Ed Romaine's credentials as an effective environmentalist are well-established. As a legislator and executive, he has sponsored and put into place legislation and policies that have made Long Island greener.
Now the Brookhaven supervisor wants town government to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent in five years. The goal is ambitious and the challenge considerable, but Romaine knows that setting a target in such a public fashion is the surest way to guarantee that you meet it. We applaud his boldness and hope other Long Island towns follow his example.
Brookhaven will use a variety of tools to meet Romaine's standard. One is to increase fuel standards for town vehicles; Brookhaven has ordered seven hybrid cars one-third more efficient than what employees drive now. Vehicles powered by biodiesel and compressed natural gas also are options. The town will continue replacing street lamps with LED lights. And Romaine also has announced aggressive plans to power town buildings with alternative energy sources such as windmills and solar panels on roofs.
The steps should lower energy costs and reduce Brookhaven's emissions. Greenhouse gases contribute to climate change, an especially sensitive issue in a region that figures to be increasingly affected by rising sea levels and by more frequent and intense storms.
Other Long Island towns have adopted some of these initiatives but none has done so as part of such a comprehensive and demanding mandate as the one Romaine has set out for Brookhaven.
We hope his colleagues accept the challenge for their cities and towns.