Guest essay by Eric Worrall
If you thought New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was a hardline green, wait until you see the alternative; Sex in the City star Cynthia Nixon is running to become the next Governor of New York, on the basis that Governor Cuomo is too soft on climate issues.
Sex and the City star Cynthia Nixon is running to become the next governor of New York, and on Friday, she unveiled an aggressive climate change plan for the state.
Since announcing her candidacy, Nixon has loudly criticized the current governor’s inaction on climate change and his soft spot for pipelines.
“Eight years ago, I voted for Andrew Cuomo because I believed he was a real Democrat,” her website reads.
“Our state could be a place where every single New Yorker has what we need to thrive, if only we could stop our governor from selling New York off to the highest bidder.”
Nixon thinks she can do better. Her recently published “Agenda for a Clean Energy Economy and Climate Justice” lays out a bold plan to transition the state to 100 percent renewable energy by no later than 2050.
In comparison, Governor Cuomo has only committed to 50 percent renewables by 2030. And, as Nixon points out in her new plan, “Governor Cuomo only has a plan for the electricity sector when most of the emissions in New York come from buildings and transportation.”
The following from Cynthia’s Agenda for a Clean Energy Economy caught my attention;
Estimates say that making the investment necessary to reach 100% renewable energy could generate over a 100,000 new jobs every year through building solar panels and wind turbines, retrofitting houses and other buildings, and revamping our outdated transit systems. This bill has passed in the Assembly twice, and garnered bipartisan support in the Senate, and simply needs strong visionary leadership to shepherd it through the legislature to get it passed.
Reject All New Fossil Fuel Infrastructure. While the extraction of fracked gas has been banned in New York, our current leadership believes that fracked gas is a “bridge” to a renewable future. Yet the science is clear. Investing in new fracked gas infrastructure locks us into decades more emissions we cannot afford, and poses serious health risks for surrounding communities. We must immediately end investment in any new fossil fuel plants and pipelines and refocus efforts and funding toward renewable energy.
Hold Corporate Polluters Accountable & Make Them Pay. Our state and local communities are already spending critical tax dollars addressing the negative impacts of climate change. Every time the fossil fuel industry pumps a ton of carbon dioxide or methane into our air, a New Yorker pays the price, whether it’s an asthma attack or another superstorm Sandy. As we learned with the tobacco industry, until we start holding corporate polluters responsible for their actions, we will see very little change in their behavior.
As Governor, I will work with the State legislature to make corporate polluters pay for the damage their causing to our communities and our planet. This would generate billions of dollars to invest in building renewable energy, protecting communities at the front lines of climate change, supporting workers transitioning into the new energy economy, and giving rebates to low and middle-income New Yorkers to save them money on their energy bills. It’s a bold, common-sense policy, that others states are already exploring. New York should be the leader in getting it done.
Frankly I’m disappointed Cynthia doesn’t cut to the chase, and promise to immediately stop all fossil fuel use in New York State.
Instead of employing hundreds of thousands of people to build solar panels over a period of time, Cynthia could take advantage of the temporary cessation of normal economic activity in New York to employ millions of people to get all her solar panels installed in just a few weeks.
The temporarily unemployed bankers and executives whose reckless rent seeking greed helped build the green movement could get their hands dirty for once, by helping out with constructing Cynthia’s solar panels and wind turbines.