A dangerous bill (The Low Embodied Carbon Concrete Leadership Act (AB2591)) promoting a false solution to our climate crisis is on its way to Governor Hochul’s desk for her signature. Can you please take a minute right now to call the Governor and urge her to veto Assembly Bill A2591A (aka LECCLA)?
Lights Out Norlite has made it easy by providing the number, a simple script and a short form you can use to let them know if you’re able to get through. Here’s what to do:
1. Dial Governor Hochul’s office at 518-474-8390
2. When someone answers or if you’re instructed to leave a voicemail, you can use your own words or the script below:
Hi, my name is _YOUR NAME_ and I’m calling from _YOUR TOWN/CITY_ to urge Governor Hochul to veto Assembly Bill 2591A, the Low Embodied Carbon Concrete Leadership Act.
We acknowledge the urgent need to reduce carbon emissions from concrete. However, this bill is likely to lead to waste incineration by creating incentives for cement plants to burn solid waste as fuel, leading to toxic air emissions. The bill also relies on an advisory group made up of industry insiders to evaluate state environmental policy, and further, the bill doesn’t define “low carbon concrete” or set any low carbon standards for concrete.
Waste-to-fuel schemes undermine waste reduction and recycling efforts in the long run and creat toxic pollution in the process. We urge Governor Hochul to acknowledge this bill is a false climate solution and ask her to veto it right away.
3. Thank the staffer for taking your call.
4. Then please take 5 seconds to fill out the form on the right to let them know how your call went. It is so helpful for them to know what you’re hearing.
Thanks for taking a few minutes out of your busy day to help protect our communities from false climate solution.
Why is this bill a false solution?
This bill promotes “Low Embodied Carbon Concrete” which is akin to the myth of “Clean Coal.” Although the bill does not define “Low Embodied Carbon Concrete” , we know that the cement industry is actively promoting two ways to reduce its carbon emissions.
The cement industry burns waste as a substitute for coal, calling the waste an “alternative fuel”. A recent special report by Reuters titled “Trash and Burn, Big Brands Stoke Cement Kilns with Plastic Waste as Recycling Falters” (https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/environment-plastic-cement/) published on October 28, 2021, provides new details on how consumer goods companies are funding projects to send plastics to be burned at cement kilns as a form of cheap energy. Burning plastics releases harmful air pollution, and according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, “there is no significant climate benefit to be gained from substituting plastic for coal.”
Lafarge has attempted to burn solid waste in the past. Most recently, we were grateful to the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation for denying Lafarge’s request to burn 1 million discarded tires each year right across from a school.
This bill requires the establishment of an industry-dominated advisory committee to assist the Office of General Services with developing standards for the undefined “Low Embodied Carbon Concrete.” The Office of General Services (OGS) would be required to consider bid incentives. Remarkably, OGS is required to expedite product evaluation protocols for these products. It is not clear why this needs to be expedited and, in general, rushing a product evaluation process is not a responsible policy.
The cement industry is the source of 7% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions. Burning plastics and other waste, and relying on carbon capture is not going to solve this problem.
Lehigh Cement in Glens Falls is one of two cement plants in all of NYS. The bill we want vetoed would lead to more air pollution and the burning of plastics in cement plants. If you have any questions, please contact Tracy Frisch at <firstname.lastname@example.org>. She is very familiar with the bill as she wrote a memo against it and was part of a delegation that met with one of the sponsors.