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Governor George E. Pataki Receives Honorary Feinstone Environmental Award from SUNY-ESF

2005 Honorary Sol Feinstone Environmental Award
3/31

SYRACUSE, N.Y.—New York Gov. George E. Pataki has been named the recipient of the 2005 Honorary Sol Feinstone Environmental Award by the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF).

Pataki was chosen for the honor because of his dedication to protectingand enhancing New York State's natural resources.

"I am honored to receive this most distinguished Award," Governor Patakisaid. "Sol Feinstone was a great New Yorker with a passion and commitmentto making our world a better place and I'm pleased that SUNY-ESF is carrying on that great tradition. We all have a role to play in protectingour natural environment and I'm proud that our efforts are helping to ensure a cleaner, healthier and more prosperous future for all New Yorkers and for generations to come."

The awards committee will also present Feinstone Environmental Awards to Peggy Shepard, executive director of West Harlem Environmental Action, Inc., and Linda Dickerson Hartsock, executive director of the Cortland County (New York) Business Development Corporation for demonstrating a commitment to improving the natural environment.

Since taking office in 1995, Governor Pataki has made the protection andpreservation of New York's environment one of his highest priorities. TheGovernor's efforts have helped protect more than 900,000 acres of open space, including the protection of more than 257,000 acres of International Paper forestland in the Adirondacks—the largest State land acquisition in New York's history. He has led the way in enacting an aggressive Superfund and Brownfields revitalization program and is recognized as a national leader in the fight for cleaner air, having implemented some of the most stringent acid rain regulations in the country.

The Governor also has made New York a leader in developing renewable energy technologies. In 2001, the Governor directed state agencies to increase their use of renewable energy and has set an ambitious goal of ensuring that 25 percent of the electricity used in New York comes from renewable sources by 2013.

In April 2003, Governor Pataki sent letters to governors from Maine to Maryland inviting them to participate in the historic Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). The goal of the initiative is to take a collaborative approach between North Atlantic states toward curbing carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. The RGGI will develop a flexible, market-based cap and trade program that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions while maintaining energy affordability and reliability.

In addition, Governor Pataki has committed unprecedented resources for theprotection and revitalization of the majestic Hudson River and the State's most critical water bodies, from Long Island Sound to Onondaga Lake to Lake Erie.

"Gov. Pataki's numerous and outstanding accomplishments in thepreservation and protection of our state's natural environment willproduce long term benefits, a legacy to our children and their children," said ESF President Cornelius B. Murphy, Jr.

"Gov. Pataki has demonstrated his leadership through Executive Order 111and the renewable energy portfolio standard," explained Murphy, "He doesnot wait for others to act."

Murphy continued, "Gov. Pataki's efforts to promote renewable energy resources also produce immediate economic and quality-of-life benefits. We now have wind farms producing electricity and more on the way. We are within sight of developing commercial use of biomass, fuel cells, dramatically improved solar energy recovery and the list is growing. Clearly, Gov. Pataki embodies the beliefs, vision and ideals of the lateSol Feinstone."

Feinstone, a widely known historian and author who was a graduate of SUNY-ESF, established the awards program in 1976. His goal was to reward people and organizations that exemplified his belief that the bestinsurance for a free society lay in people's desire to do voluntarily the things that need to be done for the good of all.

The program recognizes leaders who care for the environment, encouragevolunteerism and add to society's understanding of environmental issues and their solutions. The Feinstone program has made more than 100 awards, honoring people from across the United States for their significant contributions to protecting the environment, and promoting the spirit of volunteerism.

Pataki is scheduled to receive the award during a dinner April 1 at the Country Club of Syracuse.

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Release No. 23, March 28, 2005


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