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The Climate Justice Movement in Western New York

Sam Magavern, Lynda Schneekloth — Jul 9, 2019

Although climate change requires an international response and will require national policies and actions, local geographies have to be involved because it that is where the harms are felt.  But how can local and regional areas respond to the climate crisis?  This article offers a story of the emergence of a climate justice movement in Buffalo and Western New York as an example of how one community is addressing climate change and its unequal impacts.

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Community-Owned Solar Power and Micro Grids

David Yovanoff — Aug 1, 2018

This policy brief discusses how community owned solar projects and micro grids offer a sustainable alternative to reliance on the large power grid and polluting fossil fuels. It explains how micro grids work and looks at how they are connected to and can improve standard power grids or macro grids.  

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Methane Leaks from Natural Gas Pipelines: Solutions for New York

Jordan Hawkins — Aug 1, 2018

This brief explores the problems with methane leaks from natural gas pipelines, the obstacles that prevent change, and solutions that have been proposed by New York State and others. While most methane leaks do not pose an immediate threat to safety, they can have serious and sometimes deadly consequences, and methane is a major contributor to climate change. New York has proposed a Methane Reduction Plan. The plan is a good start to combat the issue, but research reveals additional tools to …

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The Public Service Commission Should Deny National Fuel's Request for a Rate Hike

Sarah Wooton — Oct 26, 2016

National Fuel (NF) has requested a rate hike of $41.7 million per year.  The Public Service Commission (PSC) should deny this request because: It will unduly burden low-income customers, who are already struggling to pay their utility bills; NF is a very profitable company, with skyrocketing executive compensation and large dividends; As noted by the PSC’s auditors and other experts, many of NF’s claimed expenses are questionable; and Instead of investing in additional fossil …

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Energy Poverty in Buffalo's West Side: PUSH, National Fuel, and the Fight for Equitable Energy Access

Anthony Hilbert — Jun 16, 2016

Energy poverty, the condition of households that cannot adequately heat their homes, is a chronic problem resulting from low income, high fuel prices, and poorly insulated, energy inefficient houses.  In addition to financial strain, energy poverty causes severe social and health problems for people living in under-heated homes (Boardman 1991; 2013).  Despite its seriousness and pervasiveness, energy poverty has been ignored too often in the US.  Those that suffer through energy …

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Buffalo Niagara at the Crossroads: How State Energy Policies can Lead Western New York to a Green, Prosperous, and Just Future

Anthony Hilbert Mar 16, 2016

Buffalo Niagara stands at a climate crossroads.  Looking down one road, we can see a chance to rebuild impoverished neighborhoods with quality jobs, green affordable housing, community-owned renewable energy, urban farms, and community gardens, building on the highly successful example of the Green Development Zone on the city’s West Side.  Looking down another road, we can see an inequitable region made even more unjust and vulnerable by climate change impacts such as heat …

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Monitoring Pollution in our Communities: The Clean Air Coalition of Western New York

Kathleen Gabel — Oct 30, 2011

The Clean Air Coalition of Western New York (CACWNY) is a community health and advocacy group working to ensure local residents’ right to a healthy environment.  The group organizes media campaigns, provides resources, and designs programs to help reduce pollution in local communities.

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What Climate Change Means for Buffalo

Sam Magavern — Mar 17, 2011

Why should state and local governments respond to a problem with so many national and international ramifications? As we have seen, Buffalo and New York have much to lose from climate change, and much to gain from preventing it.  Moreover, it is clearer than ever that states and localities will have to lead the way.  In the past two years, the Democrats have failed to pass meaningful climate change legislation despite controlling the Presidency, Senate, and House.  The chances …

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NYSERDA: New York State Energy Research and Development Authority

Jenna Piasecki — Oct 3, 2008

There are four regional offices located in Albany, New York City, Buffalo, and West Valley.  The major staff is broken into three subgroups.  Energy Analysis has 21 staff members, most with the title of project manager.  Energy Efficiency Services has 34 staff members at the main office, 5 in New York City, and 1 in Buffalo.  The Residential Efficiency and Affordability Program staffs 29 employees at the main office, 4 in New York City, and 2 in Buffalo.  The Research …

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Methane and Cogeneration Technology: Renewable Energy Opportunities for Erie County Wastewater Treatment Plants

Priscilla Hampton — Nov 27, 2007

This proposal encourages the Erie County Division of Sewerage Management and the Buffalo Sewer Authority (BSA) to explore opportunities to invest in combined heat and power technology at their wastewater treatment facilities.  As energy costs continue to rise, use of methane-fueled CHP systems will become more and more cost-effective.  Furthermore, facilities will increase energy efficiency, utilize renewable biofuels, decrease utility costs over time, and limit our dependence on …

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Weatherization: A Step Towards Green Cities

Rebecca Town — Nov 1, 2007

Home heating is a basic necessity that comes at a very high cost, particularly for residents in the city of Buffalo.  Weatherization is an efficient and affordable method for reducing energy costs by increasing home energy efficiency.  Existing buildings are renovated to increase energy efficiency and decrease energy consumption.  Promotion of weatherization programs provides the City with an essential opportunity to financially empower its most vulnerable residents, who are the …

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