Make Corporate Climate Polluters Pay
There is no doubt that the world’s climate is getting hotter and more deadly.
2023 was the hottest year in human recorded history. This hotter climate drove extremes around the world, making things so extreme that we all choked on terrible air quality – at one point, air that turned orange kept many indoors thanks to unprecedented Canadian wildfires.
Deadly storms rocked the state, with serious flooding upstate, including the Adirondacks, and downstate, including Long Island and New York City. There can be no doubt that as the climate warms, these types of storms will worsen and get even more extreme. The escalation of such storms is an undeniable consequence of the climate crisis.
The hotter climate is having a big impact on taxes – and that situation will get much worse.
A study1 by New York State Comptroller DiNapoli revealed that over a 10-year span, more than half of New York localities' municipal spending outside of New York City was or will be linked to climate change. New York City may need to spend around $100 billion2 to upgrade its sewer systems to withstand intensified storms. And those costs are on top of the $52 billion3 that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has estimated that it will cost to protect New York Harbor from rising sea levels and storms. Estimates4 suggest that Long Island alone could incur up to $100 billion in climate-related costs. These financial burdens are projected to escalate, potentially reaching $10 billion5 annually for New Yorkers by the middle of the century.
Just over the past year, the Hochul Administration has pledged over $2 billion6 for climate-related projects.
Recognizing the untenable situation, 100 local elected officials in New York recently advocated7 for a legislative measure compelling major oil companies to contribute to climate-related expenses.
Governor Hochul needs to support legislation to make Big Oil pay its fair share of the state’s climate costs.
The legislation8, the Climate Change Superfund Act, demands that companies responsible for significant greenhouse gas emissions pay apportioned fees totaling $3 billion annually for each of the next 25 years to offset the climate costs. The fees would be used to strengthen coastlines threatened by rising sea levels, pick up the costs for roads and bridges that are damaged by more intense storms, provide protections for kids in schools by making buildings cooler to protect from deadly heat, and other costs that must be paid. The legislation is designed to keep these costs from being shifted onto the public, as confirmed by an independent think tank’s analysis.9
Take Action: Contact the Governor
Dear Governor Hochul, climate change is devastating our lives and our communities. It adds insult to that injury to make the taxpayers pick up the costs of a hotter planet. The largest oil companies should help to cover those costs. It is they who are most responsible for this mess. And as we all learned as kids: You make a mess; you clean it up. Make Big Oil clean up its mess. Support the Climate Change Superfund Act (S.2129-A/A.3351-A). Thank you.
Thank you for your help!
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