Al Gore, Andrew Cuomo slam Trump’s environmental policies

New York governor Andrew Cuomo denounced the Trump administration’s offshore drilling plan while at the same time announcing $1.4 billion in funding for 26 large-scale renewable energy projects across the state.

With former Vice President and renowned environmental advocate Al Gore by his side, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo unveiled a massive renewable energy initiative while at the same time denouncing the Trump administration’s offshore drilling plan by formally requesting that the state of New York be excluded from the new five-year National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program.

“Instead of protecting our waters from another oil spill, like the one that devastated the Gulf, this new federal plan only increases the chances of another disaster taking place,” Governor Cuomo said.

“This is a total disregard for science, reality, and history, and their actions defy everything we know. We believe the future is a clean energy economy and New York is going to lead a counter-movement to what this administration is doing to the environment and illuminate the path forward.”

To this end, Cuomo announced the single largest commitment to renewable energy by a state in U.S. history at $1.4 billion, which will be used to finance 26 large-scale renewable energy projects across the state, including 22 solar farms.

The competitive awards are expected to generate enough clean, renewable energy to power more than 430,000 homes and reduce carbon emissions by more than 1.6 million metric tonnes, the equivalent of taking nearly 340,000 cars off the road. The projects are also expected to create over 3,000 short- and long-term well-paying jobs.

“Governor Cuomo is demonstrating outstanding leadership in helping to solve the climate crisis and building a sustainable future,” said Gore.

“His vision and leadership stand in stark contrast to the Trump administration’s malignant mission to make us even more dependent on the dirty and destructive fossil fuels. Now more than ever, it’s up to all of us to step up and act on this urgent cause of our time. Governor Cuomo is showing how it can be done.”

Announced in January this year, the federal government’s offshore drilling programme proposes to make over 90 per cent of the total offshore acreage in the U.S. available to oil and gas drilling, including two areas of the North Atlantic coast adjacent to New York State. Florida has already been granted an exclusion from the programme on the grounds that it relies heavily on tourism as one of the nation’s top ocean economies.

As the nation’s number three ocean economy, New York argues that it stands to lose nearly 320,000 jobs and billions of dollars generated through tourism and fishing industries should the exclusion not be granted. What’s more, offshore drilling would endanger the state’s efforts to move toward cleaner, smarter energy solutions.

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