- New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is preparing new laws requiring electric and gas utilities to secure their critical services from climate change impacts.
- The proposed laws would require utilities to assess their systems’ vulnerability and to document for public review and comment how they intend to address the risks.
- While the 2014 National Climate Assessment, just released by the Obama administration, documents the already occurring impacts of climate change, New Yorkers who lived through Superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Irene understand that the impacts of those storms are the basis of AG's proposed new laws.
This initiative from New York’s AG typifies rising awareness of the new normal in which climate change mitigation is as important as or perhaps even more important than climate change prevention.
Climate change impacts are expected to worsen in the coming years and states like New York with major population centers and important power generation resources located on or near the coast are vulnerable to the expected severe and frequent storms and rising sea levels.
“The Northeast has experienced a greater recent increase in extreme precipitation than any other region in the United States; between 1958 and 2010, the Northeast saw more than a 70% increase in the amount of precipitation falling in very heavy events (defined as the heaviest 1% of all daily events),” according to the Obama administration’s 2014 National Climate Assessment.