Lockport Union Sun & Journal
By: Arthur “Jerry” Kremer
Let’s start with the ill winds represented by the many taxes and fees that comprise nearly 25 percent of our utility bills, making them among the highest in the country. Lower-income New Yorkers and small businesses are disproportionately hurt by these charges. Reducing or eliminating them must be a priority for our legislators in 2019.
Then there’s the growing thundercloud presented by the impending closure, by 2021, of Hudson Valley’s Indian Point nuclear power plant. Replacing its 2,000 megawatts of baseload power is achievable, but it will require completion of both the Cricket Valley and CPV Valley natural gas facilities — yet approvals are still pending for the pipelines needed to fuel these plants.
Finally, looking even further out on the horizon, we see the lofty goals of the Clean Energy Standard — requiring that New York generate half its energy from renewables by 2030. This is a bold and admirable plan requiring enormous wind and solar projects that must overcome both “Not In My Back Yard” opposition and huge financial hurdles. Siting and building renewables, and updating our aged and fragile transmission grid, takes years — and time is rapidly running out.
New York’s growing businesses and consumer demands, including electric cars, require clean, affordable, reliable energy in abundance — produced for New Yorkers, by New Yorkers. We must mobilize now to ensure that our brightest energy future — and a new year is the perfect time to start.
Also published in the Lockport Union-Sun & Journal