A sustainable future is essential to the health and well-being of our communities, and transitioning from a fossil fuel-based economy is essential to mitigate the harmful environmental impacts which disproportionately fall upon communities of color and poor, working class people. Thus, climate and environmental justice must be discussed in conjunction with economic justice, coinciding with high road economic development principles. All of these briefs were drafted by students at the University at Buffalo School of Law. Read more about each of the briefs here and visit their pages on Buffalo Commons:
- Community-Owned Solar Power and Micro Grids
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. The brief shares examples of community-owned solar projects, from PUSH Buffalo's latest project at School 77 to projects in Colorado and Massachusetts. It was drafted by David Yovanoff and edited by Michael Brown, a 2017 Western New York Prosperity Fellow at PPG.
- Electric Buses for the NFTA
This brief discusses many reasons that the NFTA should invest in using electric buses. After explaining the differences in bus technologies, it details numerous environmental, public health, and economic benefits of electric buses. The brief closes with case studies to show how other cities and counties across the world are beginning to use electric buses. It was drafted by Zachary Persichini.
- Farm Fresh Foods: What to Know About Growing and Selling Produce in Buffalo
This fact sheet details local regulations on market and community gardens as well as rules for selling produce. It includes tips to find the right locations to plant food gardens and opportunities for education on growing and selling. It addresses topics such as plant selection and soil safety. The fact sheet also lists many of the organizations and resources leading the way in community gardening and food farming in Buffalo, including Grassroots Gardens, the Massachusetts Avenue Project, the African Heritage Food Co-op, and more. It was drafted by Colleen Roberts.
- Methane Leaks from Natural Gas Pipelines: Solutions for New York
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 fight methane leaks from utility company pipelines. This policy brief was drafted by Jordan Hawkins.