Republicans muddy renewable efforts
George Borrello’s new legislation proposes that for every industrial wind project sited in Upstate New York, a similar project should be sited in New York City (Aug. 4). He implies that upstaters lose to downstaters in a competition to see who sacrifices less for a green energy transition.
His views are problematic for a number of reasons.
First, climate change affects all of us. No area of the state has been immune this summer to sudden flash floods or extreme heat. We are learning first-hand that an existential crisis exists. Installing renewable energy helps all of us, no matter where we live, upstate or downstate, by limiting future harm to the planet and to human health.
Second, New York City is doing its part by hosting renewable projects in the form of Offshore Wind developments. And third, Borrello’s proposal fails to consider practical and economic factors.
To be effective, wind projects must be sited in appropriate areas, those with strong and consistent wind resources. Upstate New York generally has more favorable wind conditions than the urban environment of New York City. Therefore, projects sited upstate are more cost effective. They will generate more electricity per unit of investment.
Upstate New York also has more available land suitable for wind projects compared to the densely populated and limited space in New York City.
Mr. Borrello avoids the stridency of national Republicans who seem bent on turning this country into a wasteland with their anti-renewable/pro-fossil fuel platform. Yet his proposal is still obstructionist in trying to slow down Gov. Kathy Hochul and Rory Christian, who is chair and CEO of the New York State Public Service Commission, as they race to develop projects that will ensure we create good green energy jobs and achieve 100% renewable energy by 2040.
Our leaders should not be distracted from this worthy goal.