“On the heels of the President’s ill-advised and reckless decision to remove the United States from the landmark Paris climate change accord, an agreement that includes every other country on earth except Nicaragua and Syria, we must now further enhance our local environmental efforts that are already at the forefront of our state. In many ways Ulster County is viewed as the environmental conscience of New York State: whether it is our early and strong opposition to fracking; extensive commitment to alternative fuel vehicles; becoming the first ‘net carbon neutral’ county in the state; or securing 100% of our government’s electric needs from renewable sources, we are deeply focused on sustainability.
“Fostering a sustainable environment should not be a partisan issue, but instead a question of science and sanity. This is a collective global issue to be embraced by everyone and threatened by no one. Recent years have seen the transformation of economic planning and the evolution of industry to align fiscal issues with environmental responsibility. In fact, the clean energy job sector is growing rapidly and businesses are investing in environmentally responsible initiatives at a rate never before seen.
“As the Ulster County Executive, I can assure you that we will continue to move forward and lead with environmental initiatives that exceed the framework of the Paris Accord. We are pleased that Governor Cuomo, along with the governors of California and Washington, formed the United States Climate Change Alliance in order to take aggressive action on climate change at the state level. However, when it comes to protecting the precious irreplaceable resource that is our environment, we all have a responsibility; globally, nationally, state-wide, and locally. We have an obligation to act in the face of a decision that is an insult to people of conscience across the world and I believe a national disgrace. We can not sit idly by and cast aside protections designed to ensure a future that includes a clean and lasting environment for our children and our children’s children.”