Wait, what’s wrong with the issue of high gas prices – Streetsblog New York City
You may have noticed in yesterday’s headlines how we questioned Senator Chuck Schumer’s loyalty to motorists, with his comment on Sunday that President Biden should take federal action to lower the price of the car. gasoline so that New Yorkers can continue to use oil at the levels and expenses to which they have become accustomed.
Schumer’s call to release oil from the country’s strategic reserve came about a week after 11 Democratic senators (mostly from states that currently have cold climates, but not for long) sent a letter to Biden asking for the same. thing.
Like these self-proclaimed Democrats, Schumer also said that after the near-term drop in fuel costs, America may start to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels again – something we have never done before.
On Monday, our old editor decided to ask Mayor de Blasio – who has long spoken about the need to reduce car use by New Yorkers, has long described how excessive driving leads to increased violence. road, and who also spoke about how a new congestion toll will reduce cars in Manhattan – if he’s prepared to take on the Senior Senator and seek to keep gasoline prices high to discourage driving.
Here’s what we asked for:
Over the weekend, the senator said President Biden should release fuel from the strategic reserve because gas prices are so high. And he said that after this short-term reduction in fuel prices, America could then restart its efforts to reduce the use of fossil fuels. But aren’t high fuel prices a key part of America’s efforts to move away from fossil fuels? Do you support Senator Schumer’s call for federal efforts to reduce the price of fuel, the cost of which is rising in part because of the extremely large vehicles that Americans choose to buy in greater numbers and then turn around and complain about the high fuel costs?
Here is the mayor’s response:
I recognized you were asking a big, thoughtful question, but I see it a little differently from the way you phrase it. I’m on the side of saying that we have to over time – not much time – over time break our dependence on fossil fuels in a very drastic way. But I also want to respect the fact that ordinary workers in this city and this country are suffering right now. They are suffering from all the effects of COVID, they are suffering from inflation. I think Senator Schumer is right about what we need to do now to help people get through. I hear your biggest point. I really do. And in the future, we must find the right way to help people move away from fossil fuels. But I don’t put it in the context of this immediate question, when people come out of COVID and simultaneously face the challenge of inflation.
As the record shows, Mayor de Blasio is on the side of delaying our response to climate change, which just last month, he said, “poses an existential threat to New York City, and we must do everything in our power to confront this crisis head-on. “(He then flew to Washington, DC to witness as President” Amtrak “Joe Biden signed off on the infrastructure bill. $ 1.2 trillion – optical, Mr. Mayor, optical! Take a train next time.)
It’s also important to remember that in New York City, high fuel prices primarily affect the 22% of workers who commute to work in their own cars (at least according to pre-pandemic census figures). The vast majority, 73.3%, took public transport, walked, cycled or worked from home. And it’s also important to remember that America has been buying SUVs for years now – and now this particular chicken has come home to roost. (It should be noted that Schumer’s offer to cut fuel costs would primarily help Republicans who don’t seem to care about the ramifications of their waste; according to market analysis firm, Strategic Vision, consumers who do identify as Republicans buy eight pickup trucks for They also buy about twice as many SUVs as their blue counterparts, giving them a 55% share of the overall SUV market, although only 25% of Americans identify as members of the GOP.)
We weren’t the only ones who thought Mayor de Blasio and Chuck Schumer had sniffed too many gas fumes lately. After hearing these comments, we reached out to responsible people and found out that our old man was in fact on Something:
“You are 100% right,” said Beth Osborne of the progressive group, Transportation for America. “Rising fuel prices should be the real reason for a major effort to curb gas dependency. Why would this high cost burden be a reason to take a break, forcing people to just face it? We need to help people get off this roller coaster as soon as possible. “
And Noa Banayan, People for Bikes Director of Federal Affairs, added that the high cost of fuel should prompt federal officials (calling you, Senator Schumer) to push for the purchase of vehicles that do not waste fuel and do not waste fuel. do not clutter the roads.
“To combat the climate crisis and improve mobility, the federal government must invest in low-cost, emission-free active transportation infrastructure and incentives for all Americans,” she said. “The Build Back Better Act includes billions of dollars in funding for climate and equity-focused infrastructure, an e-bike tax credit and benefits for commuters for commuting to work by bike. If Senator Schumer’s goal is to keep Americans on the move and support low costs of personal mobility, then we urge him and his colleagues to send the package to the President’s office before the end of the year. .
And Julie Tighe, president of the New York League of Conservation Voters, added: “There is no doubt that fossil fuels are bad for the environment and extremely volatile economically. We must prioritize clean fuels and electric options for cars and trucks, as well as reliable and convenient alternatives to public transport and micromobility. These are not only environmental issues, but also kitchen table issues. “
So maybe we were on to something.
In other news:
- The big story yesterday was Governor Hochul’s announcement that the MTA would freeze tariffs, thanks to this aforementioned federal infrastructure package. (NYDN, NY Post, NY Times, amNY, Gothamist)
- Permanent – and regulated! – meals in the open air in the public space at the edge of the street have progressed with the approval of the Planning Commission. The zoning plan is submitted to the next city council (NY Post). Meanwhile, the Times gave its big talk on the ‘problem’, which included this buried treasure: ‘City planners say they will look to cities like Barcelona as a model to create larger-scale pedestrian-only blocks. in the neighborhoods. (They will ?!) That said, why doesn’t The Times reflexively see that the curb space isn’t automatically intended for parking?
- Beautiful reference “Hamilton” in the title of the statue of Jefferson, NY Post!
- PATH becomes OMNY like the MTA. (NYDN, amNY)
- you must
wondersubmit it to the New York Times. On the day the infrastructure bill was passed, every reporter in town (even the old man from Streetsblog… twice!) Posted about what it would mean for projects in our area. Finally, a week later, a team of Times reporters published their roundup… which added little to the discussion.
- Please don’t run over the cops with your Mercedes (or any car). (New York Post)
- Please remove the FDR drive under the Brooklyn Bridge. Please. (The city)
- Writing in amNY, Streetsblog friend Sophie Maerowitz wants more Citi bikes in the East Village now. (We covered the shortage last week.)
- And, finally, Streetsblog’s friend and future poet laureate Alex Beers was in Green-Wood Cemetery the other day and noticed that someone fully declared the Mets dead: