Readers Write: Time for state action to protect environment

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The time is now! New York State has an urgent and unique opportunity to take a leading role in reducing and eliminating emissions from fossil fuels, including natural gas, that are a recognized cause of climate change. It is time for the state Legislature and Gov. Cuomo to pass and sign into effect the Climate and Community Protection Act.

The CCPA would develop renewable energy sources like wind and solar in our state and would eliminate 100 percent of fossil fuel emissions by 2050. It would support communities most affected by climate change and its effect on the environment, health, homes, jobs, and economy. It would provide training and decent-paying jobs for workers in sustainable energy production and related industries.

This development of this bill has involved environmental groups, unions, and legislators and has passed in the state Assembly for the past three years, but has failed until now to make it out of committee in the Senate.

This year could and should be different. Long Island’s Senator Todd Kaminsky, Chairperson of the Senate’s Environmental Conservation Committee, and Speaker of the Assembly Carl E. Heastie are the bill’s primary sponsors. Sen. Kaminsky has chaired several hearings on the CCPA around the state in recent months.

Many recently elected state senators, including our senator, Anna Kaplan, and most members of the assembly, including our assemblyman, Tony D’Urso, have signed on to the CCPA as co-sponsors.

Recent broadly recognized scientific studies of climate change have shown that the need for action is extremely urgent.

We cannot wait for federal action. We owe it to our children and grandchildren, all of the future generations, to do all we can to move our governments, at every level, to take action now to preserve the habitability of our communities, our country, our earth.

This year’s session of the state Legislature will end in a few weeks. I urge all concerned New Yorkers to call Gov. Cuomo and urge him to do his part to see that the Climate and Community Protection Act is passed and signed this month, this year. There is no time to waste. We need to get started now!

Kay Lustig

Great Neck

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