Governor Cuomo: "Our goal from day one was to reclaim New York's legacy as the progressive capital that showed the other states and the country the way forward. I think climate change is the issue of our lifetime frankly, and the legacy that we leave our children. I want the most aggressive goal in the country which is the highest reduction of greenhouse gases by 2050."
Earlier today, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo was a guest on The Capitol Pressroom on WCNY and spoke about the three-way agreement to pass landmark climate change legislation, which would create the strongest greenhouse gas reduction goal in the nation.
AUDIO of the Governor's remarks is available here.
A rush transcript of the Governor's remarks is available below:
Susan Arbetter: What's left on the big second floor to do list?
Governor Cuomo: On the big second floor to do list, first is the climate change bill. I want New York to have the most aggressive climate change program in the United States of America. Period. You know our goal from day one was to reclaim New York's legacy as the progressive capital that showed the other states and the country the way forward. I think climate change is the issue of our lifetime frankly, and the legacy that we leave our children. We see it every day Susan. We see it on Lake Ontario. And I want the most aggressive goal in the country which is the highest reduction of greenhouse gases by 2050. The climate change bill has to be the most aggressive in the country. 2050 is the goal for greenhouse gases. 2040 for electric.
Susan Arbetter: I think it would be. From what I read in Politico, this is going to be the most aggressive in the country if it does pass. There are some questions that people have about issues like enforcement. I understand the right to sue is not in this legislation. Is that problematic do you think?
Governor Cuomo: No. I think the legislation as drafted, and if it proceeds as drafted, I think it's clearly going to be the best law in the nation. Ambitious, aggressive yes. But we're talking about 2050. The 30 years is a long period of time. If you listen to the climate change scientists, 30 years is a lifetime of difference. So yes it's aggressive but I don't think that we have a realistic option.
Susan Arbetter: Another issue I know it was being debated, I'm not sure where it ended up but is it 40 percent, is it 35 percent going to environmental justice communities?
Governor Cuomo: We're talking about 40 percent of the benefit of what we do to quote-on-quote disadvantaged communities, which is also only fair and right. We want to have a clean environment for everyone, everywhere.
Susan Arbetter: These are communities that are hurt pretty badly by pollution.
Governor Cuomo: Right so I think it's a comprehensive package, I think it's nation leading. I think they should pass it and I'm cautiously optimistic they will.