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Long Island Congressional Candidates Discuss Environmental Plans At Forum

Norbert Pietsch from Pixabay

Long Island environmental groups held virtual forums for this year’s candidates for Congress.

Both Republican Andrew Garbarino and Democrat Jackie Gordon, who are vying to represent New York's Second Congressional District, said they want to protect the environment, but neither made definitive proposals.

Garbarino opposes offshore oil drilling near Long Island, and praises natural gas.

“Gas is a fossil fuel, but it also produces CO2 emissions at half of what coal and oil do. So you’re not going to produce our energy on renewables alone,” Garbarino said.

Gordon advocates for reentering the Paris Climate Accord and vowed not to take campaign donations from corporations. Both candidates say they support offshore wind.

A difference emerging in the First Congressional District race between incumbent Republican Lee Zeldin and chemistry professor Nancy Goroff, a Democrat, is offshore wind.

Goroff said she wants offshore wind as soon as possible. Zeldin said he wants to include voices from supporters of offshore and critics.

“It could be a concern from the fisherman or maybe you live where the energy might be getting landed onto Long Island. It’s important for everyone to have a voice and a seat at the table,” Zeldin said.

Goroff told the environmental groups that she advocated for the U.S. to reenter the Paris agreement on climate change. Last year Zeldin voted to allow President Trump to withdraw from the accord.

Goroff also said she wanted the U.S. to become carbon neutral by 2035. Zeldin said he wants to wean companies off fossil fuels by offering tax incentives.

Charles is senior reporter focusing on special projects. He has won numerous awards including an IRE award, three SPJ Public Service Awards, and a National Murrow. He was also a finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists and Third Coast Director’s Choice Award.