The [ Green ] Capitol Insider
Environmental Advocates of New York Newsletter
March 31, 2008
Green the BudgetKeep RGGI Resources Clean & Green
Environmental Advocates is asking our leaders to dedicate resources generated by the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) for clean energy and energy efficiency.
The state’s first auction of climate change pollution allowances under the RGGI is likely to happen in December 2008. That’s not too far off. We want the monies generated through those auctions to help save New Yorkers money on their utility bills, clean up our air, and offset the costs to implement the regional climate change plan.
Fix Title V & Make Polluters Pay
We are also asking our leaders to fix the state's broken Title V Air Permit Program. Because of the program's outdated caps and fees, New York taxpayers--and not polluters--are paying a big chunk of the cost to regulate the state's air pollution. And that's against the law according to the federal Clean Air Act.
In this year's budget, we want lawmakers to update Title V by removing the 6,000 ton cap for which a facility can be billed, and raising the $45 per ton fee on pollution.
Just Say No (to Jamestown)
One small piece of the Senate budget proposal involves money for a carbon capture and sequestration feasibility study for an unbuilt (and un-permitted) coal-fired power plant in Jamestown, New York.
Environmental Advocates is asking the Senate not to budget for a proposal that doesn’t even have a permit. Talk about wasted green. We hope this scrap falls off the budget table.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's plan for implementing congestion pricing must be taken up by the State Legislature soon, although it's likely to be discussed outside of the context of the budget.
Governor David Paterson introduced legislation that has been picked up in the State Senate and the Assembly. And an amended Senate bill popped up over the weekend. The New York City Council is expected to vote tonight (Monday).
More to Come
Budget negotiations are sure to yield more environmentally relevant news in the next few days. We're keeping our fingers crossed that the across-the-board budget cuts agreed to by state leaders do not hamper the Department of Environmental Conservation's ability to enforce environmental law.
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