Throughout the United States many communities have been exploited by fossil fuel companies and other extraction processes. Although 300 coal companies have been phased out of operation, more than 200 coal fired power plants still operate. They contaminate our air and water, affecting our climate negatively. Yet pipelines still are being built and promoted despite new initiatives to advance climate goals.

In New York State, there is much support for renewable energy and a clean energy transition. Under the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, there should be 9 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2035. But recently an offshore wind power plan was vetoed by Governor Hochul at Lido Beach, Long Island. The surrounding community objected to the cable being put under beach sand. This indicates that moving forward can be difficult.

Environmental justice comes when all parties involved are integrally part of the plans and decisions. A New Year’s Wish is that we have more wind and solar installations, and that companies and communities agree upon them instead of allowing fossil fuel companies to do business as usual. With help from these communities and climate activists, our Federal government should support these goals.

Elaine Peters for the Green Sanctuary Blog