The Buffalo News article regarding Gov. Cuomo’s Green New Deal transitioning New York State to 100 percent renewable energy by 2040 sounded absolutely wonderful to me. I had visions of millions of zero-emission electric cars, trucks and buses roaming New York State roadways; trains powered by electricity; all recreational and commercial traffic on New York State waterways powered by zero-sound and zero-carbon emitting electric motors. Solitude returning to New York State’s beautiful lakes and waterways with gasoline and oil slicks a thing of the past.
I had visions of 100,000s of new good-paying jobs created by building solar and wind farms and New York State ratepayers guaranteed a fixed rate on their electricity costs for decades. I had visions of retrofitting all New York State building infrastructure for energy efficiency with heating and cooling provided by geothermal energy. I had visions of all New York State nuclear power plants being shuttered. What a relief that New York State’s top official understands the urgent need to eliminate the cause of climate change.
But when I awoke to read the governor’s Dec. 17 press release describing his Green New Deal, I was dismayed that it focused on a minor component of New York State’s carbon emissions: electricity generation and omitted any mention of transportation and building heating and cooling. The latter two account for 76 percent of our state’s greenhouse gas emissions.
Cuomo’s initiative is a raw deal for New York State residents because it would only reduce the state’s carbon footprint 7 percent by 2030, and 19 percent by 2040.