In an Earth Day news conference in front of the Governor’s Mansion in Albany, the state Green Party called on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to ban hydraulic fracturing for natural gas in the state and close the Indian Point nuclear plant in Buchanan, Westchester County, as well as the nuclear reactors Fitzpatrick and Nine Mile Point Unit 1 in Scriba, Oswego County.
The state should transition to a “carbon-free economy” in the next 10 years by investing heavily in renewable energy like wind and solar, as well as conservation and mass transit, according to the party.
“Investing time and resources into hydrofracking of natural gas is another case of building a bridge to nowhere. Natural gas is just another fossil fuel. Hydrofracking will destroy our countryside while threatening our water supplies,” Peter LaVenia, co-chairman of the state party, said in a statement.
“New York has adopted some good statements in support of developing renewable energy but this year’s budget failed to make new major investments while continuing the deep environmental cuts of recent years. And the state’s draft energy master plan wants to construct 20 new nuclear power plants. The tragedy in Japan is just the latest evidence that nuclear power is a bad energy solution,” he said.
Some of the other measures the state Green Party wants include :
— A Green New Deal to create jobs. It would be funded through various taxes on Wall Street and the wealthy, such as bankers’ bonuses and higher personal income-tax rates, a state carbon tax and a cut in the federal military budget of at least 50 percent.
— A “de-carbonized” food system that includes sustainable organic growing standards, meaningful standards for the purchase of local foods and infrastructure investments in small-scale food processing. New York should do more to support producer and consumer cooperatives, community kitchens, urban agriculture, and community farms and gardens.
The Green Party said in a statement that Cuomo hasn’t made public details of his plans to overhaul the state Food Policy Council to include more representation from anti-hunger and food-justice advocates and family farmers.
At the federal level, the party is calling for an overhaul of the current federal Farm Bill to provide more funding to family farms and support sustainable agriculture systems that promote healthy, local and nutritious foods. The party just released its new national platform.