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August 14, 2009

STATE BAR ASSOCIATION COMMENDS GOVERNOR PATERSON FOR ISSUING AN EXECUTIVE ORDER SETTING GOAL TO CUT GREENHOUSE GAS BY 2050

Directive In Line With Recommendation of State Bar's Task Force Report on Global Warming

New York State Bar Association President Michael E. Getnick (Getnick, Livingston, Atkinson & Priore, LLP of Utica and of counsel to Getnick & Getnick of New York City) today commended Governor David A. Paterson for recently signing an executive order that sets a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in New York by 80 percent below 1990 levels by the year 2050.  The administration's directive is in line with a key recommendation of a recent State Bar Task Force on Global Warming report on how to address global climate change.

"The executive order signed by Governor Paterson represents another important step in working to address the effects of climate change caused by greenhouse gas emissions," said President Getnick. "The State Bar, through the excellent work of our Task Force on Global Warming, has been in the vanguard of proposing common-sense solutions to this urgent problem. I am pleased that the Governor has taken action and I look forward to partnering with him in the future to help provide our children and families with a cleaner, more sustainable environment for generations to come."

In April 2009, the State Bar's Task Force on Global Warming issued a report entitled "Taking Action In New York On Climate Change: Report of the New York State Bar Association Task Force on Global Warming" that contained several recommendations that would curb greenhouse gas emissions and reduce the impacts of climate change on the health of our planet with little or no impact on state and local government budgets. The report endorsed a statewide target of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by the same amount as the goal set out in the Governor's Executive Order.

Chaired by Michael B. Gerrard, Esq., professor and director of the Center on Climate Change Law at the Columbia University School of Law, the task force was established by Immediate Past President Bernice K. Leber (Arent Fox LLP) in June 2008 and includes experts from the fields of climate change, law, academia, business and good government advocacy. The Association's House of Delegates adopted the task force's report during their quarterly meeting this April.   The full report can be viewed at http://www.nysba.org/globalwarmingtaskforcereport.

The 76,000-member New York State Bar Association is the official statewide organization of lawyers in New York and the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation. Founded in 1876, State Bar programs and activities have continuously served the public and improved the justice system for more than 130 years.

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