In his State of the City address today, Mayor Michael Bloomberg unveiled a plan to ban styrofoam in stores and restaurants citing a lack of biodegradability and high recycling costs that he called “terrible for the environment” and “terrible for taxpayers.” State Senator Liz Krueger responded to the mayor’s speech by jumping on his ban-wagon and taking it one step further–calling on the Legislature to ban styrofoam statewide.
“In his State of the City address, Mayor Bloomberg announced that he will prioritize banning styrofoam food containers in New York City,” Ms. Krueger said. “This would be a great step forward for our city, both for the environment and public health – but we shouldn’t just stop at the city limits.”
Frack to the Future
A group of religious leaders are hoping divine intervention will force Governor Andrew Cuomo to ban the controversial natural gas drilling procedure known as hydrofracking in New York State. Today at noon, an interfaith group of around 15 religious figures gathered outside the governor’s office in Midtown Manhattan for an anti-fracking pray-in. With parkas draped over their ritual garb for warmth, the leaders adamantly spoke out against the controversial drilling process and invoked biblical imagery in their quest to convert the as-yet-undecided governor.
“When God created Adam and Eve, God led them by the hand around the garden of Eden,” preached Rabbi Marc Katz, of Congregation Beth Elohim. “We too have a garden: a beautiful, thriving Eden. Every time we pump chemicals into our water supply, every time we drill without knowing the consequences, we bring our garden closer to destruction.”
Drill Baby Drill
Yesterday, the White House indicated President Barack Obama would veto a House Republican bill, H.R. 6082, that would require the Interior Department to allow oil and gas leasing at sites off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts that remain off limits for the next five years under the Obama Administrations current energy plan. Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul responded by releasing a statement this morning saying the veto is proof “President Obama doesn’t have a clue when it comes to America’s energy future.”
“As energy prices have risen and our economy continues to struggle, President Obama insists on hindering efforts to expand domestic production and create American jobs. His self-described ‘hodgepodge’ energy policy has been an abject failure,” Ms. Saul said. “Whether blocking job-creating initiatives like the Keystone pipeline or wasting taxpayer money on boondoggles like Solyndra, President Obama doesn’t have a clue when it comes to America’s energy future.”
Rudy Giuliani spoke out against potential plans to close the aging Indian Point nuclear power plant at the Bronx Chamber of Commerce Irish Heritage Luncheon yesterday. Mr. Giuliani and his lobbying firm, Bracewell & Giuliani, have been hired to promote the plantby its owners, Entergy Nuclear, who are pushing for a new 20-year license to continue running the plant.
“I’m going to talk about Indian Point and the need for Indian Point. It supplies 25 percent of the energy for New York City. Mayor Bloomberg has said that, if Indian Point is closed down, New York City, will have brownouts, maybe even blackouts,” Mr. Giuliani said in a conversation with reporters prior to his speech. “I really want to talk some common sense about nuclear power.”
Frack to the Future
WASHINGTON — Rick Santorum called the anti hydrofracking is part of the left’s larger strategy of trying to “scare you into supporting radical ideas on the environment” during the annual Conservative Political Action Conference today.
“I come from Pennsylvania, we’re doing a little bit of that in Pennsylvania, thank God,” Mr. Santorum said.
Governor Andrew Cuomo is currently working with the Department of Environmental Conservation to come up with rules to regulate and allow hydrofracking in New York after lifting a statewide ban on the controversial natural gas drilling technique last summer.
Mr. Santorum went on to accuse the Obama administration is “going after” the controversial natural gas drilling technique by trying to paint it as “a bogeyman.” Mr. Santorum didn’t explain exactly how President Obama, who expressed support for the procedure in his State of the Union address last month, is attacking hydrofracking.
Manhattan Borough President and likely 2013 mayoral candidate Scott Stringer issued a report today calling for solar panels to be installed on the roofs of New York City public schools.
“Solar energy installations and public schools are a perfect match,” Mr. Stringer said. “This is an idea whose time has come–a cost-effective, sensible program that will create jobs, lower energy bills and save tax dollars for decades to come.”
Citing an analysis by the advocacy organization New Energy New York, Mr. Stringer said solar installations atop city schools could generate over 5,000 new jobs.
At the Assembly hearing on the potential closure of the Indian Point nuclear power plant this morning, lawmakers heard from energy policymakers, the company that owns the plant and some uninvited protesters.
Indian Point, which is located less than forty miles of the five boroughs, provides approximately thirty percent of the power for New York City and Westchester County. Those who want Indian Point shut down say the plant, which began operations in the early 1960′s, is outdated and dangerous. Indian Point’s supporters argue the plant is a vital part of the energy grid.
Frack to the Future
Several small New York towns are not sticking with Governor Cuomo’s plan to have the Department of Environmental Conservation decide how to regulate the controversial natural gas drilling procedure known as hydrofracking. Last week, the Town Council in Potsdam voted to keep local control of hydrofracking setting them up to join a legal battle against energy companies who have been lobbying to have the procedure legalized and want Albany to make the final call.
Frack and Forth
According to the American Council on Science and Health, the fuss over hydrofracking is unfounded. ACSH named the controversial natural gas drilling technique one of “the top ten unfounded health scares of 2011″ in a list published this week. “To deny Americans the possibility of plentiful, cheap, and safe natural gas because of hyper-precautionary fears about ‘toxic and carcinogenic’ chemicals from hydrofracking fluid seems terribly irresponsible,” read the ACSH report.
ACSH is a group of “physicians, scientists and policy advisors“who often take controversial positions supporting perceived environmental and health risks including fatty foods, pesticides and tobacco. Critics have called ACSH “a front” for industry because it has accepted contributions from corporarations including oil and gas companies. ACSH’s report on hydrofracking blamed opposition to the drilling technique on “alarmist” media coverage in the pages of the New York Times and the documentary “Gasland.”
Governor Cuomo’s trip to the North Country included coffee runs and a Price Chopper shopping spree.
Former Clinton administration Labor Secretary Robert Reich predicts an Obama/Clinton ticket in ’12.
Protesters are setting up camp outside Mayor Bloomberg’s house (again).