FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 17, 2012
MAYOR BLOOMBERG DISCUSSES NEW STEPS THAT NEW YORK CITY IS TAKING TO CREATE A HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT AND STRONGER ECONOMY IN WEEKLY RADIO ADDRESS
The following is the text of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s weekly radio address as prepared for delivery on 1010 WINS News Radio for Sunday, June 17, 2012.
“Good morning and Happy Father’s Day. This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
“New Yorkers of all ages are pausing today to reflect on the role fathers have in shaping our lives. As a father, I know that we never stop thinking about our children’s health and well-being, or working to make sure they have even greater opportunities than we had. The same is true for city government.
“And this past week, we took major steps create a healthier environment – and a stronger economy – for our children, and all New Yorkers.
“The first step is what we call our Clean Heat initiative. It’s a campaign to help buildings stop burning the heaviest, most polluting grades of fuel oil. The City is requiring a phase out of these fuels, and the reason is simple. While only about 1 percent of the buildings in the city use this heavy grade oil, burning it generates more soot than all the cars and trucks on our streets combined. And that’s a big contributor to serious and sometimes deadly respiratory diseases.
“Heating system conversions cost money – and that’s why last week we launched a $100 million-plus public-private lending program to help building owners find financing. We’re also providing building owners with technical information to help them convert to clean heat. A Clean Heat Task Force has also worked with the private sector, with big results. Hess Corporation, the city’s largest fuel oil supplier, is now offering incentives to customers to switch to cleaner grades of fuel oil. And Con Edison and National Grid are making major upgrades to their natural gas distribution systems to accommodate more customers.
“Working together, our goal is to cut pollution from building heating systems in half by the end of next year; that will save 120 lives and prevent 300 asthma related hospital visits each year. Converting to clean heat will also generate $300 million in construction activity over the next two years and support 1,700 jobs.
“While we’re cleaning the air, we’re also laying the groundwork for economic growth for decades to come. Two great examples are in Queens. After generations of neglect, we are beginning the work of transforming Willets Point, near Citi Field, into a vibrant community, including 2,500 units of housing, retail and entertainment venues, a new hotel, and new recreational spaces. All told, this will bring $3 billion of private investment to Queens, create 12,000 union construction jobs, 7,100 permanent jobs, and generate $4.2 billion in economic activity over the next 30 years.
“And the United States Tennis Association in nearby Flushing is planning a major $500 million expansion that will help bring 10,000 more people to the U.S. Open. The Open already generates $750 million a year for New York’s economy. That supports 6,000 seasonal jobs as well as sports and recreation programs for nearly 75,000 people – most of them kids from our city. Now, the USTA will generate even more job growth. And the expansion will not only bring more people to the Open. Many of them will head over to Willets Point to shop or eat as well.
“Cleaner air, more jobs, and a more vibrant Queens is good news on Father’s Day, or any day. This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Thanks for listening.”
Stu Loeser (212) 788-2958
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