Saturday, January 9, 2010

In the NEWS

Revitalizing upstate neighborhoods
By NY Gov. David A. Paterson
For too long, your government has stood by and watched as the jobs of tomorrow never arrived and upstate New York slipped further and further into economic decline.

We must begin by addressing the surfeit of prime housing stock that lies vacant in so many of our great cities.

To tackle both of these problems efficiently and effectively, I have proposed the Sustainable Neighborhoods Project. This effort will revitalize vacant homes across the state by using existing state resources to create long-term affordable city housing, and we are going to start with Buffalo’s 23,000 vacant units.

Additionally, the Sustainable Neighborhood Project will invest in environmentally-responsible projects that develop blighted property, vacant land, community gardens and urban agriculture. State agency experts will work with community development officials in each upstate city to facilitate these projects, and each partnership will establish clear goals for each new sustainable neighborhood.

But if we are going to rebuild New York’s economic might and create the jobs of the future, we must also renew the strength of our manufacturing base and keep our commitment to the people who carry its legacy into the 21st century.

That’s why we are going to support clean energy retrofits for businesses that otherwise would be unable to afford them. We are going to create a network of industrial assistance centers to educate businesses on alternative manufacturing approaches. And I will submit legislation to reform the Power for Jobs program, so that businesses will have the certainty they need to make long-term investments in our state.

We must also use existing infrastructure to re-energize our traditional manufacturing sector and attract the manufacturing jobs of the future. That is why I am proposing a new state program that will support public-private partnerships to inventory each region’s unique manufacturing assets and develop plans to restore and market these sites.

Read the full report in The Buffalo News.

[UPDATE: 01/10/2010] Paterson sets public meeting here
Gov. David A. Paterson will conduct a town meeting at the Buffalo Museum of Science at 2 pm on Tuesday, January 12.

According to The Buffalo News, it will be the governor’s first in a series of appearances around the state, aiming to build public support for the legislative program he announced in his State of the State message.

Read the report in The Buffalo News.

New smog rule could be a surprise to some counties
Stricter rules proposed Thursday by the Obama administration could more than double the number of counties across the country that are in violation of clean air standards. That would likely have a big impact on other parts of the nation since California already sets stringent standards for cars, ships and trucks.

Smog is a respiratory irritant that has been linked to asthma attacks and other illnesses. Global warming is expected to make it worse, since smog is created when emissions from cars, power and chemical plants, refineries and other factories mix in sunlight and heat.
Read the full report in The Buffalo News.

End this bad idea
Jamestown power plan lacks support, board should drop the project
The dream of turning its otherwise unnecessary coal-fired power plant into a shining example of a new way to burn America’s abundant coal without wrecking the world’s weather certainly sounds attractive. But, as the many critics of the plan have convincingly argued, it is less attractive than trying it out on a power plant that is already belching out tons of climate-changing gases.

If the carbon-capture technology doesn’t work, or if making it work is so expensive that nobody can afford to operate it, running the test on an existing power plant leaves us no worse off than we were before. If Jamestown builds a new plant only to find out that the carbon can’t be economically captured, then the city is left with a new coal-burning plant that it either has to operate in order to make back its investment, or shelve as a way of stanching the flow of money and the release of soon-to-be banned or heavily taxed carbon.
Read the Editorial in The Buffalo News.

Experts: Cold snap doesn't disprove global warming
Beijing had its coldest morning in almost 40 years and its biggest snowfall since 1951. Britain is suffering through its longest cold snap since 1981. And freezing weather is gripping the Deep South, including Florida's orange groves and beaches.

Whatever happened to global warming?

Such weather doesn't seem to fit with warnings from scientists that the Earth is warming because of greenhouse gases. But experts say the cold snap doesn't disprove global warming at all - it's just a blip in the long-term heating trend.

"It's part of natural variability," said Gerald Meehl, a senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo. With global warming, he said, "we'll still have record cold temperatures. We'll just have fewer of them."
Read the full report in The Dallas Morning News.

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