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State’s energy edicts are dimwitted

It would have been entirely appropriate for the recently passed New York state “Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act” to have been announced in Jamestown at the National Comedy Center as it is a monumental joke. It would be funnier if the harm to our economy, energy independence and cost and reliability for heat and electricity were not threatened due to the pandering to extreme zealots.

Facts to consider include the reality that our state has the lowest per capita carbon emissions in the country. Washington, D.C., is the only region with lower emissions due to the large-scale public transit system. New York could do nothing and it would still take decades for other states to reduce carbon emissions to those in New York state. So why the radical new policy for miniscule reductions in overall global emissions unless and until others catch up to us?

Transportation in New York state now soars ahead of power generation for carbon emissions, so why impose new rules that will threaten utility reliability and cause heating and electric rates to skyrocket, as well as impose significant costs on businesses that will devastate our economy?

Here are comments from the CEO of Central Hudson, a downstate utility company:

Charles Freni said during a Oct. 17 interview at the Daily Freeman office that natural gas is not a form of renewable energy and, under the state legislation, could not be used as fuel. Central Hudson, therefore, would be out of the natural gas delivery business. Freni said that the legislation is clear that the state wants to move away “from any form of generation that is carbon-based, so that means natural gas.” It was also noted that home heating oil and propane are not renewable forms of energy. “You can’t even have a gas grill,” Freni said of what the new state rules could mean. “You are burning carbon. If you want to be carbon free, you can’t have a gas grill.”

The other smoke and mirrors joke is the retirement of fossil fuel power plants in New York state, along with lost jobs and tax revenues that harm our communities, while we continue to import power from states like Pennsylvania that laugh all the way to the bank at our elected leadership caving in to environmental zealots with catastrophic new energy policies. Statistics look great in New York… let’s just ignore those imports of dirty power! Loss of energy independence, soaring energy costs and threats to reliability are the new reality.

Some may choose to hide their heads in the sand, but with the new law, there will continue to be developers that swoop into the state seeing the new law as a license to print money, and the renewable energy siting law known as Article 10 will allow massive wind and solar farms to mar our landscape with community opposition barely being a bump in the road.

The final price tag for all this, as well as whether intermittent solar and wind can reliably keep the lights makes our future dim indeed.

All this while visual monuments to our knee-jerk energy policy locates wind and solar garbage on thousands of acres of our pristine upstate landscape while out of state developers join states like Pennsylvania laughing as they leave New York with our hard-earned money.

Isn’t this all just hysterical?

Gus Potkavick is a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, retired, and worked at the Dunkirk power plant.

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