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Eric Adams defends love of 'vegan pizza' amid NYC wood and coal-fired oven crackdown, cites Canada wild fires

New York City Mayor Eric Adams told conservative activist Scott LoBaido to "bring me a vegan pizza" and chat about a proposal targeting businesses using coal and wood-fire ovens.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams on Monday defended a climate change proposal targeting mainly pizzerias using coal and wood-fired ovens by citing Canadian wildfire smoke, his own apparent love of "vegan pizza" – and calling out conservative activist hurtled slices toward city hall in protest. 

Public uproar commenced amid reports the NYC Department of Environmental Protection would force restaurants with coal and wood-fired stoves installed from 2016 to have specialized and expensive emissions controls installed. In 2015, City Council passed Local Law 38, which requires restaurants with wood-burning and coal-burning stoves to install equipment to reduce emissions by up to 75%. 

"Well first of all, I love my vegan pizza with vegan cheese. And something about pizza, like, does anyone dislike pizza? Everyone likes pizza," Adams said at an unrelated press conference Monday when asked about the proposal. "You almost see that pie in front of you, you start to get happy. I think pizzas have saved more marriages than any other foods. Sharing a pie with your boo is like, that's the ultimate." 

"Right now we are at the public moment where the public can weigh in. Let the public weigh in, let the public give their thoughts and then we'll make the final determination. We don't want to hurt businesses in the city, and we don't want to hurt the environment," Adams said at the event, which was held to announce the city’s DNA testing lab’s 30-day turnaround for gun crime evidence. 


"I think nothing is more clearer to all of us as what this environment is going through after two weeks ago with the fire in Canada," the mayor added. "That smoke is the type of smoke that we're talking about. So let's see if we can find a way to get the resolutions we're looking for." 

The mayor also addressed an incident involving conservative artist and activist Scott LoBaido, who on video claimed the "the woke-a-- idiots who run this city are doing everything in their power to destroy it," before hurling several slices of a cheese pizza pie over the gate of city hall. "Give us pizza or give us death," LoBaido shouted, mimicking the words of American patriot Patrick Henry. 

"The Boston Tea Party, this is the New York Pizza Party," he added as a uniformed police officer confronted him. 

"Every toxic entity that we remove from our air is adding up to the overall desire to deal with shrinking our carbon footprint," Adams said Monday. "And the public can weigh in without throwing pizza over my gate. They could have delivered me the pie and allowed me to eat the pie and sat in the COW and have a conversation with me. And so, I'm going to call the person who threw pizza over my gate to tell him he needs to bring a vegan pie to me, so we can sit down, and I want to hear his side of this." 


Among critics who took to Twitter this week were Elon Musk, who quipped "This is utter bs. It won’t make a difference to climate change." Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman, who represents the section of Long Island adjacent to Queens, who warned, "You don’t mess with a New Yorker’s Pizza or Bagels. Period." One Brooklyn pizzeria owner told the New York Post he already shelled out $20,000 on a new air filtration system in anticipation of the city mandate, while another outraged restaurateur slammed the suggested edict for threatening the very taste and quality of pizza that New York is famous for. 

New proposed rules issued Friday would require restaurants that have coal- and wood-burning stoves installed prior to 2016 to have a professional review by an architect or engineer whether installing emission controls is feasible, city officials say. The city stressed the rules are expected to impact less than 100 restaurants but remain in the public review/comment period have not been enacted yet. 

According to the administration, coal and wood-burning stoves release an especially high amount of PM2.5, which they deem the most harmful urban air pollutant. 

City officials say it is small enough to penetrate deep into the lungs and enter the bloodstream, which can worsen lung and heart disease and lead to hospital admissions and premature deaths. 

By law, the NYC Department of Environmental Protection was required to work with other agencies, including the NYC Department of Buildings, Department of Health and the New York City Fire Department, to create an advisory group to propose rules on how to deal with restaurants that had these stoves installed prior to 2016. 


City officials stressed that the advisory group included the restaurant industry. Rules supposed to be issued in 2020 were delayed because of the pandemic. 

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