On Earth Day, Green Party Urges Cuomo to Shut Down Nukes, Ban Hydrofracking

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NY Should Invest in a Green New Deal to Provide Jobs and a Carbon Free Economy

State Party co-chair Peter LaVenia & Issues Chair Mark Dunlea appeared  on Capital Saturday, April 22, on YNN discussing Earth Day, hydrofraking, nuke plants and alternative energy. The appearance can be viewed on the YNN web site.

The Green Party of New York observed Earth Day today by calling upon Governor Cuomo to support a ban on hydrofracking for natural gas and an immediate shut down of not only Indian Point but the nuclear reactors at Fitzpatrick and Nine Mile Point Unit 1 that are the same design as the Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan.

The Greens criticized the Cuomo administration for its recent decision to delay the ban on the sale of outdoor wood burners which cause tremendous air pollution and negative health impacts, and his failure to support a ban on the hydrofracking of natural gas.

"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. 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," said Peter LaVenia, co-chair of the state Green Party.

The Green Party released its new national platform. The section on ecological sustainability is at http://www.gp.org/committees/platform/2010/index.php

The Greens want New York to shut down all  its nuclear power plants and to transition to a carbon free economy within the next decade through massive investment in green renewable energy such as conservation, wind and solar as well as mass transit.

In his recent Gubernatorial campaign, the Greens' Howie Hawkins outlined how a Green New Deal (aka Climate Action Jobs Program) would be financed through various taxes (e.g., stock transfer tax, bankers bonuses) on Wall Street and the wealthy (steeper personal income tax rates), a state carbon tax and at least a 50% cut in the federal military budget. The Greens support providing living wage green jobs to all New Yorkers who can't find one in the private sector

The Green Party's David Doonan, Mayor of Greenwich in Washington County, has introduced a resolution in opposition to the efforts by Congressmember Gibson to site a nuclear reactor in the 20th Congressional District. "They're basically sitting time bombs," Doonan said. "To build a new one without knowing what to do with the waste is morally reprehensible."

The Indian Point Nuclear plant is located at the intersection of two earthquake faults and has been cited for many safety violations over the years.  The NRC said that the plant has the highest risk of core damage from an earthquake among all U.S nuclear plants.  Located only 25 miles from NYC and within a 50 mile radius of 25,000,000 people, there is no way that this population can be evacuated in time in case of a serious nuclear event.

Nationwide, the Greens are calling for the early retirement of all nuclear power reactors as soon as possible (in no more than five years), and for a phase-out of other technologies that use or produce nuclear waste. All six of the "low-level" nuclear waste dumps in the United States have leaked

The Greens said that the Republican Party are climate change deniers while the Democrats have walked away from any meaningful action in the US to curb carbon emissions while continuing to block needed international curbs on greenhouse gases.

"The Democrats tell their supporters they can't act on climate change because they have to fix the economy first but they continue to promote more tax cuts for the rich while they slash funding for an array of domestic programs. Even countries like China realize that their future lies in investing in the technology to make the transition to a green economy," said Mark Dunlea, co-chair of the Issues Committee.

The Green national platform outlined an array of environmental reforms.

Dunlea added "Our food system needs to be de-carbonized. Most politicians say they support local food systems but all we hear is lip service. None of them have taken the lead to enact sustainable organic growing standards, establish meaningful standards for the purchase of local foods, or make infrastructure investments in small scale food processing."

The Greens said the state and federal government need to adopt a sustainable agriculture policy. New York should do more to support producer and consumer cooperatives, community kitchens, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), urban agriculture, and community farms and gardens. Cuomo still had not made public the details of the low-income CSA initiative that Cuomo announced in his state of the state address. It called for the NYS Food Policy Council to be overhauled to add in stronger representation from food justice and anti-hunger advocates and family farmers.

At the federal level, the Greens called for an overhaul of the current federal Farm Bill to shift funding from agribusiness to family farms, and to support sustainable agriculture systems that promotes healthy, local, nutritious foods rather than subsidizes fats and sugar. The Farm Bill should also lead the way in helping our agriculture system respond to climate change.

The Greens want New York to adopt the Precautionary Principle and the Zero Waste Movement. The Greens called for the phase out all avoidable production and sale of toxic metals, persistent organic pollutants, persistent bio-accumulative toxins, synthetic petrochemicals, and halogenated chemicals, replacing them with non-toxic alternatives. The Greens said that the state needed to improve the performance of its Pollution Prevention Institute. The Greens would make manufacturers responsible for the full life cycle of their products by requiring them to take back used products and packaging for remanufacturing, reuse, or recycling. It supports a tax on plastic bags. Corporations should be held strictly liable for the consequences of the pollution they produce, including robust eco-taxes to capture the social costs of such products (e.g., health impacts, clean up costs.)

The Greens called upon the state to provide more leadership in improving municipal recycling programs, including the construction of regional Material Recovery Facilities to strengthen the collection and marketing of recyclables. The Greens remain opposed to garbage incinerators.


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