Assemblymember Felix Ortiz is marking the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day by discussing the inclusion of several of his environmental initiatives into State law in hopes that it will protect New York’s resources and residents going forward.
According to Ortiz, who represents Sunset Park, Red Hook, Bay Ridge, South Slope, Greenwood Heights, Columbia Heights, Borough Park and Carroll Gardens, his environmental agenda includes legislation that creates a Green New Deal for New York and a Climate Change Task Force, restricts and ends hydrofracking, creates recycling/composting initiatives, brings awareness to the dangers of microplastics and legislation that divests NYS monies from fossil fuel.
He said the fossil fuel divestment bill has the support of major global climate organizations, including 350.org.
“I am so pleased to have the support of these organizations,” Ortiz said. “Together, we can ensure that New York meets or exceeds climate goals and protects the future of the planet.”
He added, “Divesting state funds from fossil fuels and encouraging more promising investments in responsible energy companies producing sustainable and renewable energy makes ethical and economic sense.”
He also discussed how the value of fossil fuel companies would continue to drop while green energy companies are rapidly growing.
“It’s the next logical step for New York Supporting companies that burn fossil fuels, leading to the destruction of our atmosphere and eventual climate change, is contrary to our state’s environmental goals,” Ortiz stated.
Also, his proposed ban on polystyrene foam was enacted in the recently approved budget. The new law bans the use of disposable products made from polystyrene commonly used by restaurants, hospitals and governmental facilities.
Ortiz is attempting to pass a legislation that bans the use of plastic tableware in restaurants.
He discussed the importance of his proposed bill.
“Plastics, single-use disposable items and products made from polystyrene never degrade; they pollute our oceans, kill sea life and end up as trash destroying our environment,” Ortiz said. “We must continue taking steps to rid the earth of these pollutants.”
He also stated the significance of Earth Day.
“Earth Day offers us a time to take measure of where we are right now and what still needs to be done,” Ortiz said. “We have made a great deal of progress, but we have much more to do to stem the toll of global climate change. My legislative agenda will continue to propose aggressive, progressive action to save our planet Earth.”