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PORTLAND: Green light on the turbines

Never mind the due diligence the Portland Town Board was taking with wind turbines. New York state is so bent on having renewable energy that it is bypassing those impacted the most by it: the local residents.

In Wednesday’s OBSERVER, EWT spoke of its plans to begin building turbines in the town. Portland, which has played it safe in the last year through moratoriums to not allow this type of development, does not have much choice moving forward. In February, Gov. Andrew Cuomo unveiled the Accelerated Renewable Energy Growth and Community Benefit Act. It takes local decision-making — and residential comments — out of the picture.

“This legislation will help achieve a more sustainable future, invigorating the green economy and reaffirming New York’s position as a market leader with a revamped process for building and delivering renewable energy projects faster,” Cuomo said in the announcement.

It also, for the most part, puts rural areas on alert. If green energy plans are coming, there’s not much you can do.

This law, approved in April, has been lost in recent months due to COVID-19. But EWT, like any business, is ready to move ahead — through plenty of subsidies.

We have seen the angst in Arkwright and Villenova with turbines. Portland has done a good job of informing its community and listening to both sides.

New York state, however, has taken control. There’s not much of a choice moving forward.

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