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.

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