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80+ Groups Challenge Gov. Cuomo to Lead on Climate Change and Protect His State from Fracking
A coalition of national environmental and progressive groups—including 350.org, Center for Biological Diversity, Democracy for America, Environment America, Friends of the Earth, Food & Water Watch, Greenpeace and Sierra Club—joined with other national and New York organizations to send Governor Cuomo a letter challenging him to be a national leader in addressing climate change. The letter applauds his stated commitment to addressing climate change and environmental protection, but highlights how permitting fracking in New York would contradict those goals.
“While we welcome your determination to lead on climate change, we are greatly concerned by indications that you may soon allow high-volume hydraulic fracturing (HVHF) in New York,” the letter asserted. “A decision to allow HVHF would be a direct contradiction of your promise to lead on climate change. Opening New York’s doors to this form of extreme fossil fuel extraction undercuts your pledge to make environmental protection, including initiatives that address climate change, a legislative priority.”
The coalition’s letter explained the environmental impact natural gas production and use has with respect to climate change in clear terms, stating:
“The carbon dioxide emitted from burning natural gas contributes significantly to greenhouse gas emissions driving global climate change. And, in addition to carbon dioxide, HVHF releases significant amounts of methane into the atmosphere during the extraction, transport, and processing of the gas.
“Methane is a potent greenhouse gas, 33 times more efficient at trapping heat than carbon dioxide over 100 years, and about 100 times more potent than carbon dioxide over 20 years. As such, even small amounts of gas leaked into the atmosphere make enormous contributions to global warming. Increasing evidence, including a study led by researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, indicates that methane emissions from HVHF and related operations have been significantly underestimated by both the gas industry and the Environmental Protection Agency.”
In the days after the letter was circulated, new data from researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration showed methane leaks from natural gas production at an alarming rate that was twice as high as its previous study and industry estimates. Such evidence further undermines arguments about natural gas’ environmental benefit and this data doesn’t even include the methane leaks that occur from storage and pipelines.
“Given the magnitude of these emissions and proof of their demonstrable harm to our atmosphere, dependence on natural gas, and thus on HVHF, dashes any chance of keeping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere at levels below what scientists say are necessary to avoid climate catastrophe,” the letter continued. “And yet, inexplicably, your Department of Environmental Conservation has not closely examined the issue of greenhouse gas emissions in evaluating the environmental impact of opening up New York State to HVHF.”
In closing, the letter urges Cuomo to stand by his words on climate change in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy and protect future generations, thereby achieving a national legacy of political courage, rather than permitting fracking in New York.
“Governor Cuomo, your vow in the New York Daily News on November 15th inspired us: ‘We will not allow the national paralysis over climate change to stop us from pursuing the necessary path for the future.’ If you truly put these words into practice, we feel sure that you will be hailed as a national hero, securing a legacy and a political future as a leader who cut through the political gridlock in order to act in the best interests of your constituents and generations to come. By contrast, opening up the state of New York to HVHF is a path leading away from that future.”
Visit EcoWatch’s FRACKING page for more related news on this topic.
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‘Companies Should Not Be Allowed to Use Hazardous Ingredients in Products People Use’: Michelle Pfeiffer Speaks Up for Safer Cosmetics
The beauty products we put on our skin can have important consequences for our health. Just this March, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that some Claire's cosmetics had tested positive for asbestos. But the FDA could only issue a warning, not a recall, because current law does not empower the agency to do so.
Michelle Pfeiffer wants to change that.
The actress and Environmental Working Group (EWG) board member was spotted on Capitol Hill Thursday lobbying lawmakers on behalf of a bill that would increase oversight of the cosmetics industry, The Washington Post reported.
By Julia Conley
Scientists at the United Nations' intergovernmental body focusing on biodiversity sounded alarms earlier this month with its report on the looming potential extinction of one million species — but few heard their calls, according to a German newspaper report.
The climate crisis is a major concern for American voters with nearly 40 percent reporting the issue will help determine how they cast their ballots in the upcoming 2020 presidential election, according to a report compiled by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.
Of more than 1,000 registered voters surveyed on global warming, climate and energy policies, as well as personal and collective action, 38 percent said that a candidate's position on climate change is "very important" when it comes to determining who will win their vote. Overall, democratic candidates are under more pressure to provide green solutions as part of their campaign promises with 64 percent of Democrat voters saying they prioritize the issue compared with just 34 percent of Independents and 12 percent of Republicans.
President Donald Trump has agreed to sign a $19.1 billion disaster relief bill that will help Americans still recovering from the flooding, hurricanes and wildfires that have devastated parts of the country in the past two years. Senate Republicans said they struck a deal with the president to approve the measure, despite the fact that it did not include the funding he wanted for the U.S.-Mexican border, CNN reported.
"The U.S. Senate has just approved a 19 Billion Dollar Disaster Relief Bill, with my total approval. Great!" the president tweeted Thursday.
"There was a lot of devastation throughout the state," Governor Mike Parson said at a Thursday morning press conference, as NPR reported. "We were very fortunate last night that we didn't have more injuries than what we had, and we didn't have more fatalities across the state. But three is too many."