What’s Happening Now?

Climate change and our nation’s security are inextricably connected.

Linked here is an article that discusses this connection and the threat that climate change poses to the North Country.

This article was published as a guest essay on February 26, 2017 by The Post StarAuthor, Lance Clark, “is a former United Nations Ambassador with 35 years of experience in international work in emergency relief in conflicts, forcible displacements, early warning of conflicts and peace operations and peace-building. This includes in places such as Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Rwanda, Iraq, Chechnya, Georgia (former USSR), Bosnia, Kosovo, Serbia and other countries. He and his wife Nancy now live in Hague, New York.”

The Post Star serves Warren, Washington, and Saratoga Counties in New York.

Past news with relevant background

The GOP Platform on Climate Change and the unacceptable GOP EPA Nominee, Scott Pruitt.

Talking points:  Scott Pruitt denies that climate change is real. You can read more about his background here.

The Adirondack Park cannot afford a climate change denier as the head of the EPA.

The administration and House’s platform calls for the abolishing of the EPA and a GOP move to “state level” control.

The Adirondack Park needs EPA national focus since acid rain and air and water pollution does not stop at the state border.

The current leadership calls for reduced influence for the EPA.

The EPA is responsible for water testing in the Adirondack Park.

Scott Pruitt is a hostile nominee for the EPA.

Pruitt has sued the EPA on behalf of fracking and fossil fuel interests in his home state of Oklahoma.

Elise Stefanik, R-21st, as a member of the leadership that is promoting this platform, is detrimental efforts.

Stefanik voted to pass H. Res. 70, which overturned the Stream Protection Rule, allowing coal mining toxins to be dumped into local waterways, just days after she touted joining the Bipartisan Climate Change Caucus.

The 21st District cannot risk this sort of leadership. The Adirondack Park is a part of the 21st District. We need the EPA. Stand up to this destructive platform. Resist.

MARCH WITH US! Make signs, show up for this first protest!

February 8, 2017: Under President Trump’s leadership, the Army Corps of Engineers has authorized completion of the Dakota Access oil pipeline.

Former President Obama instructed the Army Corps of Engineers to conduct an environmental impact study before moving ahead. President Trump rescinded that requirement and asked the Corps to approve the pipeline.

What this means for the North Country?

The administration’s decision to not conduct an environmental impact study is of concern to the North Country for a couple of reasons. One is that the study was requested in an effort to protect the land rights and clean water of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. Given the North Country’s dependency on clean water for hunting, fishing, recreation, drinking, and tourism, we can relate to the need to protect our resources from incursion by large corporations.

Secondly, climate change and acid rain from the burning of fossil fuels and fracking waste are real threats to the way of life in our district. They threaten our local economies and our food systems. At the same time, the region is full of natural resources for clean energy, from sun to wind to biomass. There are multi million dollar projects happening in the region to develop this industry. They are promoted by the state and coordinated by local organizations and businesses. These projects create demand, and demand creates infrastructure, local companies, and jobs.

Apex Solar Power out of Queensbury, NY, is one such company. Thanks to support from New York State and regional non profit organizations, demand for solar energy expanded in 2016 to a point that Apex Solar Power could open a branch in Keene, NY. This branch will create 3-5 new jobs, a significant number for a small North Country town.

The Dakota Pipeline represents a policy of the new administration to promote fossil fuels and cut regulation.  If we allow them to put special interests before our own and allow them to cut funding to renewable energy, our jobs and the just transition for people in the Adirondacks are threatened.

How you can help

Send the Army Corps of Engineers a message

Contact Representative Elise Stefanik. “My name is [So and So]. I am calling from [name of town]. Rep. Stefanik has a responsibility to protect the North Country’s natural resources and to promote our economy through clean energy development. Her recent votes [see below] run counter to this responsibility and endanger the district’s natural resources and our way of life.”

Questions to ask: (See below for information behind each question.)

“It’s potentially good that she is on the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus. What specific ideas does she have for preventing acid rain from becoming a problem again, and when can we expect to hear more about them?”

“It’s potentially good that she is on the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus. The state of NY has created hundreds of jobs here in the North Country through grants for clean energy research and construction. What are her plans for creating jobs in the clean energy sector here in the North Country?”

Washington, DC Office: 318 Cannon House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515. Phone: (202) 225-4611

Glens Falls Office: 136 Glen Street, Glens Falls, NY 12801. Phone: (518) 743-0964

Plattsburgh Office: 23 Durkee Street, Suite C, Plattsburgh, NY 12901. Phone: (518) 561-2324

Watertown Office: 88 Public Square, Suite A, Watertown, NY 13601. Phone: (315) 782-3150

Background information

We know that development of a clean energy economy is underway here in the North Country, thanks to efforts at the state and local levels, by government, non-profit, and private enterprises. These endeavors are widely supported by community members. We know that a focus on clean energy and divestment from fossil fuels is essential for protecting our way of life. For economic development and protection of our health, we need the support of our elected representatives.

However, our current House Representative, Elise Stefanik, has a voting record contrary to these needs.

She has voted to rescind regulation to limit greenhouse gas emissions, a leading cause of climate change. 

She has voted to eliminate “Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines,” which were designed to slow the rate of global warming.

Most recently, she voted to remove restrictions against dumping  mining waste into areas close to streams. This rule protecting the streams is known as the Stream Protection Rule.  In addition to jeopardizing clean water sources, this vote makes dirty energy production easier, which contributes to acid rain.

Past Notes

February 1, 2017: The House of Representatives is getting ready to vote on Congressional Review Act resolutions. Two of these votes aim to repeal regulations that were passed to slow climate change, decrease the chance of acid rain, and protect access to clean water.

Here is more information about the CRA.