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Barkan Says: Stop Overdevelopment of Southern Brooklyn’s Flood-Prone Waterfronts

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BAY RIDGE – Ross Barkan, an award-winning journalist who is running to unseat State Senator Marty Golden (R, District 22) feels strongly about the environment.

“Climate change and future flooding represent an existential threat to Southern Brooklyn — but Marty Golden has just not taken these issues seriously,” said Barkan. “We must act now to cut carbon emissions, divest from fossil fuels and ensure our communities are protected from future storms. Our homes, our businesses and our lives are at stake.”

He believes that Golden, who has blocked efforts to cut carbon emissions, has failed to work to combat climate change and put our city and state on a more sustainable path forward.

Southern Brooklyn is hardly more resilient than it was when Hurricane Sandy struck five years ago, as we and others have reported extensively. We live on an island and must act now to protect our communities ourselves. Barkan knows it – he’s from Bay Ridge.

Barkan is making climate change and flood resiliency a major focus of his campaign, along with transportation. His plan, released this morning, includes pledges to fight for a new Southern Brooklyn storm barrier, stop overdevelopment of our waterfronts, promote policies that cut carbon emissions and demand divestment from fossil fuels.

  • Get State Funding For Southern Brooklyn Storm Barrier

Get state funding to facilitate building the Storm Barrier – the only way to protect much of Southern Brooklyn from another devastating storm surge. The Storm Barrier is expensive and will require Army Corps of engineers to build it. The federal government estimates it will cost $3.8 billion, and is yet to start work on it – New York State can help.

  • Develop Our Waterfronts Responsibly

Push the city to enact smarter zoning rules that limit new housing development in Flood Zones 1 and 2. “Thanks to tax breaks doled out by State Senate Republicans and landlord-friendly Democrats,” Barkan says, “real estate developers are throwing up luxury condos in areas, like Sheepshead Bay, that are prone to flooding.”

  • Demand Divestment from Fossil Fuels

“The only way to create an economy driven by clean, renewable energy is to move away from the use of fossil fuels as quickly as possible.”

  • Pass the New York Climate and Community Protection Act

This legislation would force the state to develop a real climate action plan and create regulations that limit greenhouse gases, and mandate that half of the electricity consumed in New York State come from renewable sources by 2030. It has been blocked repeatedly by the Republican-controlled State Senate.

  • Support a New York Carbon Tax

“If New York is to serve as a model for the nation, we must put a price on carbon emissions and enact a carbon tax,” Barkan believes.”This is one of the most effective ways – and one of the only ways – to substantially reduce near and long-term carbon emissions.”

More in-depth platform here.

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