Since the 1970s, off and on, NYC has considered a congestion pricing plan, where drivers would be charged a fee for driving in Manhattan south of 60th Street during certain hours of the day, for the purpose of relieving congestion on the streets and raising badly needed income for the public transportation system. Unlike previous plans, the current one under consideration does not include tolls on all the East River bridges. But opponents still believe the fees will be a drain on commuters.
It’s been 6 months since NYC’s historic Climate March brought 400,000 people to the streets to demand climate action. So what have those climate activists been doing to build on that incredible momentum?
As it turns out, quite a bit.
Noise annoys, as British punks The Buzzcocks said back in the 70s. And in NYC, despite the new noise ordinances passed in 2007, there were more than 140,000 noise complaints dialed in to 311 between the winter of 2013 and the fall of 2014. That’s one complaint every four minutes, so it’s clear that noise pollution is not a small problem at all.
After literally years of study, New York State and Gov. Cuomo have made a decision: There will be no fracking for natural gas in New York State.
If you haven’t been following so far, fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is a process whereby large amounts of chemically-laced water are forced through relatively fragile shale rock formations, breaking them and forcing trapped gas to flow into wells. There is an immense shale formation called the Marcellus Shale, part of which lies under New York State’s Southern Tier (the area near Binghamton).
For the past two years, the NY-Sun Initiative has been working to reach Gov. Cuomo’s goal of increasing New York State’s solar capacity to 3 gigawatts by 2023. So far, the state has installed or contracted 316 megawatts of solar electricity, more than the entire previous decade. And from now until January 30th, schools, non-profits and governments will be able to upgrade to solar systems for bargain basement prices.