New Yorkers demand a reliable supply of energy at a reasonable price. It keeps our factories humming and our skyscrapers shining. We use it to get to work in the morning and to light our homes through the night. We balance these everyday needs with a larger understanding that many types of energy we buy come at a cost to our environment and support foreign governments who do not have our best interests in mind.
As our state works to generate electricity from cleaner fuel sources, Niagara Falls take on new meaning. Hydro-electric power plants at the Falls provide clean energy across our region. Elsewhere in the state, engineers are working to develop new sources of clean energy that may eventually displace fuels such as coal and oil. I strongly support the creation of a renewable energy standard which would require a percentage of electricity generated to come from cleaner, more environmentally friendly sources of power.
I recently helped obtain a $100 million federal loan guarantee for a cutting-edge facility that will use a novel process which will generate power from municipal waste. When completed, the Taylor Biomass facility in the Hudson Valley is expected to create up to 400 jobs. It will also help to demonstrate a technology that could soon become an important alternative to fossil fuel use. This funding represents a creative use of federal money that will eventually generate profit for taxpayers Even as renewable energy technology develops, some of the most important changes in the way we use energy may happen inside your own home. I am doing my best to provide incentives for New Yorkers to use energy more efficiently by upgrading windows, insulation and appliances. Tax incentives and grants from the federal government will help keep your costs down and create clean jobs in industries like construction and manufacturing.
In one Westchester County town, an estimated fifty percent of greenhouse emissions were produced by residential properties. Home owners in Bedford realized that installing better insulation and more energy efficient appliances could create jobs, lower electric bills and even help reduce emissions. I supported their efforts by helping Bedford residents secure $1.2 million from the Energy Department
for an energy efficiency pilot program.
New York is home to many natural treasures from the Great Lakes to Long Island Sound, the Adirondacks to our urban parks. I believe that we must protect our natural resources so that our and future generations can benefit from a clean environment and enjoy our natural riches.
I believe that our nation’s environmental policies should not favor industry over the environment and public health. That is why I support policies that balance our economic concerns with the pressing need to protect our environment including the air and water. I believe that community input is crucial in deciding how to use and protect our natural resources.
I support the Clean Air Act
and the ability of EPA
to curb harmful pollutants. I believe that we must act to curb carbon emissions and urged my colleagues to join me in opposing any attempts to undermine America’s efforts to cut dangerous pollution, protect our air quality and spur innovation in clean energy production.
Securing critical sewer grants for localities: Maintaining our sewer infrastructure is critical to protecting our water supply which is why I’ve long fought for federal funding to help upgrade sewer systems across New York. In the last several years, I have supported strong investments in our water infrastructure and in fiscal year 2009 I pushed to make sure that significant funds were given to the state as grants – not loans – for financially strapped communities across the country to repair and replace aging water and sewer infrastructure. The funding has helped prevent communities from having to levy significant tax increases to repair crumbling infrastructure.
Securing aid to help with home heating bills: Seniors and low income families across New York struggle each year to pay their home heating bills. I have consistently fought for federal aid to help seniors and low income families deal with heating costs through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
. Releasing this emer-gency LIHEAP funding – supplementing block grant funding already being spent in every state – helped thousands of families and seniors with their energy bills, and in doing so, created a noticeable economic multiplier. Less burdened by energy bills, these low-income families have more to spend on other essentials, and can avoid the choice between paying energy bills and putting food on their table.