Environment New York

Leibowitz: Congratulations, RGGI, now hit the gas

By HEATHER LEIBOWITZ // Officials and stakeholders from nine northeastern states gathered this week in Baltimore to discuss a new plan to cut pollution from power plants by another 30 percent by 2030 – an improvement of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, building on the RGGI’s success by further limiting pollution and investing more in energy efficiency and renewables. The nine states – New York, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont,…


Leibowitz: Greenhouse Gas plan needs more initiative

By HEATHER LEIBOWITZ // On Aug. 23, nine Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states announced a proposal to cut power plant pollution by at least 30 percent between 2021 and 2030, strengthening what is already the best regional clean-air and climate-protection program in the country, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. But while states are moving in a positive direction, the proposal falls short of what’s needed to truly tackle the climate crisis. This program limits dangerous pollution…


Leibowitz: New York poised to lead on renewables

By HEATHER LEIBOWITZ, ESQ. // Ten years of progress has positioned New York to take renewable energy to the next level. Since 2007, New York has seen a 6,548 percent increase in the amount of electricity it gets from the sun and a 473 percent increase in wind-power production, according to a new report released by Environment New York Research & Policy Center. Co-authored by The Frontier Group, the report also highlights advances in the…


Watchdog: Pruitt all wet on critical Clean Water Rule

By HEATHER LEIBOWITZ, ESQ. // Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt proposed repealing the 2015 Clean Water Rule, which restored federal protections to half our nation’s streams and thousands of wetlands across the country. Repealing the Clean Water Rule turns the mission of the EPA on its head: Instead of safeguarding our drinking water, the Trump administration is proposing to stop protecting drinking water sources for more than 11 million New Yorkers. It defies common…


After ’embarrassing’ decision, a most hostile climate

By GREGORY ZELLER // President Donald Trump’s controversial decision to abandon the Paris climate accord has met with swift and punishing reactions from around the globe – with some of the sharpest vitriol spewing from Long Island and New York State. Environmentalist Adrienne Esposito, executive director of the Farmingdale-based Citizens Campaign for the Environment, said the president “made America into an international laughing stock as a fossil fool.” Attorney Heather Leibowitz, director of New York…


Watchdog: 100 days in, an environmental ‘disaster’

By HEATHER LEIBOWITZ, ESQ. // In his first 100 days, President Trump has taken dozens of actions that threaten clean air, clean water and treasured places. There is no question, President Trump is a disaster for our environment and public health. His actions will make our air and water dirtier, as well as ensure we experience the worst effects of climate change even more swiftly. The bottom line is: These rollbacks put the health of…


LIPA approves nation’s largest offshore wind farm

By GREGORY ZELLER // Thar she blows. The Long Island Power Authority Board of Trustees has voted to approve the nation’s largest offshore wind farm in Long Island waters. As proposed by Rhode Island-based Deepwater Wind, the 90-megawatt South Fork Wind Farm – also New York State’s first offshore wind energy-harvesting operation – will be located 30 miles southeast of Montauk. The farm, which officials have repeatedly asserted will be out of sight of Long…


Island winds blowing in Deepwater’s direction

By GREGORY ZELLER // Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s call for wind-energy harvesting in Long Island waters has earned rave reviews from environmental activists. A who’s-who of regional rainmakers from the energy and ecology sectors are cheering Cuomo’s call for the Long Island Power Authority to approve what would be the nation’s largest offshore wind farm, proposed for the Atlantic Ocean about 30 miles southeast of Montauk. The governor implored the LIPA Board of Trustees in a…


Record $42.5M bid wins LI wind-farm lease

By GREGORY ZELLER // The U.S. subsidiary of a Norwegian energy company has placed a record $42 million bid to win the lease rights to build a wind farm 11 miles off Long Island. Texas-based Statoil Wind US LLC, a subsidiary of Norwegian mega-utility Statoil, topped five other bidders – including the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority – in a 33-round U.S. Department of the Interior auction that kicked off Thursday. The…


Environmental leaders annihilate Trump’s EPA pick

By GREGORY ZELLER // While several of President-elect Donald Trump’s cabinet-level nominations have dismayed and even angered socioeconomic observers of all political stripes, one in particular is sounding alarms at Environment New York. The New York City-based advocacy group and public face of the Environment New York Research & Policy Center, which advocates often for Long Island-based environmental protections and clean-energy programs, immediately joined the chorus of environmental leaders condemning today’s announcement by the Trump…


Activists to ‘mobilize’ if Trump attacks environment

By GREGORY ZELLER // If you thought the campaign was a battle, just wait until the presidency – and that’s just on the environmental front. With the world coming to grips with the stunning results of Tuesday’s U.S. presidential election, at least one New York-based environmental watchdog is already preparing for a showdown with President-Elect Donald Trump. New York City-based Environment New York – a citizen-powered environmental advocacy organization and the public face of the Environment…