For Immediate Release: June 23, 2015
Eyes on Gibson Climate Vote
Days after release of Pope’s encyclical, Congress may vote to block climate action
Albany – This week, Congress is expected to vote on legislation advanced by Representative Ed Whitfield (R-Kentucky) to block the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan, incite states to ignore federal law, and gut the powers of the Clean Air Act.
The following statement is attributable to Executive Director Peter Iwanowicz:
“Congressman Gibson says climate change is real and there’s a need for action. In the past he has broke with his party on this issue, and we need to see that kind of leadership again as Congress prepares to take up yet another attempt to block climate action.
Climate change is having very serious effects on the Hudson Valley and communities within Congressman Gibson’s district. The state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), notes that rising sea level will impact communities along the river, while a warmer climate drives insects ever northward and will affect local farmers and winter tourism. Additionally, increased air pollution undermines public health, and triggers such dangerous events as child asthma attacks.
Politicians carrying the fossil fuel industry’s agenda ignore these facts. They also ignore that economic data that proves how costly climate change has become, as well as the financial benefits of capping carbon emissions and investing in clean renewable energy. A yes vote on this legislation will turn back the clock on all the progress made by the wildly successful Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a nine-state carbon abatement program of which New York is a member. To date, RGGI has generated more than $2 billion for clean energy and green jobs since its inception in 2008; more than $800 million from New York alone, much of which has been invested in the Hudson Valley, through green job training programs, solar installations and more.
We urge Congressman Gibson to speak out against this bill, stand with New Yorkers, and reject his colleagues’ dangerous proposal.”