Groups Slam Rep. D’Esposito’s Environmental Record at Earth Day Rally

Pro-fossil fuel Rep. D'Esposito has blocked wind energy development on Long Island and refused to support safe water legislation

Published Apr 22, 2024


Climate and Energy

Pro-fossil fuel Rep. D'Esposito has blocked wind energy development on Long Island and refused to support safe water legislation

Pro-fossil fuel Rep. D'Esposito has blocked wind energy development on Long Island and refused to support safe water legislation

Garden City, NY — Today, a large coalition of environmental, community, and progressive groups held an Earth Day rally in Garden City to expose Rep. Anthony D’Esposito’s disastrous record on climate and safe water. Groups slammed the first-term Congressman for his voting record and positions on fossil fuels, offshore wind, and clean water legislation.

Food & Water Watch Senior New York Organizer Eric Weltman said:

“While his constituents confront rising sea levels, worsening beach erosion, skyrocketing energy bills, and dangerously contaminated drinking water, Rep. D’Esposito is making the problem worse. D’Esposito champions bills that will raise energy bills, pollute our air and water, and wreck the climate. This Earth Day, we call on D’Esposito to listen to New Yorkers, and side with people, not polluters.”

Advocates criticized Rep. D’Esposito’s voting record on the following issues:

  • Pro-Fossil Fuels: Rep. D’Esposito consistently votes for fossil fuel production and against legislation to bring climate resiliency and clean energy funds to Long island, most recently voting to protect fracking and fossil fuel production (H.R. 1121), boost fossil fuel company profits (H.R. 6009), and gut clean energy financing (H.R. 1023) as part of House Republicans’ Energy Week.
  • Anti-Clean Energy: Rep. D’Esposito has repeatedly advocated against wind power development off Long Island, including introducing a moratorium on wind turbine construction in 2023.
  • Clean Water Programs: Despite the high rates of PFAS contamination in his district, which could cost customers $1.5 billion, Rep. D’Esposito refuses to support the WATER Act, which would fully fund public water infrastructure upgrades needed to keep water safe, or the PFAS Action Act, which would address contamination by these dangerous substances. The EPA has said there is no safe level of PFOA and PFOS contamination in drinking water, as they are likely carcinogens. PFAS contamination can also increase the risk of Type 2 diabetes, cause reproductive harm and developmental delays, and more.

“This Earth Day, it’s time for Congressman D’Esposito to stand up for what is truly right for Long Island. Stand up for a future where we can breathe clean air, drink clean water, and where every family can afford to build a home that won’t be swept out to sea,” said Joe Sackman, Chief of Staff, Long Island Progressive Coalition.

“Representative D’Esposito’s cozy relationship with big oil not only poisons our environment but also our democracy. His complicity in allowing misinformation campaigns funded by fossil fuel lobbyists to run rampant in our communities is disgraceful. It’s time to stop selling out our future for corporate gain and start standing up for what truly matters: our planet and our youth’s future,” said Joseph Naham, Secretary of Green Party of Nassau County.

“Representative D’Esposito has a responsibility to advocate for his constituents and fight for legislation that will improve our lives. So far, he’s neglected that duty,” said Dylan Wheeler, NY-04 Regional Organizing Director for Empire State Voices. “He’s chosen to protect the interests of fossil fuel companies rather than fighting to invest in the future of Long Island families. Corporate polluters have made our communities their playground, and the people of Long Island deserve a representative who puts them first.”

“It is absurd that D’Esposito and other electeds cling to fossil fuels and the hydrocarbon science of the past while denying that climate change even exists. It’s not only bad environmental policy but bad economic policy. The price of oil still dominates our economy — when the price of oil goes up, so does inflation. Indeed, the current inflation is a direct result of high oil prices. Moving toward clean energy saves our planet and creates high paying jobs in modern industries, while improving our economy and ridding us of the shackles of dependency on fossil fuels. D’Esposito needs to stop cuddling up with polluters and oil barons, get us off our dependence on fossil fuels, protect our environment, create jobs and grow our economy,” said Dave Denenberg of LI Clean Air Water & Soil.

“While last year brought us orange skies in New York, wildfires on tropical islands, hurricanes in deserts, flooding in Vermont, dead coral reefs off of Florida and 10 million people dying from record extreme heat, D’Esposito blocked every effort to reduce our carbon footprint as if climate change is some abstract future theory. Climate change is impacting us now. If nothing is done today, tomorrow will see our south shore communities underwater,” said Claudia Borecky of the Bellmore Merrick Democratic Club.

“The Long Island Group of the Sierra Club supports developing more green energy on Long Island, including solar and wind, as a means to combat climate change and environmental degradation. Congressman D’Esposito is a co-chair of the congressional offshore wind caucus but he espouses the false talking points of the fossil fuel industry. We’re here today, on the 54th anniversary of the first Earth Day, to ask for his support for alternatives to gas, oil and coal so that the planet will be cleaner and safer for the next generations,” said Jill Weber of the Sierra Club Long Island Group.

“Getting off oil and gas to go to clean energy is a lot of work. It will also save us money on utility bills because oil and gas are too expensive and the sun and wind are free. D’Esposito, it shouldn’t take rocket science to do the right thing,” said Tina Shuford of New York Communities for Change.

“Our south shore towns saw the far reaching effects of superstorm Sandy caused by climate change,” said George Povall, Executive Director of All Our Energy. “Congressman D’Esposito, be a hero for offshore wind, something that will benefit your constituents long into the future, instead of locking us in the past with fossil fuels. That’s the choice. Choose wisely.”

The event was co-sponsored by Food & Water Watch, New York Communities for Change, the Long Island Progressive Coalition, the Working Families Party of Nassau County, All Our Energy, the Green Party of Nassau County, LI Clean Air Water & Soil, the Bellmore Merrick Democratic Club, Empire State Voices, Sierra Club Long Island Group, Climate Reality Project Long Island, Baldwin Democrats, and Turn Nassau Blue.

A recording of the rally is available here.

Press Contact: Phoebe Galt [email protected]