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New York Mayors Support Regional Power Plant Initiative

By Mark Scott

Buffalo, NY – More than 20 mayor and town supervisors in New York have signed a letter in support of an initiative to reduce pollution from power plants.

Nine states from New York to Maine are working on a plan that would provide a regional limit for power plant emissions. The letter signed by the mayors, including Buffalo's Anthony Masiello, supports the work of the various state governments to finalize an agreement.

Environmentalists say the timing is right. While there's no clear evidence that global warming is a factor in the severity of recent hurricanes, Christine Vanderlan of the group Environmental Advocates says those bright red radar images of giant storms filling the Gulf of Mexico have people paying attention.

"We know that a warmer planet and warmer ocean temperatures increase the amount of energy that these storms can take on," Vanderlan said. "It's the kind of thing that has a lot of people taking a second look at what global warming might mean for the Northeast."

Under the multistate plan now being considered, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative would freeze carbon dioxide pollution at current levels through 2015, then require a ten-percent reduction by 2020.

Leaders from New York and other Northeast states are scheduled to meet in Rhode Island this week to sign the first-in-the-nation agreement.