ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — "Sex and the City" star and Democratic candidate for New York governor Cynthia Nixon joined hundreds of environmentalists Monday for a march and rally protesting incumbent Andrew Cuomo's climate change policies.
Nixon chatted with demonstrators outside a state-owned power facility in downtown Albany before walking a few blocks in sunny, 60-degree weather for a rally held in a park next to the state Capitol.
Before setting off, Nixon said Cuomo hasn't done enough to develop renewable energy industries in New York state despite being in office for more than seven years.
"We can be in a growth industry," said Nixon, who's challenging the two-term incumbent in the Democratic primary. "At a time when Donald Trump has pulled out of the Paris accords, we can lead not only for our own state, but we can show the nation how to lead in renewable energy."
Last week Nixon released a plan for addressing climate change that includes transitioning to 100 percent renewable energy in the state by 2050 and rejecting all new fossil fuel infrastructure, such as pipelines. She said Cuomo's energy plan released on Friday was "rehashed" and doesn't differ much from his previous plan.
Cuomo said his plan will advance the state toward its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2030. Another of his initiatives will enable the state to generate 50 percent of its electricity through renewable energy sources by that same year, the governor said.
Cuomo has used billions in state dollars to keep aging upstate nuclear plants open, something he said was important for reaching clean energy goals. Nixon called for letting those plants close and transitioning the workers to jobs in the renewable energy industry.
"Nuclear power is not a bridge to a clean energy economy," she said. "We need to start putting our energy dollars into renewables such as wind and solar."
Cuomo's campaign defended his record on protecting the environment and devising ways to combat climate change, saying he led the effort to ban fracking in New York and fought for regulations reducing carbon emissions.
"We welcome anyone to this critical effort as we work to protect our environment for future generations and create a cleaner, greener New York," campaign spokeswoman Abbey Fashouer said.