Monday, November 12, 2018

A CLEAN START - Environmental Advocates of New York

Dear Advocates,

Former President Obama once said, “Elections have consequences.” That statement might be doubly true for the election we just had in New York.

New Yorkers have elected a new majority to the State Senate. In doing so, over a quarter of the Senate chairs will be filled by new members. With these changes comes great opportunity for popular, common-sense environmental legislation to finally see the light of day in the Senate.

You know from your involvement with us that there has been environmental stagnation in Albany. Critical pieces of legislation have been blocked by leaders who refused to step up and protect our environment, strengthen our communities, or improve our health. Bills with broad backing like the Climate and Community Protection Act (CCPA) and the Environmental Bill of Rights easily passed the Assembly this year with bi-partisan support, only to be buried in the Senate. The CCPA actually had a majority of Senators listed as official co-sponsors.

Where the previous Senate Majority had failed to recognize the importance of having a right to clean air and water or the potential of good jobs in the clean energy economy, we trust the new Senate Majority will take a different path. We expect the new Senate will join the Assembly in being champions of the environment by prioritizing policies that benefit our health, our communities, and our economy. The Climate and Community Protection Act and the Environmental Bill of Rights would both be a good place to start. The incoming Majority Leader, Andrea Stewart-Cousins has championed the climate bill.

Similarly, the change of leadership in the US House of Representatives holds promise for positive action on the environment. It starts with a fundamental flip of ideals—science is important again, climate change is real, and actual oversight of agencies like the EPA is necessary. While there may be scant hope for the House to be joined in their ideals by a federal government that remains hostile to the environment, they should provide a counterbalance to the dirty policies of the Trump administration.

This election does not mean our job is done. We still need to make our case—loudly—but now to more receptive ears. The opportunity to make real environmental progress is much greater today than it was a week ago. Let’s get to work.


Peter M. Iwanowicz
Executive Director
Environmental Advocates of New York

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Environmental Advocates of New York strongly supports these bills:

Climate and Community Protection Act 
A.8270-B (Englebright, et al.)    S.7971-A (Hoylman, et al.)

The impacts of climate change are affecting New York’s economic security, safety, and public health. Poor air quality, which is worsened by climate change, is making our children sick and shortening the lives of seniors. Extreme weather events place people in danger, cost billions in lost production and revenue, and damage or destroy communities.

Environmental Bill of Rights 
A.6279 (Englebright, et al.)     S.5287 (Carlucci, et al.)

This bill establishes in the New York State Constitution a right to clean water, clean air and a healthful environment. It addresses a gap in our legal foundations, and provides an expression of values that other states have already seen fit to establish and to pronounce.

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UPDATE (11.14.2018):
The Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) strongly supports the Environmental Bill of Rights legislation

This proposal would amend the State Constitution's Bill of Rights to include a right to clean air and water and a healthful environment. This proposal establishes for New Yorkers the constitutional right to clean air, clean water and a healthy environmental equivalent to other basic rights guaranteed in New York State’s Constitution Article 1 Bill of Rights, such as, the right of freedom of worship and religious liberty, freedom of speech and the press, compensation for taking private property, equal protection of law, and security against unreasonable searches and seizures, among others. The basic human right to clean air and water and a healthful environment has been starkly absent from this list of constitutional protections, but recent threats to our water and air have reminded us that we cannot take for granted that these life sustaining elements will be protected. It is critical that we recognize the basic human rights to clean air and water and a healthful environment and detail these in the Article 1 Bill of Rights. 
Read more here... 

To Download the PDF document at the ADK website, Click Here

For this and other ADK Policy Positions, visit the ADK Website Here

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