- DEC Commissioner Says “Don’t Hold Your Breath” on Climate Action Plan

For Immediate Release: April 24, 2015

DEC Commissioner Says “Don’t Hold Breath” on Climate Action Plan

Statement from Executive Director Peter Iwanowicz

Albany – Appearing on WCNY’s Capitol Pressroom, Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joseph Martens told host Susan Arbetter that New Yorkers should not hold their breath to see the Cuomo Administration’s statewide climate action plan. (**Conversation occurs at approximately 8:15)

The following statement is attributable to Executive Director Peter Iwanowicz:

“When the Cuomo Administration makes decisions in the absence of a comprehensive climate plan, it leads to bad public policy. In the end, whatever progress made is undermined by poorly-vetted decisions that exacerbate our climate challenges, like the bailout of the Dunkirk coal plant and recent $41 million budget raid of the state’s premier carbon abatement program.

That’s what the lack of a climate action plan means, and is why Commissioner Martens’ comments that the public shouldn’t hold its breath waiting for one are so disappointing.

The Cuomo Administration says their focus is action, yet they have fallen behind schedule on implementing many of the actionable items they frequently point to. Finalization of the State Energy Plan, for instance, is now more than two years late. And even though New York has historically been a leader in capping power plan carbon emissions, Commissioner Martens and his colleagues in the administration have complained to the federal government that the Obama Administration’s proposal is too strong.

It’s hard to row in the same direction when you don’t have a plan.

Governor Cuomo has embraced an Executive Order that says New York has a goal to reduce climate pollution 80-percent by 2050 and that all New Yorkers will know the plan to achieve that goal. Whether the Governor reconsiders that order or develops another, New Yorkers deserve a climate action plan, or inaction will be his legacy.”