New York Approves Clean Energy Standard Mandating 50% of Power From Renewables by 2030
The Public Service Commission (PSC) voted to approve New York's Clean Energy Standard Monday, making an enforceable commitment to Gov. Cuomo's goal of sourcing 50 percent of the state's power from renewable energy by 2030.
The Public Service Commission voted to approve New York's Clean Energy Standard today, making an enforceable commitment to Gov. Cuomo's goal of sourcing 50 percent of the state's power from renewable energy by 2030.Kevin P. Coughlin / Office of the Governor
"The Clean Energy Standard is a monumental step forward in ensuring the governor achieves his ambitious 50 percent by 2030 renewable energy goal," Lisa Dix, senior New York representative for the Sierra Club, said.
"Governor Cuomo has shown his commitment to climate leadership by moving New York and the nation, towards a renewable energy future, while at the same time creating thousands of jobs across the state, protecting ratepayers from volatile fossil fuel prices and improving New Yorkers' public health and environment."
Today's decision comes after more than a six-month process that began in December when Gov. Cuomo instructed the PSC to ensure that New York powers 50 percent of the electric sector with renewable energy by 2030. After the PSC's initial proposal in early 2016, more than 11,000 New Yorkers submitted comments and hundreds came out to the public hearings hosted across the state supporting the governor's proposal for an enforceable renewable energy target.
Today we announce the establishment of NY’s Clean Energy Standard mandating 50% renewables by 2030: https://t.co/aaAAiamkmG #NYActsonClimate— Andrew Cuomo (@Andrew Cuomo)1470071070.0
In addition to the Clean Energy Standard order, New York is also moving forward on developing the state's offshore wind portfolio. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) is expected to release an offshore wind blueprint to lay out a long-term statewide plan for developing this invaluable resource. Recently, NYSERDA announced its intent to bid into a federal leasing process for New York's Wind Energy Area and the Long Island Power Authority announced its support for building New York's first offshore wind farm and the largest offshore wind project in the country, 30 miles off the coast of eastern Long Island.
Making a long-term commitment to a pipeline of offshore wind projects will be crucial to achieving the governor's 50 percent by 2030 goal while also establishing New York as the regional offshore wind hub—supercharging the state's economy by bringing high-paying, local jobs and manufacturing opportunities to local communities.
"With today's order and recent actions on Governor Cuomo, Governor Cuomo is clearly setting New York as a climate and renewable jobs leader," David Alicea, organizing representative for the Sierra Club's Beyond Coal Campaign, said.
"We look forward to working with his administration as they develop these policies and a long-term large-scale offshore wind plan to build a robust renewable energy economy for the state."
Sweden's reindeer have a problem. In winter, they feed on lichens buried beneath the snow. But the climate crisis is making this difficult. Warmer temperatures mean moisture sometimes falls as rain instead of snow. When the air refreezes, a layer of ice forms between the reindeer and their meal, forcing them to wander further in search of ideal conditions. And sometimes, this means crossing busy roads.
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By Aaron W Hunter
A chance discovery of a beautifully preserved fossil in the desert landscape of Morocco has solved one of the great mysteries of biology and paleontology: how starfish evolved their arms.
The Pompeii of palaeontology. Aaron Hunter, Author provided<h2></h2><p>Although starfish might appear very robust animals, they are typically made up of lots of hard parts attached by ligaments and soft tissue which, upon death, quickly degrade. This means we rely on places like the Fezouata formations to provide snapshots of their evolution.</p><p>The starfish fossil record is patchy, especially at the critical time when many of these animal groups first appeared. Sorting out how each of the various types of ancient starfish relate to each other is like putting a puzzle together when many of the parts are missing.</p><h2>The Oldest Starfish</h2><p><em><a href="https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/216101v1.full.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Cantabrigiaster</a></em> is the most primitive starfish-like animal to be discovered in the fossil record. It was discovered in 2003, but it has taken over 17 years to work out its true significance.</p><p>What makes <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> unique is that it lacks almost all the characteristics we find in brittle stars and starfish.</p><p>Starfish and brittle stars belong to the family Asterozoa. Their ancestors, the Somasteroids were especially fragile - before <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> we only had a handful of specimens. The celebrated Moroccan paleontologist Mohamed <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2016.06.041" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Ben Moula</a> and his local team was instrumental in discovering <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0031018216302334?via%3Dihub" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">these amazing fossils</a> near the town of Zagora, in Morocco.</p><h2>The Breakthrough</h2><p>Our breakthrough moment came when I compared the arms of <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> with those of modern sea lilles, filter feeders with long feathery arms that tend to be attached to the sea floor by a stem or stalk.</p><p>The striking similarity between these modern filter feeders and the ancient starfish led our team from the University of Cambridge and Harvard University to create a new analysis. We applied a biological model to the features of all the current early Asterozoa fossils in existence, along with a sample of their closest relatives.</p>
Cantabrigiaster is the most primitive starfish-like animal to be discovered in the fossil record. Aaron Hunter, Author provided<p>Our results demonstrate <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> is the most primitive of all the Asterozoa, and most likely evolved from ancient animals called crinoids that lived 250 million years before dinosaurs. The five arms of starfish are a relic left over from these ancestors. In the case of <em>Cantabrigiaster</em>, and its starfish descendants, it evolved by flipping upside-down so its arms are face down on the sediment to feed.</p><p>Although we sampled a relatively small numbers of those ancestors, one of the unexpected outcomes was it provided an idea of how they could be related to each other. Paleontologists studying echinoderms are often lost in detail as all the different groups are so radically different from each other, so it is hard to tell which evolved first.</p>
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