Gov. Andrew Cuomo fired a shot across the bow of yet another utility company this week, when he sent a letter to the state Department of Public Service, directing the agency to broaden its investigation into a moratorium on natural gas imposed by National Grid after the energy provider failed to get approval for a hotly contested pipeline in May.
The state Department of Environmental Conservation and Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday, claiming that it violated federal law when it issued a “Certificate of Completion” to General Electric Company in April for its removal of polychlorinated biphenyls from the Hudson River.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo was joined by Vice President Al Gore on Thursday, as he signed into law the nation's most ambitious climate plan and announced the nation's largest offshore wind project, which is expected to power more than a million homes and generate more than $3 billion in economic development
The state has made $350 million available through the Water Infrastructure Improvement Act and the Intermunicipal Water Infrastructure Grant Program for municipalities with infrastructure projects that protect public health or improve water quality.
State lawmakers are expected to pass a landmark law on the last day of session that will make New York a national leader in combating climate change — giving it the most ambitious climate goals in the U.S. at a time when most experts agree that even that will not be enough to avoid certain impending consequences of human-caused climate change.
Juliana vs. United States alleges that the U.S. government has violated the rights of 21 young Americans by permitting — and in many cases, subsidizing — the continued use of fossil fuels that cause climate change.
Juliana is the first lawsuit to argue that there's a constitutional right to a safe and livable climate. Experts say it's an ambitious and unprecedented tactic, and many were surprised that the case has made it this far.
Just as scientists are starting to understand the life forms and landscape of the ocean, they are also coming to grips with the threat of mass extinctions, speakers said at a marine biodiversity forum last week.
The forum, at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, featured French scientific leaders and their American counterparts from the San Diego area. They addressed the marine issues raised in an international report on global biodiversity released earlier this month, arguing that conservation is just as important as stabilizing the climate.
According to the report, 30 percent of reef-forming corals are threatened, 33 percent of fisheries are over-fished, 33 percent of marine mammals are threatened, and 55 percent of the ocean is subject to industrial fishing.
That has profound implications for coastal communities such as San Diego, which depend on the ocean for food, tourism, recreation and biotechnology.
With only 16 legislating days left in the session, Congressional Democrats are trying to find a way forward on meaningful climate action. But even if they manage to pass any of the number of bills currently sitting in committee, there's no guarantee the governor will sign them into law. Cuomo, one of 24 governors who has committed his state to upholding the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement, has also indicated that he's not interested in passing any more environmental legislation in this session. Meanwhile, critical thresholds continue their portentous advance.
State lawmakers came back to Albany this week and passed major legislation to protect New York’s natural resources, including an agreement to consider a constitutional amendment that would guarantee a New Yorker’s right to clean air and water. Seven bills — including legislation to protect clean water, threatened species and childrens' health — passed both legislative chambers on April 30, while six others — including legislation to regulate lead in jewelry, promote solar and save birds — still await approval in the Assembly.