As this year’s legislative session came to a close, the environmental community came up short on solar energy when the Legislature and Gov. Andrew Cuomo failed to push through a bill to boost long-term solar energy investment in the state. “If there was one particular disappointment, it was in the area of solar energy,” Dan Hendrick, a spokesman for the New York League of Conservation Voters, said late last night. “The environmental community has been pushing for a long-term, robust solar program for years, and polls show the overwhelming majority of New Yorkers want more solar. But at the end of the day, neither house passed transformative clean-energy legislation and the governor was not able to forge consensus on energy issues, like he did last year. The Assembly, Senate and the Governor all need to sharpen their pencils if we are ever going to make New York a clean-energy leader.” A solar energy bill that built on the governor’s more modest NY-SUN solar initiative targeted one of four key issues by the League of Conservation Voters and other environmental groups this session. The other priorities were stricter standards for hydrofracking wastewater, boosting the Environmental Protection fund, and a bill that was passed on “sewage right to know,” which requires public notification of high sewage levels in waterways like the Hudson River.
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