Dear Governor Cuomo:

On behalf of Interfaith Impact of New York State, I commend you for your leadership on environmental justice in the Empire State. The Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act is an important step in making New York “green.”

Interfaith Impact has been advocating such sweeping changes for many years. We have argued from an ethical perspective that the earth is not a mine to be exploited, but a garden to be tended. The environment is both a moral and a religious issue. However, there is much work to be done to achieve the lofty goal of that historic legislative achievement. Specifically, we urge you to consider environmental experts in your two non-agency appointments to the Climate Action Council that is charged with charting a plan to implement the CLCPA.

It is a given that business and industrial groups will weigh in on important decisions as they defend their self-interest. It is also important to take seriously the perspective of those who take a longer view, who understand that environmental justice is our common goal. We need those who understand the delicate balance between environmental integrity and social justice.

Much responsibility and power have been given to the Climate Action Council. It is imperative that appointments to that Commission accurately reflect the desires of New Yorkers for pure air and clean water in an environment that sustains us all.

Thank you for your consideration of this perspective.