New Yorkers will have a say this election season on the course the state takes in environmental policy.
On Nov. 2, New Yorkers will vote on five proposed changes to the state Constitution. One of these, Proposition 2, would amend the Constitution to include these seemingly innocuous words: “Each person shall have a right to clean air and water, and a healthful environment.”
On its face, the proposal seems straightforward and appealing. Who could be against clean air and water? With backing from a host of environmental organizations, including the Nature Conservancy and the Natural Resources Defense Council, as well as putative good-government groups such as the League of Women Voters, the amendment is expected to pass decisively. But beneath its innocent veneer, the amendment could upend environmental law in the state.
James B. Meigs is cohost of the How Do We Fix It? podcast and the former editor of Popular Mechanics. Adapted from City Journal.
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