On Earth Day 2020, more than 300 people and organizations — including Scenic Hudson — came together virtually to advocate state leaders for increased public health and environmental protections. The day included a series of brief “conversations” with legislators about hot-button environmental issues in their districts and across the state.
Scenic Hudson Director of Public Policy Andy Bicking and Policy Analyst Althea Mullarkey got the inside environmental scoop from four valley legislators.
Assemblywoman Didi Barrett (Columbia/Dutchess counties)—“Carbon farming is a win-win-win for the environment because it takes carbon out of the atmosphere, where it’s toxic, and puts it in the soil, where it increases productivity and makes the soil healthier…. Even though it’s a time-honored practice that many farmers in this region probably practiced 300 years ago…it has been out of fashion. We’ve helped support its return.”
Assemblyman Kevin Cahill (Dutchess/Ulster counties)—“During my tenure as [Assembly] Energy Chair, we created Green Jobs-Green New York and developed a comprehensive and dynamic energy planning process for New York State. Several years later, after Green Jobs-Green New York was put into place, tens of thousands of people have been trained in green technologies, millions and millions of dollars have been distributed to people across New York State to conserve, to retrofit their homes to make life a little more comfortable and easier, and of course to reduce the carbon footprint.”
Sen. Sue Serino (Putnam/Dutchess counties)—“Before COVID, we were moving toward a greener economy. Moving forward, working with the business community — and bringing together people of all ages that are working — I think we can come up with some great ideas so we do protect our environment.”
Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner (Saratoga/Washington counties)—“Cleaning up the Hudson River, making it possible once again to dredge the Champlain Canal to a navigable depth, has the possibility to open it up to commercial shipping, which would be a benefit to all of the businesses up and down this section of the river. But even if we can’t get to a navigable depth, cleaning up the Hudson River opens up the possibility of additional tourism.”
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