Wednesday, September 28, 2011

New York State: No! for renewable energy and Yes! for greenhouse gases and Climate Change

The New York State effort to dramatically lower our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by the Great Lakes Off –Shore Wind Project is now dead.  This venture by the New York State Power authority would have garnered 150-megawatts of electricity.  GLOW died because it was going to be too expensive, too ugly, too noisy, would kill too many animals, would lower too many property values, would be too disruptive for fishing, and just angered too many people.   It was so annoying to so many folks.

Yet for all that, whether true criticisms or not, wind power on a large scale is renewable energy that does not contribute to Climate Change.  Just about all other large-scale energy sources in New York State (except water power) and certainly hydrofracking, which is on track to be passed in NYS, will add GHG in the form of escaping methane gas and carbon dioxide when it is burned for heat. 

In our local mainstream media, I don’t recall any reporter questioning what those opposed to off-shore wind would do about Climate Change.  News, I guess, is not gathered that way.  Even though at lot of New Yorkers (I read 80%) wanted off-shore wind.

Fracking, or hydrofracking, is going to be our state’s default position because of GLOW’s demise.  We are going to endure a dirty, large-scale effort to drill in our area.  Already, we are ramping up efforts to get to cover the looming drilling boon:

DEC moves to expand offices as gas drilling looms “Anticipating an influx of natural-gas drilling in the Southern Tier, the state Department of Environmental Conservation is looking to expand a pair of offices in the region the industry is expected to target. The DEC estimates it will have to spend $1 million annually for additional office space in Kirkwood, Broome County, and Bath, Steuben County, when it begins permitting high-volume hydraulic fracturing, according to a document obtained through a Freedom of Information Law request. (September 27, 2011) Democrat and Chronicle.com

Remember:  In the Revised Draft SGEIS on the Oil, Gas and Solution Mining Regulatory Program (September 2011) - NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation, on page 7 read “In New York, the primary target for shale-gas development is currently the Marcellus Shale, with the deeper Utica Shale also identified as a potential resource.”  Rochester, NY is in the Utica Shale.  No off-shore wind turbines, but soon our countryside is going to be the new Pennsylvania. 

Both GLOW and Fracking are disruptive to locals and have consequences to our environment and our way of life—though in reality the down-side of Fracking far outweighs the downside of off-shore wind.  Downside in the sense that stopping renewable energy will keep us from ever creating a sustainable environment that we need to survive.  Check this local group on the havoc Fracking might bring to our area:

R-Cause: Rochesterians Concerned About Unsafe Shale-gas Extraction - ABOUT R-CAUSE "R-CAUSE was created by Rochester citizens who treasure New York State and want its waters, land and air to remain clean and its communities to remain viable. R-CAUSE's goal is to inform as many people in the Rochester area as possible about the risks associated with high-volume, slick-water, horizontal hydraulic fracturing."

It’s also interesting that in our mainstream local media there were very few articles (none) during the off-shore wind debate (which wasn’t’ a debate, but a one-sided rant on the horrors of wind power) that considered the moral question of addressing Climate Change, even when the Likely Changes to our local environment are imminent.   There are those who are very happy that GLOW has died and I hope they are now ready to find a replacement, a replacement planet, that is, because this one’s going to fry. 

Local media is abuzz on the great GLOW demise.  They couldn’t be more pleased, or clueless…

·         NYPA scraps plans for offshore wind turbines - RochesterHomePage.net The New York Power Authority announced it will not pursue offshore wind turbines in the Great Lakes at a meeting Tuesday in White Plains. NYPA's announcement was hailed as a victory for residents along Lake Ontario who opposed GLOW, the Great Lakes Offshore Wind Project. "I'm very glad," said Charlotte lakefront resident Larry Kilmer. "Sanity prevails and I think that's super." (September 28, 2011)

·         Power Authority trustees vote against offshore wind farms | Democrat and Chronicle | democratandchronicle.com The Great Lakes Offshore Wind Project was declared dead Tuesday by the New York Power Authority’s board of trustees. The project, designed to place power-producing wind turbines in selected areas of Lake Erie and possibly Lake Ontario, was squashed by the board because of projected annual costs and the current economic climate, NYPA officials said. “The power authority will continue its commitment to developing and implementing wind and other clean alternative energy sources to produce emissions-free power for the benefit of New Yorkers today and for future generations,” said Gil Quiniones, acting president and CEO, in a statement. (September 27, 2011) Home | Rochester Business Journal New York business news and information

·         NYPA's proposed GLOW project scrapped - Canandaigua, NY - MPNnow MPNnow.com — The Board of Trustees at the New York Power Authority voted today to end the proposed Great Lakes Offshore Wind (GLOW) project, citing reasons of its high cost and the turbulent economy. The project, proposed in 2009, would have put multiple wind turbines off the coast of Lake Ontario to generate electricity. It would have marked the first freshwater wind energy farm in the United States. (September 27, 2011) Home - Canandaigua, NY - MPNnow

·         Power Authority votes no to Lake Ontario Wind Project - Canandaigua, NY - MPNnow MPNnow.com — New York State is saying no to putting wind mills off the shore of Lake Ontario. Tuesday, the New York Power Authority voted not to award a contract to any of the five companies who submitted proposals for the Great Lakes Offshore Wind Project. (September 27, 2011) Home - Canandaigua, NY - MPNnow

·         Power Authority trustees vote against offshore wind farms | Democrat and Chronicle | democratandchronicle.com The New York Power Authority on Tuesday ended its quixotic push for off-shore wind farms in Lake Ontario or Lake Erie, killing the idea for financial reasons. At a meeting at the authority's Westchester County office, NYPA trustees voted 4-0 to shelve the idea. "This was not an easy decision for us to make," said trustee John Dyson, noting the authority has long been committed to renewable energy projects. The vote came after Jill Anderson, an authority executive, told trustees that staff had concluded it was "not fiscally prudent at this time to proceed." (September 28, 2011) Democrat and Chronicle | Rochester news, community, entertainment, yellow pages and classifieds. Serving Rochester, New York | democratandchronicle.com

·         Offshore Wind Turbine Proposal Nixed - Rochester, News, Weather, Sports, and Events - 13WHAM.com Rochester, N.Y. - The proposal for a wind energy farm off the shores of Lake Ontario has been nixed. The New York Power Authority pulled the plug on the Great Lakes Offshore Wind (GLOW) project, citing the high costs of the subsidies that would be needed to make the wind farm economically feasible. (September 27, 2011) Home - Rochester, News, Weather, Sports, and Events - 13WHAM.com

 

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