BINGHAMTON, NY – Environmentalists and the business community are gearing up to make their opinions heard at a public hearing being held tomorrow in Vestal on the state’s proposed climate action plan.
The hearing is being held by the state’s 22 member Climate Action Council which late last year released a Draft Scoping Plan for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the state by 85 percent by 2050.
Adam Flint from the Network for a Sustainable Tomorrow, or NEST, says his group agrees with the goals of the plan, but says the devil will be in the details.
He says clean energy has the potential to create new jobs, such as the ones planned for the Huron Campus in Endicott building solar panels and lithium ion batteries.
Flint wants to make certain that the state engages with business and labor to provide the proper transitional training.
“We want to make sure that people who are leaving behind union jobs putting in gas pipelines are going to be going into union jobs putting in clean heating and cooling community loops, which is a thing with geothermal. It’s pretty much the same pipe, pretty much the same job, except the stuff in there is less dangerous,” says Flint.
Flint believes that renewable energy will be more affordable and less volatile that fossil fuel energy.
Meanwhile, the business community is lining up against the proposals saying they will cost consumers too much money and drive industry out of the state.
Justin Wilcox, Executive Director of Upstate United, says some manufacturers must use natural gas in their process.
And he says replacing a gas or oil furnace could cost homeowners 30 grand.
Wilcox says a broader solution is needed for a global problem.
“New York State is responsible for 4/10 of 1% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Implementing this at a cost of over $300 billion doesn’t do anything to impact climate change,” says Wilcox.
Both Flint and Wilcox agree that the state should be doing more to publicize the process and engage businesses and residents.
Tomorrow’s public hearing takes place at Binghamton University’s Symposium Hall within the Innovative Technologies Complex located at 85 Murray Hill Road in Vestal from 4 to 7 P-M.
If you’d like to view it virtually, you can do so here:
Event Number: 2593 224 8630
Event Password: Climate
Call In: 1-415-655-0003
Access Code: 2593 224 8630