1. Given the original text, summarize the source in four paragraphs or less.
Overview of BCP Accomplishments
The number of sites admitted to the Program, the number of sites remediated, the geographic distribution of sites/cleanups around New York and within “Enzones” are
important indicators of BCP success. At present, 394 sites have applied to the Program and 260 have been admitted of which 44 have been cleaned up and received a letter of completion from DEC. After being accepted into the Program, 60 sites were either withdrawn from the Program by a project sponsor, or removed from the Program by DEC. Since its inception in 1994, the Voluntary Cleanup Program (VCP), which preceded the BCP, cleaned up 153 sites, or roughly 11 per year.4 Under the BCP, 44 sites have received a letter of completion, or approximately 11 sites per year. Based on this measure of sites addressed, the BCP is comparable to the VCP it replaced. The VCP did not provide financial incentives to participants and was open to any site with known or suspected contamination. As discussed above, the BCP has eligibility criteria that restrict entry of minimally contaminated sites into the Program. In addition, the distribution of sites around the State and the number of sites in specially designated “Enzones” are important indicators of whether the Program is encouraging redevelopment in all regions of the State and whether the Program is
meeting the goal of encouraging redevelopment in economically distressed areas. Of the 200 sites that DEC lists as currently enrolled in the Program, 77, or 38.5
percent, are located in Enzones. From a regional perspective, 32 of New York State’s 62 counties have sites enrolled in the Program. The sites are almost evenly split between upstate and downstate counties with 93 located downstate and 107 located upstate.5 The Program has received applications from sites located in more than more than 90 percent of New York State counties.
Regional Distribution of Sites in the Brown fields Cleanup Program Region Number of Sites
Long Island 12
New York City 52
Hudson Valley 46
Capital District 6
North Country 3
Central New York 11
Finger Lakes 3
Southern Tier 14
Western New York 53
Based on its performance over the last four years, the BCP has achieved a number of
measures of success, including:
???? Attracting a significant number of sites from economically distressed
???? Achieving rough parity in numbers of sites from upstate and downstate, and
???? Drawing applications from all regions of the State.
While the Program is attracting interest and supporting the redevelopment of
brownfields, it is currently on track to address roughly the same number of sites as the
VCP it replaced. This finding is noteworthy in that the BCP offers generous financial
incentives and the VCP offered no financial incentives. However, the BCP excludes
sites that would have very likely been admitted into the VCP.
2. Given the original text, summarize the source in four paragraphs or less. Don’t forget that with summaries, you want to place at least one in-text citation at the end of each paragraph. However, when a source does not have page numbers, as with the following article from The New York Times, you won’t be able to include an in-text citation. Therefore, be sure to make it clear that you are referencing the author’s ideas throughout your summary.
CAIRO — The rulers of Saudi Arabia trembled when the Arab Spring revolts broke out four years ago.
But far from undermining the Saudi dynasty, the ensuing chaos across the region appears instead to have lifted the monarchy to unrivaled power and influence. As a new king assumes the throne in Riyadh, the stability-first authoritarianism that the Saudis have long favored is resurgent from Tunis to Cairo to Manama. The election-minded Islamists that the Saudis once feared are on the run. Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, the interior minister who spearheaded the push against them, was rewarded last week with his elevation to deputy crown prince, the first in his generation in the line of succession.
The catch, analysts and diplomats say, is that the ascendance of the Saudis is largely a byproduct of the feebleness or near-collapse of so many of the states around them, including Iraq, Egypt, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Bahrain and Tunisia. And the perseverance of the old order is largely dependent on a steady flow of Saudi resources, so their influence may be costly.
The Saudis are propping up the Kingdom of Bahrain, and are fighting alongside the United States to support the government in Baghdad. Billions of dollars from Saudi coffers are sustaining friendly governments in Egypt and Jordan. Saudi-backed militias are fighting in Libya, and Saudi-owned news media provide critical support for the monarchy’s favored factions in Tunisia and elsewhere.
The kingdom can claim limited victories, including the military-installed government in Cairo and the elected government in Tunis. But the same troubles facing its neighbors may also give Saudi Arabia’s rulers reason to worry. Its efforts have not yielded any sign of stability in Syria, Iraq or Libya. A Saudi-backed transition plan in neighboring Yemen has collapsed, leaving rebels supported by Iran in charge of the capital.
“A point of strength could be interpreted as a point of weakness,” one senior Arab diplomat said, speaking on condition of anonymity to avoid alienating the Saudis. “If everybody around you is going wrong, then your influence around your borders is decreased,” the diplomat said, adding: “Frankly, everybody’s influence in the Middle East has decreased. It is just a complete mess.”
For an absolute monarchy tracing its dynastic roots back three hundred years, Saudi Arabia’s taking a leading role in the struggle to reshape that mess is an unexpected outcome of the Arab Spring, which once stirred hopes for the rule of law and modern democracy.
“It is ironic or anachronistic if viewed from outside,” said Gamal Abdel Gawad, a researcher at the state-funded Al Ahram Center for Strategic and International Studies in Cairo, and especially if one believes “the region is in urgent need of democracy.”
“But the last four years have testified against that,” he said, “and if the region is most in need of stability, effective governance and resources — all of which Saudi Arabia has — then it makes sense that it would play a leadership role, whatever the characteristics of its political system.”
King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia died last week with a sense of vindication, analysts and diplomats say. Robert W. Jordan, a former United States ambassador to Saudi Arabia, said that at a social visit to the royal court a few years ago, he had thanked King Abdullah “for not saying, ‘I told you so.’ ”
The king merely chuckled. “Because the truth is he has said ‘I told you so’ many times, and he continued to tell current administration officials that we were really wrong,” said Mr. Jordan, who was appointed by President George W. Bush.
Among the king’s complaints, Mr. Jordan said: the urgency of the Bush administration’s promotion of democracy, the vacuum left when the Americans withdrew from Iraq, the Obama administration’s embrace of the Arab Spring revolts, and particularly the failure to fulfill threats of military action against President Bashar al-Assad of Syria.
(Mr. Assad, a client of Iran, is one strongman the Saudis want to be rid of, but some analysts argue that the United States is now following the broader logic of the Saudi preference for stability over democracy by softening its demands for Mr. Assad’s exit.)
“The Saudis don’t want to show weakness. They don’t want to show vulnerability to the winds of change in a way that might invite those changes,” Mr. Jordan said, sympathizing somewhat with the Saudi desire to “manage the change rather than have it forced upon them.”
“What would Saudi Arabia look like without the royal family? It would look like Libya, or Syria without Assad,” Mr. Jordan said.
Like Libya under Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, Saudi Arabia is controlled by a ruling family without the benefit of durable institutions in government or civil society. And like Syria, the Saudis — now led by King Salman — have kept a tight lid on simmering sectarian tensions between the kingdom’s minority of Shiite Muslims and its Sunni rulers.
Indeed, some historians argue that Saudi Arabia often projects its domestic anxieties onto the region. Worries about tensions with Shiites at home feed its rivalry with Shiite Iran, or fears about a domestic challenge from political Islamists fuel the kingdom’s hostility to the Muslim Brotherhood abroad, said Toby Jones, a historian at Rutgers University who studies Saudi Arabia.
“The Saudis say, ‘These are things that need to be mastered’ in the region, because they are also things that need to be mastered inside the kingdom,” Professor Jones said.
As the most populous Arab state, Egypt was long considered the de facto Arab leader, the convener of the Arab League, overseer of the Israeli-Palestinian talks and main military counterweight to Iranian power. But when the revolution that ousted President Hosni Mubarak in 2011 plunged Egypt into turmoil, Saudi Arabia “assumed its responsibilities” as regional captain, said Mr. Abdel Gawad of Egypt’s Al Ahram Center.
King Abdullah also let it be known behind the scenes that he disapproved of Mr. Mubarak’s ouster, castigating American officials for abandoning him. And the Saudi rulers quietly rued the subsequent election of Islamists from the Muslim Brotherhood.
When Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, then a general and a former military attaché to Saudi Arabia, led a military takeover in Cairo in the summer of 2013, Saudi Arabia became his most important sponsor, quickly providing more than $12 billion in financial assistance.
Last week, Mr. Sisi, who is now president, decreed an unusual seven days of national mourning for King Abdullah. That included canceling celebrations scheduled for Sunday to mark the fourth anniversary of the Arab Spring — a step activists here took as recognition of King Abdullah’s role in the revolt’s undoing.
Nabil Fahmy, the foreign minister in Egypt’s transitional government after the takeover, said the Saudis were only a “complementary player” to the domestic backlash against the Brotherhood.
“The Saudis came out very quickly and said they supported us, sure,” he said. “But frankly this was going to happen.”
Saudi Arabia, along with the United Arab Emirates, is now committed to sustaining Mr. Sisi’s government with billions of dollars in aid, probably for years to come. Egypt burned through about $20 billion from Saudi Arabia and its Persian Gulf allies in just the first year after the military takeover without much change to the government’s balance sheet, and Egypt’s currency is at a new low against the dollar.
“Yes, it is a burden, undoubtedly, especially with the drop in the price of oil,” said Mustafa Alani, an analyst at the Gulf Research Center who is close to the Saudi government. “But they are ready to stand behind the Egyptian economy for quite a long time, because the strategic cost of the failure would be even more of a burden if Egypt collapses.”
In addition to Saudi Arabia’s role in Bahrain and Iraq, it is taking a role in hosting American efforts to train rebels fighting Mr. Assad’s forces in Syria.
The Saudis’ Al Arabiya satellite network and other regional media outlets provide sympathetic coverage of the law-and-order, anti-Brotherhood factions in every country in the region. And Riyadh is providing indirect support for the anti-Islamist faction fighting for power in Libya, through its client, Egypt, and its allies, the Emirates.
In Tunisia, the Saudis contributed financial aid to help stabilize the government and lent public “moral support” to the anti-Islamist leaders, Mr. Alani said, helping the security-first political faction remove the Islamist party from power through democratic elections.
“Tunisia did not need a lot,” Mr. Alani said, “but the Saudis have done what they needed to do.”
Saudi Arabia has emerged as the regional leader because “they were able to stand the storm,” he said. “So now they feel that, ‘yes, you survived, great, but you need to stabilize the environment around you if you want to survive longer.’ ”
Still, Mr. Jones, the historian, said it was too soon to judge. “They are backing the same cast of characters that landed them in a vulnerable position in the first place,” when the Arab Spring shook the region in 2011, he said. “This just turns back the clock.”
It is the weakness of the existing order, he said, “that has produced the effect of making the Saudis look even more powerful, because they are the only ones left with enough power and resources to prop it up.”