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Grassroots Bulletin

October Newsletter

New York State Takes Action to Combat Climate Change          

As visitors from around the world gathered in New York City to discuss strategies to combat climate change, Governor Andrew Cuomo proclaimed the week of September 22nd “Climate Week”, urging international collaboration to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Cuomo, the Public Service Commission (PSC), and state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman all took part in bringing awareness to the issue of climate change.

In conjunction with Climate Week, Cuomo signed into law the Community Risk and Resiliency Act (the Act), a new law he says will strengthen New York’s preparedness for the effects of climate change and help protect communities against severe weather and sea level rise. Under the law, New York State’s Department of Environmental Conservation and Department of State are directed to prepare model programs to address physical climate risks, as well as provide guidance on the use of resiliency measures.

The Act advances a number of recommendations set forth by the NYS 2100 Commission, which Cuomo convened after Superstorm Sandy to develop more resilient infrastructure systems across the state. Con Edison supported the legislation as it was being considered by the state legislature.

In a related matter and in support of Climate Week’s emissions reduction goals, the PSC announced a joint pilot project with Con Edison to investigate technologies for quantifying methane emissions from non-hazardous leaks on the gas distribution system, as well as develop a program to further reduce the backlog of such leaks. According to the PSC’s press release, methane is the second most prevalent greenhouse gas emitted in the United States from human activities, and leaking natural gas pipes is a major contributor to the presence of methane in the environment.

Also last month during Climate Week, State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman issued a report that illustrates how climate change poses a clear and present danger to communities across the globe and calling on Congress to take action and pass legislation that will address the issue on a national level.  

New York City on the Front Lines of Climate Change      


Continuing the work and vision begun by his predecessor, and ahead of the scheduled People’s Climate March, Mayor Bill de Blasio presented his administration’s plan to address climate change last month. 

In 2007, under former Mayor Bloomberg, New York City embarked on PlaNYC, which was intended to be a road map for becoming a greener city.  Titled “One City – Built to Last”, Mayor de Blasio’s  ten-year plan provides a framework for how de Blasio sees the city continuing in its efforts to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 80% (from 2005 levels) by the year 2050. The plan's major focus is on making the city’s buildings more energy efficient, by utilizing a combination of strict regulations on new buildings and retrofitting existing ones, with emphasis on the decaying structure and efficiency of public-housing apartments.  A large part of the effort will be on residential and commercial buildings, which account for nearly three-fourths of the city’s carbon-dioxide emissions.

Also, ahead of the United Nations Summit on Climate Change in New York City and in conjunction with the mayor, the City Council rolled out their plan to make New York City greener and more sustainable. The Council and Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito presented a combination legislative and program-driven package intended to address key areas in the city’s fight against global climate change, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions, increasing energy efficiency, and encouraging low-carbon transportation. 

New York City was also the scene of the People’s Climate March on Sunday, September 21. More than 300,000 people turned out for the march, just days before many of the world’s leaders were expected to debate environmental action at the United Nations Climate Summit. 
The Summit was attended by 100 Heads of State and Government, along with more than 800 leaders from business, finance and civil society, resulting in a renewed commitment on several fronts. They included, finalizing a universal new agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change by 2015; renewed support for mobilizing public and private finance to meet a $100 billion dollar goal per annum by 2020 for low carbon and climate resilient growth and creating the coalitions needed to meet the full scope of climate challenge.  

Con Edison Employees and Retirees Continue Strong Volunteer Effort at 9/11 Memorial     


Con Edison employees and retirees continue to make a difference by giving back to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum.  Throughout 2014, Con Edison employees and retirees have volunteered over 1,030 hours at the Memorial and Museum as retail greeters, visitor services volunteers or docents. Those who serve as docents complete an intensive three-month graduate level training course to become experts on the Museum, its history and contents. Docents give interpretative talks to visitors at various artifact locations in the Museum.  Retiree Eileen Egan-Annechino talks about her experience here
For more information about volunteer opportunities, time commitment and trainings, visit http://www.911memorial.org/volunteer.  To register your volunteer hours at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum with the Power of Giving Volunteer Corps, please contact us at powerofgiving@coned.com.  

Exploring Con Edison's Impact

 When you think about infrastructure at Con Edison, most people think of the pipes and wires throughout our service territory – the foundation of a company that’s been in operation for almost 200 years.  As Con Edison evolves to meet the demands of the future, it’s our ‘other’ infrastructure that becomes increasingly important.  Our employees, retirees, offices and vendors are located in almost every state through the country.  We have solar panels and gardens on rooftops in New York City, two wind turbines in Ohio, and large scale solar development around the country.  The money we spend on vendors helps support jobs across the country.  Explore Con Edison’s nation-wide impact.

Election Day is Tuesday, November 4th

Don't forget to register to vote!

For more information on your candidates, polling locations and how to register, visit Con Edison's Get Out the Vote website.  



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