Michael Barrett
Executive Director
518-449-3870 (work)
573-355-6030 (cell)

Albany, NY – January 21st, 2020 – In the New York State Executive Budget Proposal released today, Governor Cuomo announced the most aggressive climate change agenda in the Nation, a $33 Billion 5-year plan to combat climate change, preserve the environment, reduce flood risk, improve water quality, and the health of communities. This includes:

  • $3 billion Restore Mother Nature Bond Act
  • $740 million in additional state funding for Resiliency and Environmental Conservation;
  • $28 billion for green energy; and
  • $1.5 billion for carbon-free transportation

“Restore Mother Nature Bond Act” 

This $3 billion bond act is designed to reduce flood risk, create resilient infrastructure and revitalize critical fish and wildlife habitats by connecting streams and waterways, right-sizing culverts and dams, restoring freshwater and tidal wetlands, reclaiming natural floodplains, restocking shellfish populations and upgrading fish hatcheries, preserving open space, conserving more forest areas, replanting more trees, reducing contamination from agricultural and storm water runoff, and expanding renewable energy.

“While Washington remains intent on moving the country backwards on climate action, Governor Cuomo has placed New York as the nation’s leader in protecting its citizens from the harmful effects of global warming, restoring critical infrastructure and open spaces, all while building a sustainable economy of green jobs for the future,” said Michael Barrett, Executive Director of the Adirondack Mountain Club.

Green Energy

The Governor’s climate plan invests $28 billion in green energy through NYSERDA, New York Green Bank, NYPA, and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative to:

  • Develop, support, and expand carbon-free energy production,
  • Build infrastructure such as transmission lines and energy storage that make renewable energy sources viable; and
  • Work with our regional partners in driving down carbon emissions.

“The Governor’s plan also cuts out the red tape in order to approve renewable projects faster, with the State taking the lead in quickly getting green energy sites shovel-ready,” said Michael Barrett, Executive Director of ADK. These green energy investments will help New York meet its goals of generating 70 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030, and zero greenhouse gas emissions from the electricity sector by 2040.

Fracking Ban

ADK applauds Governor Cuomo for his proposal to make the Fracking Ban permanent. The Governor will introduce a bill to permanently ban fracking, protecting the health of New Yorkers and ensuring that the environment and our communities are not harmed by this practice. “Permanently banning fracking is a critical step toward achieving New York’s clean energy economy goals,” said Michael Barrett.

Environmental Protection Fund

The Budget continues the level of the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) at $300 million, to include:

  • $39 million for solid waste programs (up from 37,725,000)
  • $89 million for parks and recreation (up from 88,200,000), to include funds for trail stewardship;
  • $20 million for the climate change mitigation and adaptation program, and
  • $152 million for open space programs (down from 153,425,000).

“ADK is pleased to see an increase in the Parks and Recreation line of the EPF for trail stewardship. ADK believes that empowering stewardship programs with the resources they need is critical to preserving both the wilderness character of wild places and the many opportunities they have to offer.”


Additional Contacts

Benjamin Brosseau
Director of Communications
518-523-3441, ext. 126

Cathy Pedler
Director of Advocacy