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Opinion: Area Needs to Build 21st Century Green Energy

Written By Editor on 12/29/14 | 12/29/14

Schoharie County may be sleepy, but it has been the center of major energy battles over the last decade. From the fight over wind energy to a county utility to fracking and pipelines to concerns about the Power Authority dam, energy always seems to be in the forefront.

Now that the Governor has finally pushed for fracking to be outlawed, the area needs to be proactive and build its green foundation. There is no immediate way to make the area completely environmentally friendly, but there are a few ways to start:

  • Work on establishing a county energy utility or cooperative. It already works in Richmondville, where energy prices are regularly less than half that National Grid offers the rest of the area. Being able to create new incentives and methods for alternative energy and net metering will only help the consumer.
  • Schoharie County's plans to construct significant solar panels is a step in the right direction. The privately owned panels will pass along the savings to the consumer with no negative consequences. The expansion of such a project would be a major boon to taxpayers.
  • It is well past time for wind power to be considered. One of the big disappointments of the last decade has been that people and groups that proclaim themselves environmentalists led the change to kill the potential wind plans in the towns of Richmondville, Cherry Valley, and Fulton. Concerns that the wind farms would be privately owned should be secondary to the benefits in green energy, reduction in tax bills, and reduction in energy costs. Cherry Valley was offered a 25% cut to local electricity costs for residents, substantial PILOT payments, and no cost to the community.
There is much talk about keeping the area pristine and out of the clutches of the large oil and natural gas companies. It's time for both political parties to work together to at least begin the process of weaning the area off of existing energy systems, whether municipally or privately. Any group or individual that claims that the pipeline and fracking should not come to the area but opposes green energy initiatives should explain how they would meet the area's energy needs realistically.
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Anonymous said...

Good news - Anyone can have an opinion.
Bad news - Your opinion is silly.

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