Environmentalists for Tedra Cobb

To the editor:

There are many reasons we endorse Tedra Cobb for Congress in the 21st District. Her strong environmental record is one of them.

Tedra’s life is a model of environmental ethics. As early adopters of solar power, Tedra’s family has had solar panels since 1993. Her husband, Scott Shipley, owns a St. Lawrence County solar and electrical construction business. She understands the vital social and economic roles of energy efficiency and renewable energy in our region.

Tedra has a long history with energy issues. During her eight years serving as a St. Lawrence County legislator, she convened energy stakeholders from across the county to help lower-income residents when heating oil prices soared following Hurricane Katrina. “Tedra got all the energy people together — the oil, gas and wood companies, HVAC installers, weatherization and social services, churches, you name it — she got us all there and marshaled us into action,” according to Ann Heidenreich, former executive director of Community Energy Services.

Tedra understands the economic impacts of storms like Hurricane Sandy ($65 billion) and Hurricane Irene ($16 billion), the impact of warming temperatures on agriculture, forestry and winter tourism, and the connection between rising temperatures and the dramatic increase in tick-borne illnesses like Lyme disease.

Rep. Elise Stefanik has a lifetime League of Conservation Voters record of 19 percent and often makes environmental votes with the caveat, “if it doesn’t impact the economy.” Tedra, by contrast, understands that environmental stewardship is key to a vibrant economy. She recognizes that nationally an additional $36 billion per year (inflation adjusted) is spent on extreme weather today compared to the 1980s. This cost will grow with further inattention, and our local economy, heavily dependent on tourism and agriculture, will be impacted. The environment and economy are indivisible, and we need an advocate who consistently supports both.

When asked about climate change while running for Congress, Stefanik repeated the Republican talking point of the time, “I am not a scientist.” Only after her election did she acknowledge climate change as scientifically based, though her votes often do not reflect this. Tedra knows that climate change is real and requires serious action, that polluters should address pollution costs, that science provides solutions, and that the EPA and environmental protection should be well funded.

As environmentalists, some from organizations or with expertise in the field, we strongly endorse Tedra Cobb for Congress in District 21 in 2018.

Sunita Halasz, MS, ecology, Saranac Lake

Andy Keal, Saranac Lake

Louise Gava, municipal energy consultant, Saratoga Springs

Sander Bonvell, Earth View Environmental, Ballston Spa

Brian Houseal, Westport

Katherine Houseal, Westport

Dr. Jan DeWaters, P.E., Potsdam

Dr. Stephen Bird, Potsdam

James Allott, Potsdam

Dr. Stefan Grimberg, P.E., Potsdam

Dr. Erik Bollt, Potsdam

Terry de la Vega, Potsdam

Dr. Heather Sullivan-Catlin, Potsdam

Elizabeth Bollt, Potsdam

Thomas Ortmeyer, Potsdam

Pat Mustakangas, Canton

Emlyn Crocker, BS, conservation biology, Canton

Mary Ellen Carvel, Canton

Carol Smith Pynchon, Canton

John Casserly, Canton

Nan Clingman, Canton

John Dietrich, Canton

Anne Vinyard, Canton

Peter Beekman, Canton

Charles Carvel, Canton

Brien Hallahan, village superintendent, Canton

Klaus Proemm, Canton

Barbara Beekman, Canton

Helen Hutchinson, Pierrepont

Tom VandeWater, Pierrepont

Roger Hutchinson, Pierrepont

Betsy Kepes, Pierrepont

Ginger Storey-Welch, Pierrepont

Julie Rapczynski, Colton

Rebecca Allen, Colton

Andrea Malik, Colton

Ann Heidenreich, Hermon

Carol Simpson, Stockholm

Anna Campbell, Madrid