Environmentalists want Gov. Cuomo and REGGI to Address Global Warming

Nov 20, 2012

Environmental Advocates warn New York can’t afford to wait for the next hurricane or tropical storm to hit:  They're urging the state to take the lead in pushing for stricter carbon emission reduction goals as part of the nine-state Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas has more...

The first meetings of the so-called "REGGI" states since Superstorm Sandy took place Tuesday in Albany and Boston. NYPIRG Senior Environmental Associate Laura Haight explains there was an opportunity for the public to ask questions of the presenters - part of a two-year process which is coming to a conclusion soon on the future of the REGGI program.

Ross Gould with Environmental Advocates of New York expects Governor Cuomo to come up with a timely solution that puts the “REGGI” state with the worst carbon emission problem on a better track.

Under REGGI, New York and eight other states in the Northeast and Midwest cap pollution and then charge companies for their carbon emissions. David Van Leuven, Director of Environment New York, stresses the time to stop global warming is NOW - by dramtically reucing carbon pollution.

Citing damages inflicted by Hurricane Sandy that run as high as 40 billion dollars, conservation groups agree now is the time for New York to deal with climate change. Laura Haight says REGGI is looking at several scenarios for where to go between now and 2020, none of which would reduce emissions much below current standards.

Haight believes Governor Cuomo has an oppportunity to follow up on his powerful post-Sandy message, that changing weather patterns are now a reality in New York and the nation. She believes the governor can drive home the point that decision makers need to be planning ahead to reduce the risk of future superstorms.

Darren Suarez is Director of Government Affairs with The Business Council - he gives REGGI high marks but thinks REGGI alone isn't enough to address an issue as large as global warming.  REGGI is tasked with setting new goals next month that will lock in pollution caps for years to come.