Wednesday, October 18, 2023
In 2021 New York state voters approved an amendment to the state constitution.
The Green Amendment guarantees citizens the right to clean air, clean water
and a healthful environment.
This summer the Suffolk Legislature refused to put a public referendum on this
November’s ballot to create an eighth of a penny sales tax to fund new septic
systems and to consolidate the county’s 27 sewer districts.
The nonprofit environmental organizations Save the Sound, Group for the East
End, and Peconic Baykeeper have told the Suffolk Legislature that failure to take
meaningful action to address nitrogen pollution resulting from outdated
and inadequate septic systems violates the Green Amendment.
Francesca Rheannon spoke with Bob Deluca of Group for the East End this week.
Tuesday, September 19, 2023
ReWild Long Island is an organization whose mission is to work with communities to protect and improve the biodiversity, resilience and health of regional ecosystems by adopting sustainable landscaping practices centered around native plants.
ReWild Long Island's founder and director is Raju Rajan
Host Francesca Rheannon spoke with Rajan and with Annie Yao
the youth coordinator of ReWild Long Island's summer program.
ReWild Long Island's plant sale is on-going this week.
More information is on-line at rewildlongisland.org/events
Tuesday, August 15, 2023
According to East Hampton's Gloria Frazee,
households in the Town throw out $20 million of food each year.
All their food waste is trucked to an incinerator and burned.
That’s a lot of wasted food and a lot of wasted resources.
Composting diverts food scraps from the waste stream
and revitalizes our soils.
East Hampton Compost, an organization headed by Ms. Frazee,
is committed to making composting easy and accessible for everyone
in the Town.
Host Francesca Rheannon spoke with Gloria Frazee this week. Here is their conversation:
More info at EastHamptonCompost.org
Monday, May 15, 2023
Host Francesca Rheannon talks with Southampton Town's Lynn Arthur about
"community choice aggregation" or CCA.
CCA will give the Town local control over sourcing electricity, allowing for more green power and/or lower electricity prices for residents and businesses.
Tuesday, March 14, 2023
Dr. Anshul Gupta of the Climate Reality Project on New York State's Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act
York State's Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act was signed
into law in July of 2019 and in the waning days of 2022 the final plan
for its implementation was released by the state-appointed Climate
The Act aims to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote the use of renewable energy sources. It requires New York to reduce economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030 and no less than 85 percent by 2050 from 1990 levels.
But fossil fuel interests, the gas industry in particular, have been running a massive disinformation campaign about the Act, spreading false and misleading claims about its potential costs and impacts, in an attempt to sow doubt and delay its implementation. Critics argue that the industry is prioritizing profits over the health of the planet and the well-being of communities.
The disinformation campaign is especially targeting plans to electrify new building construction. Buildings are the largest emitters of fossil fuel emissions in the state, comprising 32% of the total. That’s because most buildings are heated by gas, propane or oil. And a majority of New Yorkers use gas to cook their food, despite the fact that gas stoves emit dangerous levels of pollutants into the home.
Among the bills currently being proposed to implement the Climate Law the gas utilities are fighting are laws to mandate electrification in new buildings, to end millions in subsidies that ratepayers pay utilities every year to build out new gas lines, and to make it easier for the state to support low and moderate income families to transition to clean energy for heating and cooling.
This week we spoke to Dr. Anshul Gupta of the Climate Reality Project about the fossil fuel industry’s disinformation campaign. The Climate Reality Project was founded by former US Vice President Al Gore and trains climate reality leaders to work for just climate solutions. Full disclosure, Francesca Rheannon is the co-chair of the Climate Reality Project’s Long Island chapter.
During her conversation with
Anshul Gupta, Francesca mentioned a video about a study in the Bronx that gave electric induction stoves to some of the residents of a New York public housing building.
The study, conducted by WE ACT for Environmental Justice, replaced gas stoves in 10 intervention apartments while 10 control apartments retained their gas stoves.
The results showed significant reductions in indoor air pollution when transitioning from gas to induction stoves.
The study is the first in the United States to monitor indoor air quality in homes transitioning from gas stoves to electric induction stoves with residents in-place in affordable housing.
More information about New York State's efforts to reduce our carbon footprint is here
Monday, January 16, 2023
The Long Island Power Authority – LIPA - was established in 1986 to replace the the failed private Long Island Lighting Company. LIPA is nominally a public utility, but it has always contracted out its operations to third parties.
In 2014 LIPA hired a branch of PSEG - Public Service Electric and Gas, a New Jersey private utility – to operate the Long Island utility grid.
Recently, widespread power outages during Tropical Storm Isaias left hundreds of thousands of ratepayers without power. The debacle led to a call for a re-organization of the Long Island utility.
New York Assemblyman Fred Thiele represents the first district on eastern Long Island. He’s has long been vocal in his support of establishing a new fully public utility to operate the Long Island grid. To that end, he sponsored several bills that were enacted in the previous legislative session, including one establishing a Legislative commission on the future of the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA), which he chairs.
Its goal, according to the commission’s website, is “to develop and present to the legislature an action plan for implementing a true public power model for residents of Long Island and the Rockaways. This means LIPA would directly provide electric service to the more than three million residents and thousands of businesses in its service area without contracting out that responsibility to an investor-owned, for-profit utility.”
The bipartisan commission is currently holding public hearings and has formed an advisory committee of resident stakeholders. It hopes to be ready to transition LIPA to a true public utility when the current contract with PSEG-LI is up in 2025. Reimagine LIPA, a coalition of grassroots groups, is supporting that transition.
Host Francesca Rheannon talked with Mr. Thiele last
Here is more information about Reimagine LIPA