More than 125 concerned citizens descended upon the New York State Capitol on April 25th, 2012, to call upon legislators to protect our fragile planet. New York Interfaith Power & Light was well represented, and proudly flaunted our presence with armbands that read “NYIPL – A Religious Response to Global Warming.”
After hearing from environmental leaders and politicians in the morning, activists gathered in groups to meet with the offices of more than 80 Senators and Assembly Members. We were encouraging them to support five bills:
- The Global Warming Pollution Cap – S. 2742 (Avella) and A.5346 (Sweeney) This bill would direct the Department of Environmental Conservation to establish an emissions limit for greenhouse gases from all sources, leading up to a 20% reduction by 2020, and until we reach a level of overall emissions in 2050 that would be 80% below 1990 levels.
Fate of the Bill: In response to our efforts, the Assembly version of this bill passed the assembly on 4/25/12, but ended the session in the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee.
- The Solar Jobs Act – A. 9149 (Englebright, et al.) This bill directs the Public Service Commission to develop an incentive program for solar photovoltaic (“PV”) systems, and establishes a goal to increase installed solar PV capacity by the year 2021.
Fate of the Bill: This bill ended the session awaiting hearing in the Assembly Ways and Means Committee.
- Hazardous Waste Loophole for Fracking Fluid Disposal – S.4616 (Avella, et al.) and A.7013 (Sweeney, et al.) This bill would require all waste that results from exploration, development, extraction or production of crude oil or natural gas, which includes drilling fluids and produced waters to be considered hazardous waste under the amendment of this bill.
Fate of the Bill: A.7013 passed through the Assembly in February, but ended the session in the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee.
- EPF Enhancement Act – S.5403-A (Grisanti, et al.) and A.7137-A (Latimer, et al.) This bill would provide a net increase in resources allocated to the Environmental Protection Fund by phasing unclaimed bottle deposits from the General Fund into the EPF over four years.
Fate of the Bill: In May, A.07137 passed through the Assembly and ended the session in the Senate Finance Committee.
- The Child-Safe Products Act – A.3141-A (Sweeny , et al.) This act would establish a framework to identify and remove toxic chemicals from products that are designed to be used by children 12 and under. It will phase out children’s products made with priority chemicals starting January 1, 2016.
Fate of the Bill: On April 25 (the day of Earth Day Lobby Day), this bill passed through the Assembly but ended the session in the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee.
What you can do: Contact your Assembly Member and your Senator and tell them to make it a priority to pass the Global Warming Pollution Cap and the Solar Jobs Act (or similar measures) next year.