Friday, January 25, 2008

AAEA Talks Asthma & Environment at Mount Vernon Hospital

AAEA President Norris McDonald delivered the keynote address at the Public Health and Air Quality Forum at Mt. Vernon Hospital. The forum was cosponsored by the African American Men of Westchester County and the New York Affordable Reliable Electricity Alliance. The event is part of an ongoing effort to support the hospital in promoting the growing concerns of air quality in local Mt. Veron communities and throughout the region.

McDonald, an environmentalist for 29 years and a chronic asthmatic, discussed the health issues caused by poor air quality and the steps that can be taken by the community to move towards a better environment. The forum was moderated by Julian Philips, former news anchor for New York City's Fox TV affiliate, and other panelists included Zev Carrey, MD (Pulmonologist, Mt Vernon Hospital) and Lawrence Salley (Commissioner, Westchester Co. Dept of Transportation).

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Governor Spitzer's State-of-the State On Energy & Environment

Excerpts from Governor Eliot Spitzer's 2008 State of the State Speech

Keeping costs down also means keeping energy costs down. Energy should be reliable, plentiful, and clean. So going forward, we have put together a two-part program that reduces energy use on the one hand, and increases the production of home grown, renewable energy on the other.

On the demand side, we are committed to “15 by 15,” the most progressive and attainable energy efficiency target in the country, which sets a goal of reducing statewide electricity use by 15 percent from projected levels by 2015. We approach this goal the way a business would, with a requirement that our energy investments produce savings well in excess of the cost of achieving them.

On the supply side, I will again send you a bill to fast-track the building of power plants. And again, I will apply a simple principle: we must get more supply into the grid, but if we are going to fast-track any kind of energy production, it must also help us confront the challenge of global warming.

Technology will help us on both the supply and the demand side. We have the know-how, for example, to reduce costs for homeowners who run appliances at off-peak hours. This is called smart metering. Likewise, we have the technology to allow consumers to generate their own solar or wind power, send excess power directly into the grid and, quite literally, run their meters backwards. As we create and conserve energy, New Yorkers can also save money.

What New Yorkers have since built along the river – the buildings, rails and roads that we see today – recount in bricks, mortar, and steel the story of the four centuries of growth since Hudson’s trip: whaling towns, old steamboat landings, grand railroad bridges, interstate highways, and now Stewart Airport. Each successive generation has added its own sense of possibility. Today, coursing through the heart of our State, the river reveals who we are. We are dreamers, visionaries, environmentalists, and builders of the first order.

Celebrate Eagles at the Harlem River Ecology Center

"Celebrate Eagles Fest 2008-Raptors That Depend on Fish!" on Saturday FEB 9th- 11 am to 5pm at the HARLEM RIVER ECOLOGY CENTER. Join environmental educators for a fun and exciting field trip up the Hudson River to watch our national emblem the American Bald Eagle and other raptors in the urban wild nearby, just a few miles upriver. Suggested donation of $10. Meet at the center at 11 am sharp. Some scopes and binoculars will be provided, though we encourage bringing your own. Center is located at the southern end of Roberto Clemente State Park, NYC Bridge Park and River Park Towers, just north of the Historic High Bridge now in restoration. To Register call UDEC at 718-901-3331, 347-224-5828.

The Urban Divers Estuary Conservancy HARLEM RIVER/HUDSON RIVER NORTH MARINE STATION & ECOLOGY CENTER.. an urban nature center for environmental education, community stewardship, culture and maritime. Located at the southern end of Roberto Clemente State Park, NYC Bridge, and River Park Towers. Entrance of the center faces the water, beneath bld 10. Tel 718-901-3331.

Harlem River Ecology Center Black History Month Exhibit

SATURDAYS, Beginning Feb 16th thru the month of Feb, 2008 Harlem River Ecology Center- 1 pm- 3 pm join the Urban Divers Estuary Conservancy in Celebration of Black History Month on the Harlem River. On Exhibit: "A History of the Afro-American in Maritime Series III," a modest exhibit of model ships, photographs, prints, some artifacts, including an eclectic collection of artifacts from beneath NY Harbor, an overview from the revolutionary war to the present.

SCREENING of FILMS: 1. "Capt Bill Pinkney's Journey"- a documentary short aboutone of only seven americans and the only African Americanto have successfully sailed solo around the globe using thelongest route of the Cape. Film is produced and narrated by Bill Cosby.

2. "City of Water" - the documentary film explores the aspirations of public officials, environmentalists, academics, community activists, recreational boaters, maritime workers, and everyday New Yorkers for a diverse, vibrant waterfront at a time when the shoreline is changing faster than anyother time in NY's History.

Directions: Center and State Park is located off of Sedgwick and CedarAve. Traveling in the Bronx: # 4 train to Burnside Ave, D trainTremont Ave, transfer for the Bx 40, Bx 42 at Burnside Ave. Take buswestbound to River Park Towers ( last stop). BX 18 also stops atSedwick and Cedar. or Take the Metro North ( Hudson River Line) toMorris Hts. Stops right at the park. Enter Park by walking down rampor steps, make a left along the water, and walk south towards HighBridge. Entrance of the center faces the water, beneath last buildingtower, bld 10. For more info call 718-901-3331, or 347-224-5828

Monday, January 14, 2008

White House Internships

The application deadline for the Summer 2008 White House Internship is February 26, 2008. If you know students and/or organizations that may be interested in this information please share this with them. The White House is looking for a well-qualified, diverse group of applicants who would like to intern for President Bush. A White House Internship is an opportunity for current students and recent graduates to experience everyday life at the White House while working with high-level officials on a variety of tasks and projects.

Strong applicants should exhibit:

· Sound academic credentials
· A demonstrated interest in public service
· Solid written and verbal communication skills
· A history of community involvement
· Strong character and leadership skills

Beyond experiencing the day-to-day operations of the White House, interns participate in a speaker series, tours, community service projects, and various White House events. For more information please visit our website at: Applications should be submitted to on or before February 26, 2008 for the Summer 2008 Internship.

If you have any questions please contact White House Personnel at 202-456-5979.

Article X Breakfast Roundtable Discussion in Albany

January 30th 2008 Breakfast (8:30-10:00) meeting presented by:

- The Business Council of New York,
- The Energy Association of New York State,
- Independent Power Producers of New York, and
- New York Affordable Reliable Electricity Alliance (New York AREA)

The University Club, 141 Washington Avenue, Albany, New York 12210

This event will provide a unique opportunity for organizations and professionals to engage key leaders early in the 2008 legislative session as New York's energy future is discussed.

Governor Spitzer, during his State of the State address, stated to the Legislature:

"I will again send you a bill to fast-track the building of power plants. And again, I will apply a simple principle: we must get more supply into the grid, but if we are going to fast-track any kind of energy production, it must also help us confront the challenge of global warming."
Be a part of the solution. This event is dedicated to collaborative solutions for New York's energy future. Please contact Laurent Lawrence at 212.683.1203 with questions or to RSVP.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

AAEA President To Speak at Mt. Vernon Hospital Forum

Mount Vernon Hospital, New York Affordable, Reliable Electricity Alliance and the African American Men of Westchester County are cosponsoring Air Quality and Public Health Forum, where: "Environmental, Medical, and Community Experts will discuss regional air quality issues and their health effects on the community." The forum will be at Mount Vernon Hospital, Belsky Auditorium, 12 North 7th Avenue, Mount Vernon, NY, January 24, 2008 / 6:30 - 8:30 PM.

A recent study by the American Lung Association on New York State air quality found that the short-term particulate pollution continued to be high in Kings, Richmond and New York Counties and along with Queens failed for annual particulate levels again.

The forum will be moderated by Julian Philips, former news anchor for New York City's Fox TV affiliate, the event is an effort to support the hospital in promoting the growing concerns of air quality in the communities throughout the region. Norris McDonald, President of the African American Environmentalist Association and an acute asthmatic, will discuss the heath issues caused by poor air quality and the steps that can be taken by the community to move toward a better environment. The program will include:

Program Participants
- John R. Spicer, President and CEO of the Sound Shore Health System (Welcome)
- Mayor Clinton Young, Mount Vernon, New York (Greetings)
- Norris McDonald - Founder and President, African American Environmentalist Association (Keynote Speaker)
- Julian Philips - Former FOX News Channel Anchor (Moderator)

- Zev Carrey, MD - Pulmonologist (Mount Vernon Hospital)
- Richard Petrillo, MD - Chairman, Dept of Medicine (Mount Vernon Hospital)
- Ruben Diaz - Assemblyman-Bronx, New York (Environmental Subcommittee)
- Larry Salley, Commissioner (Westchester Co. Dept of Transportation)
- W.L. "Tony" Sawyer, Superintendent Mount Vernon City School District

Forum Attendees (others forthcoming)
- Thomas Price - President, General Medical Staff (Mount Vernon Hospital)
- Reginald LaFayette, Chairman of the Westchester Co. Democratic Committee

Please contact Amber Sisson at 212.683.1203 to RSVP.

Michael Bloomberg, Global Warming & Nuclear Power

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg does not put much value on political party labels but he is serious about global warming because he supports nuclear power. Well, he has not been a big supporter but he has not opposed it either. And he has Indian Point nuclear power plant in his backyard and it is the favorite whipping boy of every politician within 50 miles of the facility. None of the naysayers have a clue as to how to replace IP's 2,000 megawatts (enough for 2 million homes) of emission-free-produced electricity. Support for nuclear energy is AAEA's litmus test for determining seriousness about the threat of global warming.

Here is what Mayor Bloomberg has said about the mystical power source:“There are a lot of people who want to shut down the nuclear plant, but they have never offered any realistic alternatives – even as they at the same time want to fight global warming. You just can’t have it both ways!" (NEI)Mayor Bloomberg has also issued a plan for improving environmental and energy matters in New York. A few highlights: 1) create a financing authority that would assure the completion of major projects like the Second Avenue subway, 2) New authorities to push for improved energy efficiency in new buildings and for the replacement of energy-guzzling power plants, 3) construction of platforms over railyards and highways to create land for housing, 4) open 290 schoolyards as playgrounds, 5) eliminate city sales taxes on energy-efficient hybrid vehicles, 6) increase the number of bike paths, 7) cultivate mussels to suck pollution out of the rivers.

Mayor Bloomberg also has an Energy Policy Task Force, established in July 2003, which is headed by the New York City Economic Develop Corporation and has 16 members including leading energy experts in the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors, as well as representatives of environmental and community groups.Finally, Mayor Bloomberg is promoting 'congestion pricing' to increase the price for vehicles to enter Manhattan. AAEA does not support using price to achieve environmental and energy efficiencies.

Friday, January 11, 2008

FERC Issues Final EIS on Broadwater LNG Project

FERC Staff issued the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) on the Broadwater LNG Project (Docket Nos. CP06-54-000, et al.-Issued: January 11, 2008). The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) in cooperation with the U.S. Coast Guard (Coast Guard); U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Marine Fisheries Service; and the New York Department of State has prepared a final EIS for a liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal and natural gas pipeline (referred to as the Broadwater LNG Project) proposed by Broadwater Energy LLC and Broadwater Pipeline LLC (jointly referred to as Broadwater). AAEA supports this project and presented testimony at four of the FERC hearings in New York and Connecticut.

The proposed LNG terminal would be located in New York State waters of Long Island Sound, approximately 9 miles from the nearest shoreline of Long Island, and about 10 miles from the nearest shoreline in Connecticut. The terminal consists of a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) that would be attached to a yoke mooring system (YMS) which includes a mooring tower embedded in the seafloor. The FSRU would look like a marine vessel and would remain moored in place for the duration of the Project (expected to be 30 years or more). LNG would be delivered to the FSRU by LNG carriers, temporarily stored, vaporized (regasified), and then transported in a new subsea natural gas pipeline that would extend beneath the seafloor from the FSRU approximately 21.7 miles to an offshore connection with the existing Iroquois Gas Transmission System (IGTS) pipeline in Long Island Sound. Natural gas would be routed from the FSRU to the subsea pipeline and into the IGTS pipeline for delivery at an average flow rate of about 1.0 billion cubic feet per day. LNG would be delivered to the FSRU by 2 to 3 LNG carriers per week to meet the Project’s planned send-out volumes of natural gas. (MORE)

Unique Presidential Political Environment in New York

Hillary Clinton is being supported by all of New York's African American congressional representatives. This support did not waiver after Senator Barack Obama's victory in Iowa.

The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) is represented in the State of New York by New York City Congresspersons Charles Rangel of Manhattan, Edolphus Towns of Brooklyn, Gregory Meeks of Queens and Yvette Clarke of Brooklyn, pictured respectively.

Con Ed Seeking Rate Increase To Assure Reliability

The New York State Public Service Commission (NYPSC) is holding public hearings all around New York City and White Plains during January concerning the application filed by Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc. (Con Edison) filed May 4, 2007 to increase its annual electric revenues by $1.225 billion. The increase is needed to support investments in electric delivery infrastructure, demand reduction and energy efficiency initiatives, among other areas. See schedule at the PSC website above. Other Ways To Comment:

Writing: Write to Jaclyn A. Brilling, Secretary, Public Service Commission, Three Empire State Plaza, Albany, New York 12223-1350. Your comments should refer to "Case 07-E-0523 Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc. - Rates."

Toll Free Opinion Line: 1-800-335-2120 24hours a day.

Internet: Via the "PSC Comment Form" in the "Consumer Assistance" file. Many libraries offer free internet access.

All comments must be submitted by Feb 8, 2008

Columbia University To Buy & Own West Harlem?

Columbia University is expanding and much of the growth is targeted for West Harlem. Columbia has pledged over $100 million in "community benefits," and affordable housing. Columbia has received approval from the City Council (35-5) to develop 17 acres between Riverside Drive, 133rd St, Broadway (and 3 blocks across Broadway) and 125th Street. The development plan is projected to create 6,000 jobs and expected to be completed by 2030.

There are some fears that imminent domain will be used to force some commercial property owners to get out of the way. Is this project good for Harlem? Will residential tenants be evicted?

Thursday, January 10, 2008

City Council Passes Plastic Bag Recycling Law

The City Council passed a bill requiring large stores and retail chains to collect and recycle plastic bags they give to shoppers on a vote of 44 to 2. The law will take effect six months after Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg signs it. Billions of the plastic bags are used and discarded in the U.S., which wastes energy and creates more air pollution, end up in the stomachs of whales and sea turtles, buried in landfills to virtually never decompose and wastes a valuable resource that can be reprocessed and reused.

The bill received support from retailers and plastic-bag manufacturers, including Food Industry Alliance, which represents 750 supermarkets in the city and the Progressive Bag Affiliates, a trade group that represents most American makers of plastic bags. (New York Times)

AAEA Participates In Rainbow/Push Wall Street Project

The Rainbow/Push Coalition Wall Street Project 11th Annual Conference focused on the subprime crisis. And in characteristic style Rev Jesse Jackson said he wants lending institutions to, “Restructure loans, don’t repossess homes.” This year's Wall Street Project Conference, themed "New Congress, New Opportunities: Expanding the Economic Agenda," specifically considered the environment in the financial and credit markets. The conference also featured extremely informative panels on energy and Africa. The conference was held Jan. 6-9, 2008, at the Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers.

One panel AFRICA, THE LAST ECONOMIC FRONTIER: THE ROLE OF THE DIASPORA, focused on the role the Diaspora can play in Africa's economic resurgence and growth. While foreign investors and governments and major and minor corporations across all sectors are actively engaging and reaping the benefits of doing business with and in Africa, the Diaspora is still significantly absent. Business opportunities are growing in not only the obvious industries like oil and gas and other natural resources, but also in energy, telecommunications, technology, entertainment (movies and music), construction, financial services, hospitality/tourism, insurance, and trade. Africa's tremendous economic growth merits attention and participation from its Diaspora, especially African Americans who should not overlook investment opportunities. Panelists included Mr. Fredrick Amos Hughes, Chief Executive Officer, Hughes Hospitality; Tom Iseghohi, GMD/CEO of Transcorp; Ambassador Zd Muburi-Muita, Permanent Mission of the Republic of Kenya to the United Nations; Euvin Naidoo, President & CEO, South African Chamber of Commerce in America.

Another panel, ENERGY POLICY SESSION: ALTERNATIVE ENERGY: OPTIONS AND OPPORTUNITIES, discussed emerging trends in the development of alternatives to fossil fuels. The panel examinee the options that appear most viable as well as identified business and investment opportunities that merit investigation by minority entrepreneurs interested in the energy sector. Panelists included: D'Juan Hernandez, President & CEO, Sun Energy Group; John Quincy Moaning, CEO & President, Blue Diamond Ventures, Inc.; Frank Stewart, President, AABE National.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008


Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc. (Con Edison) delivered a record amount of electricity to customers in New York City and Westchester County in 2007, spurred largely by the region's growing economy. Last year's usage of 62,591 gigawatt hours (GWh) eclipsed the record of 61,608 GWh set in 2005, and is more than 23 percent higher than the 50,837 GWh used in 1997. According to the latest available national data, Con Edison's record delivery surpasses the annual electrical usage of the entire state of Colorado (49,734 GWh) or the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (55,850 GWh) in 2006. That same year, electrical usage in Con Edison's service area was 60,627 GWh.

A gigawatt is a rate of energy production equal to 1,000 megawatts. One megawatt can power approximately 1,000 homes. Peak electric demand in New York City and Westchester County in summertime has been growing annually by about 200 megawatts, the equivalent of powering an additional 200,000 homes per year.

New construction and increased use of new electrical devices, including flat-screen televisions and associated on-screen games, computers, and various handheld gadgets, as well as record numbers of home offices, are all part of downstate's prosperity and contribute to increasing use.
Con Edison has the largest underground electrical system in North America with 94,000 miles of underground cables, enough to wrap the earth 3.6 times. The company also maintains 36,000 miles of overhead cables. Con Edison expects to spend $7.5 billion over the next five years on its electric delivery system to maintain reliability and support the significant economic growth projected for its service area.

Con Edison is a subsidiary of Consolidated Edison, Inc. (NYSE: ED), one of the nation's largest investor-owned energy companies, with approximately $12 billion in annual revenues and $28 billion in assets. The utility provides electric, gas, and steam service to more than 3 million customers in New York City and Westchester County, New York.

AAEA Starts New York Blog

AAEA has been working in New York for five years. AAEA New York offices have been in three of the five boroughs, including the Bronx, Staten Island, and Long Island. We started this blog to increase our coverage of environmental and energy issues in New York. We would also like for you to comment on these issues.