UTICA, N.Y. (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) – Today the Climate Action Council approved its scoping plan that would tackle the growing climate catastrophe by offering its blueprint for how the state can move to a “green” economy.
The plan contains many good proposals and some not-so-good ideas but falls short in one key area: holding the oil companies – not New Yorkers – financially responsible for the gigantic costs facing the state.
The plan is ambitious and contains a wide range of policy options for Governor Hochul and the State Legislature to consider. It is important to ensure that the financial burden doesn’t fall on lower-income residents as they transform from a fossil to zero-emission households.
“All of these stuffs cost money, and the climate action council does talk about revenue sources, they talk about their proposal for example called cap and invest. They talked about add to insurance premium to help generate revenues. But to our opinion, the place to go is really the oil companies because they have been making enormous profits in the past year and a half, so they have the money and they are responsible. So I think that’s where the money should come from, to fund programs to deal with the enormous cost of reengineering of our infrastructure, to deal with the problem of climate change, and to help fund programs that will offset the impact that had on a low income, frontline communities, as well as how labor workers who will lose jobs, in fact, or have their job changed as a result of a green economy,” said executive director of New York Public Interest Research Group Fund, Blair Horner.
For residents who are worried that their traditional-powered facilities will be left obsolete in 2025, the good news is this is an ongoing process that focuses more on building new buildings that have zero-emission.
“The Climate Action Council doesn’t say starting next month or 6 months from now or a year from now, maybe shift existing homes from fossil fuels to electricity. There is a much more gradual phase in, and the first step in the phase in, is to make sure that new construction, new homes and new buildings will be powered by electricity,” said Horner.
The clock is ticking, anyone who is still trying to argue that it is too ambitious a plan is ignoring the science.
“Scientists and climate experts in the world are telling us that stop digging up new fossil fuels. They keep telling us not to expand the use of fossil fuels and to move to a reliance on green power. No one is arguing other than that. And people are dragging their feet is because they are afraid that the public would be unhappy that the transition from a brown essentially to a green economy. That’s reasonable. But we don’t have the time to waste. We are already facing climate catastrophe,” he said.