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State taking proper actions to deal with major climate crisis

The power of the story of renewable energy is right there in the Dunkirk OBSERVER’s headline Jan. 14: “Cuomo pushing for more renewable energy to help economy, fight global warming.”

Of course we must fight climate change, and yes, investment in renewable energy manufacturing and logistics, and training to fill the innumerable new jobs of a green society, will boost the economy — local and statewide. Plus, climate change itself is costly, not just fatal. Ignoring its blighting effects on agriculture, nature and human life is already causing a continuous disaster across the world. So, fighting climate change and boosting the economy are two goods in one, and inextricably entwined.

Thus, Cuomo is quite right in making fighting climate change a top state priority. Harnessing the power of the wind and sun, and running it through new transmission lines to population centers helps all communities. And that tired fossil fuel interest canard about the sun not always shining and the wind not always blowing? Batteries store power for the nighttime and calm days. Cuomo’s plan includes battery storage.

Counties and towns getting renewable energy facilities according to the new Office of Renewable Energy Siting’s speedy but fair rules will soon enjoy substantial local investment that supports the public good, such as schools and other governmental budget items.

Struggling farmers will see revenue from leases, for example, on sub-prime land for solar installations or from turbines spinning while crops are cultivated or animals graze below.

The community will also be able to enjoy short-term construction jobs, and ongoing maintenance and logistics jobs.

Revamping buildings, residential and commercial, according to the highest efficiency standards and substituting ground source heating and cooling and geothermal power for climate-killing natural gas will be an ongoing source of new jobs.

Let’s back Gov. Cuomo’s determination to bring home the goods for our state. We can all benefit by fighting climate change with renewable power.

Mary Jane Wagner is a Fredonia resident.

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