecting the environment and economic development are not mutually exclusive efforts.
In his State of the State address in January, the Governor outlined several forward-thinking initiatives which this budget begins to implement. In addition to being frack-free, the budget strengthens the Environmental Protection Fund, and provides long overdue infrastructure support for our state parks. Collectively, these issues send a message that in New York, our natural gifts are an important part of our economy and quality of life.
After Hurricane Sandy, Governor Cuomo spoke boldly on the need for the state to fight climate change. One of the most interesting initiatives on that front will be tax incentives for the development of 3,000 new electric car charging stations statewide. This program is promising and we encourage the administration to ensure it works as efficiently as possible to get these sites up and running.
Environmental Advocates would like to thank the Assembly for rejecting a Senate proposal to raid funds from the job-creating and pollution-cutting Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) for giveaways to coal plants and other climate polluters.
We are disappointed that implementation of a 2006 law to reduce pollution emitted by many diesel vehicles – a leading cause of high asthma rates and other health ailments– has been delayed yet again. Reducing such pollutants must be a part of any sensible program to protect public health.
Now that the budget is complete, there are several major initiatives to be addressed this year: the most pressing of which are guiding development out of dangerous flood-prone areas; reforming the state’s brownfields cleanup program; and investing in renewable energy and a modern energy infrastructure.
The Governor and legislators can be proud of what this budget does for our environment, and we look forward to continuing our work with them in making New York a national model for environmental policy.”