NY A.G. Schneiderman op-ed on climate in the NYT

Sep 25th, 2014 | By | Category: Climate Change

A.G. SCHNEIDERMAN OP-ED: ON CLIMATE AND THE ENVIRONMENT, NEW YORK IS LEADING WHERE WASHINGTON FAILS

NEW YORK – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman recently published an op-ed on The Huffington Post on the recent pattern of extreme weather events across New York State as well as his office’s efforts to address the effects of climate change and protect our communities. The following are excerpts from the op-ed:

ON HIS OFFICE’S FINDINGS REGARDING EXTREME RAINFALL IN NYS: The number of storms that produce the heaviest amounts of rainfall in 24 hours rose so dramatically between 1978 and 2007 that so-called 100-year storms are now happening, on average, every 60 years. The report also finds that, based on the United States National Climate Assessment, if greenhouse gas emissions follow current trends, the frequency of extreme rainstorms that typically produces 4 to 6.5 inches of rain a day in New York is projected to increase 300% to 400% by century’s end.

ON CLIMATE CHANGE GRIDLOCK: Unfortunately, despite the urgency of the situation, gridlock in Washington has forced our state governments to step up when it comes to reducing the emission of greenhouse gases and making our infrastructure more resilient by planning for increased rainfall and flooding in construction projects and building codes.

ON TAKING ACTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE: My office’s Environmental Protection Bureau has worked aggressively and creatively to reduce greenhouse gases, harden our critical infrastructure, and ensure clean air and water for every community in New York. We successfully defended the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a multi-state agreement that puts a price on carbon pollution to reduce emissions. We sued the Environmental Protection Agency for violating the Clean Air Act by refusing to effectively limit air pollution from wood heaters and led a coalition of seven states in filing a notice of intent to sue the EPA for failing to address methane emissions from the oil and gas industry. And we proposed legislation to require electric and gas utilities to incorporate storm hardening into their planning.

ON THE ONGOING NEED TO TACKLE CLIMATE CHANGE: The bottom line is clear: Climate change is a reality, and it is having a real impact on New York communities today. The pattern and impacts of more frequent and more extreme rainfall are undeniable. To overcome the challenges of climate change, we must act now to ensure a safer and more sustainable New York for the present and the future.

The full op-ed by Attorney General Schneiderman can be read here.

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