Friday, February 29, 2008

Mayor Plans For Black Town Cars & Limos To Be Hybrids

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg is promoting a plan to require the entire fleet of approximately 10,000 mostly black limousines to meet fuel-efficiency standards of 25 miles a gallon in 2009 and 30 miles a gallon in 2010, which can only be attained with hybrid vehicles. Currently the cars average 12 to 15 miles a gallon and add 272,000 tons of heat-trapping gases to the air each year, or about 2 percent of the city’s transportation-related emissions.

Mayor Bloomberg’s plan is to go before the Taxi and Limousine Commission for approval in April. The city has already begun phasing hybrids into its fleet of 13,000 yellow cabs. City officials are also working on a plan for the roughly 40,000 cabs that serve neighborhoods, especially outside Manhattan, where other taxis are scarce. The mayor’s plan includes incentives like tax breaks and low-cost-financing options to make it easier for the drivers, many of whom must buy their cars, to afford the higher down payments needed for hybrid vehicles.

Deutsche Bank and Lehman Brothers are working with a black-car company, Executive Transportation Group, to help provide low-interest loans for hybrid-vehicle purchases. Best Ford Taxi and Hudson Toyota/Penske Automotive Group would offer favorable financing packages to the drivers. And the city is asking the state to approve the waiver of sales taxes on purchases. (The New York Times)

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Con Edison Launches New Program and New Web Site

Con Edison wants $7 billion over the next three years to keep pace with growth in New York and to meet the resulting rising demand for power. They also want $148 million for emergency storm response capability. The new program is called ENERGYNY. Con Edison also has the Power of Green web site. Con Edison’s EnergyNY plan outlines how the company is committed to meeting New York’s energy needs in a safe, reliable, cost-effective, and environmentally responsible manner.

Consolidated Edison Company of New York’s customers used 62,591 gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity in 2007. A gigawatt is a rate of energy production equal to 1,000 megawatts. On August 2, 2006, Con Edison set a record for peak electricity demand, reaching 13,141 megawatts. The city’s population has grown by more than 240,000 since 2000. Over the last five years, the number of home computers in Con Edison of New York's service area grew by 600,000. Con Edison’s customers used a record six million air conditioners to cool their homes and offices. Various sources project that New York will require generating an additional 2,000 to 3,000 MW of capacity by 2015. (Stats & Photo Courtesy Con Edison)

NYC Parks Department Settles $21 Million Bias Suit

The New York City Department of Parks & Recreation (DPR) settled a class-action suit filed on behalf of 3,200 Black and Latino workers hired between 1997 and 2004 for $21 million. The lawyers got paid too because $9 million goes to them and $12 million goes to the workers for back pay and compensatory damages. That is only $3,750 per person. Not much for severe exposure to the sickness. And they waited nine years to get that grocery money. The mainstream environmental movement is much worse in terms of even hiring minorities because they simply do not hire Blacks. (Daily News 2/27/08)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Did Any New York Green Pork Go To Any Green Blacks?

When Congress finished with the spending bill earmarks, New York received $28 million for various projects. But did any of the pig filter down to any green black groups? Yes there are several in New York. Historically, Blacks have eaten low on the hog while others feasted high on the hog, but it appears that 'green-blacks,' or their constituents did get some chitterlings. Here are the projects and funding:

  • $98,000 to build a solar powered affordable home for an emergency worker in Westchester
  • $295,000 to fund Bronx Community College's new Sustainable Energy Center
  • $$3.2 million to expand power generating water turbines under the East River
  • $2 million to help bild an energy efficient building to house the New School's energy research center
  • $599,000 for a green visitor center at Brooklyn Botanic Garden
  • $246,000 to build a leafy roof on a metal fabrication plant in Red Hook
  • $164,000 to fund green collar job-training programs for troubled youth in city schools
  • $1.5 million to fund a solar-power research center in upstate Kingston
The $164,000 represents 2% of the $8.1 million in this sample. Low on the hog. (New York Post, 2/17/07)

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Westchester County Global Warming Task Force Report

Westchester County Executive Andy Spano, right, today issued a county global warming mitigation plan entitled, "Westchester Action Plan for Climate Change and Sustainable Development 2008 (WAP 2008), which called on every resident, business, government and school in Westchester to reduce its “carbon footprint” by 20 percent by 2015. By 2050, the county wants these emissions reduced by 80 percent.

"Westchester Ignores Nuclear Remedy For Global Warming" - The Journal News

For more than a year, Spano’s 34-member Task Force on Global Warming worked, along with more than 70 other volunteers, on the plan to address climate change and promote sustainable development. The plan was unveiled today at a day-long conference at Manhattanville College, where approximately 300 people participated in panel discussions on best practices for sustainable development. That task force was chaired by North Castle Supervisor Reese Berman and co-chaired by Robert Funicello, environmental project director of Westchester County. The WAP 2008 identifies specific actions for all sectors to reach the emission reduction goals.

In conjunction with the release today of Westchester County Executive Andrew Spano’s Global Warming Task Force report, AAEA President Norris McDonald, an Advisory Board Member of the New York Affordable Reliable Electricity Alliance (New York AREA), issued the following statement.

“While there are many good and feasible suggestions for reducing carbon dioxide emissions in this voluminous report, there is a glaring and fundamental omission: how can the County ensure it has a clean, low carbon emitting electricity portfolio.

Approximtely 40 % of America’s carbon dioxide emissions come from power plants and nearly all of this is from coal and natural gas facilities. To have any chance of meeting the laudable carbon dioxide reduction goals announced today, Westchester needs to advocate keeping the Indian Point nuclear power plant online, which emits practically zero carbon emissions. Without Indian Point carbon emissions would increase by 14 million tons annually, or approximately 14 tons annually for every man, woman, and child in Westchester County. According to the report, Westchester County county currently produces 13 million tons of CO2 annually.

If Westchester is to be successful and a national model for reducing carbon dioxide emissions it needs to both advocate for the measures outlined today and support the license renewal of Indian Point, as well as expanded use of energy efficiency, renewable resources, and pipelines that will bring in clean sources of power generated from outside the region."

About New York AREA: Founded in November 2003, the NY Affordable Reliable Electricity Alliance (New York AREA) is a diverse group of more than 125 business, labor, and community groups whose mission and purpose is to ensure that New York has an ample and reliable electricity supply, and economic prosperity for years to come. NY AREA helps to educate policy makers, businesses, and the general public regarding the necessity and importance of safe, low-cost and reliable electricity.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Broadwater LNG Decision Postponed By Governor Spitzer

The New York Department of State (NYDoS) is extending the deadline from Feb 12 to April 14 (60 days) for deciding on the environmental issues related to the Broadwater liquefied natural gas (LNG) project proposed to be located in the middle of the Long Island Sound. Broadwater Energy (Shell and Trans Canada) and NYDoS agreed on the two-month postponement of the deadline for the state ruling on whether the proposed site of Broadwater's LNG terminal is environmentally appropriate. The extra time is to allow for further discussion of the proposal.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) must also approve an envinronmental impact statement (EIS) for the project. A FERC Final EIS stated the barge could be operated with minimal negative effects, suggesting that they will approve the EIS. AAEA was an early supporter of the project and presented testimony before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the U.S. Coast Guard in 2004 at hearings in New York and Connecticut. Clearly more natural gas is needed for the region. And since domestic wells cannot meet demand LNG imports are needed to assure adequate supplies at reasonable prices. Unfortunately, other LNG proposals have failed or are having trouble getting approved. (

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Article X Issue Brief

The New York Affordable Reliable Electricity Alliance (New York AREA) has developed an issue brief, Article X, New York's Power Plant Siting Law, concerning the more than five-year expired statute governing the siting of power generation facilities in New York.

With New York State facing climate change and air quality issues, sky-high electricity costs, and a potential near-term energy shortage, the adoption of a new power plant siting law in 2008 is imperative.

This issue brief outlines the background of Article X including the measure's provisions, successes, failures and eventual lapse into expiration.

Article X Issue Brief

About New York AREA: Founded in November 2003, New York AREA is a diverse group of more than 150 business, labor, and community groups whose mission and purpose is to ensure that New York State has an ample and reliable electricity supply to foster economic prosperity for years to come. New York AREA helps to educate policy makers, businesses, and the general public regarding the necessity and importance of safe, low-cost, reliable and clean electricity.