Northern New York: The Environment is Our Economy

Small businesses are the building blocks of Northern New York’s economy. Many of these businesses–from ski resorts to maple farms–are dependent on environmental and cultural tourism. And the environment of Northern New York attracts companies like Curren Renewable Energy, New York Air Brakes, Swarosvki Lighting, Global Foundries and their well-paying jobs to the region. For NY21 residents, the environment is not only a place for us to enjoy natural beauty and recreation; it is the very basis of our livelihoods.

Environmental damage from lacking protections and poorly funded enforcement of legislation, as well as the impacts of climate change, are real threats to our region and the nation. Tedra Cobb is committed to protecting the environment, so that NY21 maintains one of the largest economic drivers in the region.

Economic Implications

The economy and environment are indivisible in New York’s Congressional District 21. Tedra understands the implications of climate change on our winter tourism sector and the new healthcare costs and threats from tick-borne Lyme disease. She sees the tremendous potential in green energy from our region, but also the need for local control. She knows the costs of a changing climate as evidenced by the $16 billion damages from Hurricane Irene and its direct impact on farmers in the Champlain Valley. And Tedra knows ignoring climate change will subject our country to increasingly extreme and costly weather events in the future with the unprecedented storm in Houston in late summer 2017 as just one example. In recent years, the United States spent an average of $48 billion a year on extreme weather compared to $12 billion annually in the early 1980s (all in today’s dollars). Tedra’s policies will take into account and address these economic costs.

According to the League of Conservation Voters, our current NY21 Congresswoman has a lifetime conservation score of 19%. She claims to care for the environment, but only if it doesn’t negatively impact the economy; she does not recognize the tremendous present and future economic costs of hurting our environment now. Recent votes reflect her willingness to hide the effects of toxic chemicals on farmers block protections for clean water, attack the Clean Air Act, and remove critical forest safeguards.

Unlike her opponent, Tedra supports the wise use of resources to promote economic activity both today and in the future.

National Security Implications

In addition to local economic impacts, environmental and climate issues are a threat to national security. A 2014 Pentagon report refers to climate change as a “threat multiplier.” Tedra is committed to protecting citizens from additional costs associated with climate change, particularly defense spending. Soldiers from Fort Drum and across the country will be charged with the difficult missions associated with global instability and terrorism fomented by further droughts and flooding, food insecurity, and subsequent unrest against unstable governments. She supports the military’s concerns for future “unimaginable” refugee crises as people flee these conditions.

Bringing Values to Washington, DC

Tedra will protect our way of life using all the tools available:

  • Tedra will defend the EPA’s independence and mission from special interest interference.
  • Tedra will support the provision of adequate resources for the EPA and other government agencies responsible for studying the environment and enforcing environmental protections.
  • Tedra will respect scientists and believes their work should be independent and inform government policy.
  • Tedra will value the role of a green energy economy to get people back to work in Northern New York.

The environment is not a luxury for the farmers, families, and small businesses that depend on it for a living. The historic relationship between Northern New York’s residents and their natural world must be protected from the instant gratification of over-development, pollution, and neglect. Tedra can be entrusted with protecting that legacy.

*The total cost (in today’s dollars) of extreme weather for the first five years of each decade was tallied and averaged from the NOAA website, revealing a steadily rising trend for each decade since the 1980s.

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