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Lissa Harris

Lissa Harris is a staff writer at The River and a volunteer firefighter. She was the founding editor of the Watershed Post, a site that covered local news in the rural Catskills from 2010 to 2017.

A Green Firehouse for New Paltz, Despite the Odds

New Paltz's all-electric, solar-powered firehouse is one small step for a Hudson Valley community, one giant leap for New York's millions of dirty buildings.

Environment

Climate World Fractures Over an Extension Cord to Canada

State regulators just voted to greenlight a project that will cut New York City’s power emissions in half. But local environmentalists aren’t celebrating.

Environment

New York’s First-in-Nation Gas Ban ‘Officially Dead’—For Now

A proposal to ban fossil fuel heating in new buildings, touted by Governor Hochul, has been dropped during final budget negotiations.

Environment

The Future of Work Is Green

Climate action and the clean energy transition will bring a wave of new jobs to New York. Is the Hudson Valley workforce ready for them?

Economy

Hudson Valley Left Out of New York Climate Hearings

As a region, the Hudson Valley has more than its fair share of communities on the front lines of climate impact. Will their voices be heard on New York’s climate plan?

Environment

New York’s Heat Pump Program Is Drying Up

A new program is successfully helping New York homeowners wean their homes off fossil fuels. So why is it being scaled back?

Environment

The Little Schooner That Might

Sail freight is desperately romantic. True believers think it could help solve the climate crisis. Is it a real solution?

Environment

Is This the Moment for Passive House Design in New York?

How an idealistic, 70s-era building trend may help the state transition away from fossil fuels.

Environment

New York’s Climate Action Wish List

State lawmakers are weighing a slew of climate-related bills in 2022. Here’s what climate advocates are pushing for.

Environment

Overwhelmed by Omicron: Stories from the Pandemic’s Third Wave

We talked to people around the Hudson Valley and Catskills about their experiences with the latest COVID-19 surge.

Coronavirus

Hochul’s Budget Charts a Middle Path on Climate

The $216 billion budget would ban gas in new construction, but otherwise offers few dramatic moves on climate. Advocates say it’s not enough.

Environment

Leading the Flock

New York State is poised for an agrivoltaics revolution. But to get there, we’re going to need a lot of collaboration between agriculture and energy—and a lot more sheep.

Environment

New York’s COVID Plan for Surviving January

Omicron has a lot of new tricks up its sleeve. New York is mostly betting that the old moves will work.

Coronavirus

How to Weather Omicron: A Local Guide

Cases are poised to eclipse records, but there’s more to the picture. Here’s our local, practical guide to the variant that’s changing everything.

Coronavirus

Failure of Build Back Better Casts Uncertainty over New York’s Climate Plans

Without significant federal funding, states are on their own to decarbonize their economies.

Environment

Climate Health Is Human Health

Making big progress on climate action will give us all longer and healthier lives—even if we don’t stop global warming.

Environment

In a World of Vague Climate Targets, New York Has a Plan—Almost

While Congress dithers on climate, New York is laying plans for “deep decarbonization” of the state’s $2 trillion annual economy.

Environment

Defeated With Prop 1: A Fix for New York’s Prisoner Counting Problem

The defeat of the Redistricting Changes Amendment keeps prison gerrymandering in place for the state’s Congressional maps.

Politics

Community Choice Aggregation Programs Flex Their Power

CCAs are confusing, acronym-laden, and embroiled in municipal government minutiae. They also might be the key to unlocking the power of local clean energy.

Environment

In Climate Week Actions, Hochul Shows Signs of Getting Real

New initiatives announced this week show promise that state leadership is getting serious about addressing the climate crisis. But the biggest actions are still down the road.

Environment
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