To the Editor:
It would be easy to forget Earth Day this year, suffering as we are from the miseries of the Covid 19 pandemic, isolated in our homes (if we are fortunate enough to have one), ill and/or frightened, economically roiled.
But it is during this period that this federal administration chooses to sneak through terrible environmental deregulation that undoes decades of protection against mercury and other toxins, which affect our lungs, the very organs we need to protect now.
Fossil fuel companies will enjoy looser protections on any toxin they deem too expensive to control. Furthermore, African-American and Latinx communities are affected more seriously by pollutants because they are more likely to be economically disadvantaged and located in industrial areas, or those dominated by highways and/or power plants.
These actions are what we have come to expect from selfish and greedy Washington. From the state, comes something better: a plan enshrined in law to make our electric grid carbon-free by 2040 and a net zero emissions economy by 2050.
Despite the horror of the collapsing economy, these goals not only remain doable, but are more important than ever. The climate crisis is not waiting for the novel coronavirus to go away. Let us call on Governor Andrew Cuomo to restructure the economy for a green new deal, which will deal us new and cleaner jobs, better health, and a more just society.
Very truly yours,
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