A statewide environmental coalition held a demonstration in front of the Mahoney State Office Building in downtown Buffalo Tuesday night to rally support for a state bill that would target corporate polluters.
A variety of community organizations used artwork to call on state legislators to pass the Climate and Community Investment Act, or CCIA. The legislation would tack companies with a $55 fine per pound of greenhouse gas emission, with money going into a fund to reinvest into nearby neighborhoods and job training.
NY Renews Lead Coalition Organizer Geovaira Hernandez said this bill would help many blue collar workers
“Making sure that workers currently that are still dependent on fossil fuel factories, or fossil fuel industries are not being ignored or feeling like they’re not being a part of the just transition that is necessary for New York state to enact the law that got passed last year.”
Hernandez called New York’s 2019 climate act one of the most progessive in the nation. It seeks to put New York state on track to shift to more green energy, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions 85% by 2050. This new CCIA could generate the money needed to meet that goal.
“Aside from generating revenue of 15 billion dollars, the other aspect of the bill is creating good green jobs, 150,000 across New York State.”
Hernandez said Buffalo can really benefit from tougher pollution legislation.
“There’s so much high cancer rates, and asbestos and lead that is predominantly in these lower income and folks of color communities. And so Buffalo is being slated once again for further climate gentrification.”
The Climate and Community Investment Act currently waits in the senate committee in Albany.