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Event Report

Step It Up--Who's a Leader? Where We Keep the Pipe of Peace

Ithaca, NY

November 3, 2007

Watch A Slideshow of Pictures From This Event Add Your Report of the Event Share/Save this Report See All Event Reports

The following politician(s) sent a representative/statement of support for this event:
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Rep. Maurice Hinchey

Rep. Michael Arcuri

For full size pictures click on any picture below.

By:Krys Cail

We had speakers-- elected leaders, nonprofit org representatives and youth voices-- plus displays, educational materials, volleyball, and nature walks. We heard statements presented by representatives of both of our local-area Congressmen, Maurice Hinchey and Michael Arcuri. NYS Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton also spoke, and Mayor of Ithaca Carolyn Peterson, along with several Town Supervisors, City Alderpeople, County Legislators and Town Council Members.

Some of the event attendees posed for this photo, with green fingers pointing to the 1 sky.

By:Krys Cail

Here is another press report, and some photos.

Cool banner, no?
This tree is the oldest Black Oak in Tompkins County... and it is along the nature trail in Tutelo Park.
People really got the chance to talk with one another at some points in the event-- good networking!
There was some real enthusiasm for the "1 sky" thinking.
Most of our elected leaders-- who were speakers-- did not pose in the group photo. Ithaca Mayor Caroline Peterson did though-- she is second from the left, sitting.

By:Krys Cail

Here is the statement that was read from Congressman Michael Arcuri:

U.S. Rep. Michael A. Arcuri (NY-24)
Step It Up 2007
Ithaca and Cortland, New York
Saturday, November 3, 2007

Friends, unfortunately previous engagements prevent me from joining you in person today. I want to thank each of you for your work organizing citizens to speak out on important issues facing our nation. Citizen’s groups are crucial to maintaining our democracy. I would especially like to thank all the members of Step It Up for their dedication to protecting the environment. By gathering here today, you are showing your commitment to making our community, our state, our country and our planet a safer, stronger and cleaner place to live.

We only have one Earth, and our children’s future depends on how well we preserve and protect it. My position on global warming is clear – it’s real, it’s happening, and we need to do something about it. For far too long, global warming and investments in alternative energy have only been viewed as long-term issues. That type of thinking neglects the tangible short-term benefits to investing now in alternative energy and cutting greenhouse gas emissions. The potential economic impact, right here in Upstate New York, from investment in alternative energy is very real. I am proud to talk to you today about the concrete steps this Congress has taken to invest in an alternative energy future that will grow our economy, enhance our national security, and leave our air and water clean for generations to come.

As your elected federal representative in Congress, I am accountable for not only my words, but my actions too. Since taking office, I have maintained my commitment to addressing global warming and truly investing in alternative energy sources.

Earlier this year, I gathered business leaders, scientific experts, and citizens together to begin a process to make Upstate New York a major alternative energy center. In February, I held an alternative energy roundtable in Lansing with area experts and community members to collect local ideas on alternative and renewable energy programs that would benefit Upstate New York both economically and environmentally.

In Washington, I have voted for and supported legislation specifically designed to increase the research, production, and implementation of alternative energy sources.

Within the first 100 hours of my first term in Congress, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the CLEAN Energy Act of 2007, which would repeal $14 billion in subsidies given to big oil and gas companies and invest those funds in clean, renewable energy research and development. The U.S House of Representatives also passed the Advanced Fuels Infrastructure Research and Development Act (H.R. 547) to make alternative fuels like cellulosic ethanol more affordable and accessible. I have also co-sponsored the Safe Climate Act (H.R. 1590), which would freeze greenhouse gas emissions in 2010 and gradually reduce emissions to 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. Scientists tell us that these targets will keep global temperatures below the danger point.

In August, the House passed the New Direction for Energy Independence, National Security, and Consumer Protection Act (H.R. 3221), to create national initiatives for alternative energy production and increased energy efficiency. I also supported an amendment, which was added to H.R. 3221, to establish a national renewable portfolio standard, requiring retail sellers of electricity to get at least 15 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2020. Adopting rigorous standards such as these is necessary if we are to find new and alternative ways to heat our homes, generate electricity and move away from polluting power plants.

This Congress has already passed legislation lowering energy costs for consumers by more than $300 billion through 2030, with landmark efficiency reforms for homes, appliances, and industry. We have created tax incentives for Hybrids, not Hummers, and taken steps to reduce dangerous heat-trapping gases that contribute to global warming, require the federal government to become carbon-neutral by 2050, and the Capitol to be carbon-neutral by the end of 2008.

Closer to home, I am proud to represent an area of the country that is truly ahead of the curve in private development and use of alternative energies like wind and solar power. Access to biofuel sources, our local scientific and technological community, and proximity to major metropolitan centers make Upstate perfectly poised to become a leader in alternative energy. I have worked in Washington for innovative government partnerships to create “green” jobs right where we need them by supporting legislation to invest in worker training programs and development programs to transition local workers to a new “green collar” economy.

Alternative energy production projects, like the biodesel fuel plant in Cortland County and the soon-to-be-built cellulosic ethanol plant in Rome, benefit the environment and provide a boost to the local economy. Construction and the daily workings of plants such as these create jobs and strengthen economic development - at the same time making our air and water cleaner for the next generation and reducing our dependence on foreign oil. There are many other examples of local companies, many in partnership with our outstanding colleges and Universities, who are turning our region into a national leader in alternative energy technology.

If we are to achieve wide-scale use of cellulosic ethanol, we have to provide additional opportunities to industry and agricultural producers to enable them to participate in this new biofuels industry. This is why I voted for the fiscal year 2008 Energy and Water Appropriations bill and fought to include $251 million for the Biomass and Biorefinery Systems Research and Development program and $7 billion for the Innovative Technology Loan Guarantee Program to help facilitate the construction of facilities to produce cellulosic ethanol from biomass. It is also why I support an expanded Renewable Fuels Standard in the energy bill that will foster the continued development of cellulosic ethanol production.

These initiatives would allow for the construction of additional cellulosic ethanol and biofuels production facilities throughout Upstate New York and the entire nation. While this is good for the Upstate economy, it also insures that our grandchildren can experience the amazing natural beauty we are so lucky to have up here in Update New York.

In closing, I would like to commend you again for your efforts to bring people together and shape the national dialogue about global warming and investment in a new energy future. Thank you all for your dedication and action. You are literally standing up for what you believe in. I encourage you to continue to educate your neighbors, friends and family so that together we can all work toward this common goal. In Washington, Congressman Hinchey and I will do our part and work with colleagues from both sides of the aisle to move forward towards a new energy future.

By:Krys Cail

Another local blog has a report on the event...

By:Tony Ingraham

Organizer Krys Cail has probably submitted this information already. I am attaching video showing words from staff representing Congressmen Michael Arcuri and Maurice Hinchey, as well as scenes of the banner and crowd. I assume Krys has submitted still photos.

Step It Up Ithaca - News from Congress