This month Governor Andrew Cuomo announced his veto of the Environmental Protection Fund Enhancement Act, which would have added $56 million of existing Bottle Bill revenues to the Environmental Protection Fund over six years. The veto caused some to question whether or not the Governor was an environmentalist.
Capital Region Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.
There have been subtle signs that New York's top official favors "green" - Andrew Cuomo's remark "We have 100-year floods every two years now," as well as his view of Hurricane Sandy as evidence that climate
change is a “reality” - and extreme weather a "new normal" - saw him gaining favor among those who claim to have nature's best interests at heart. But some environmental advocates are scratching their heads, wondering why Cuomo nixed legislation that would boosted the Bottle Bill. Is the Governor veering from what has been perceived as an "environmentalist track"?
Dan Hendrick is spokesman for the New York League of Conservation Voters - he says, all things considered, Cuomo's having and maintaining that 134-million is an accomplishment, given various program cuts and the sour economy.
Governor Cuomo's office responded to a request for comment by emailing a single-page copy of Veto #176, where Cuomo explained that he has made the EPF a central part of his administration, and that he is committed to find additional ways to strengthen the EPF. The Activists suggest Cuomo is holding back because he deals with the EPF in his forthcoming budget plan.
NYPIRG Senior Environmental Associate Laura Haight calls Cuomo's overall environmental record "mixed: she says the "jury is still out" and adds activists would like to see the Governor's "actions match the rhetoric" - they will get their chance in January when Cuomo gives his State of the State address and releaes his budget.