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Letter: Time to level playing field, develop alternate energies

Time to level playing field, develop alternate energies

It is imperative that we stop burning our precious fossil fuels, specifically, natural gas, oil and coal. These substances are vital to the manufacture of synthetic materials including clothing, leather, packaging and modern plastics that greatly enhance our standard of living. To keep burning these fossil fuels is insanity.

If we are to stimulate the world’s scientists, engineers and inventors to develop alternate energies, we must take away the subsidies, grants and tax abatements that destroy any incentive to compete. The increased cost of extracting rapidly diminishing fossil fuels has placed a huge burden on government in a futile attempt to contain these costs through subsidies, grants and tax abatements.

Alternate energies are highly feasible at much lower costs than fossil fuels, but current regulations, tax policies, subsidies and outdated practices impede progress. Concepts that seemed logical 50 years ago don’t make sense today and actually increase energy costs while preserving the continued use of fossil fuels. We must change national and state energy policies to reflect today’s realities. Here are some suggestions:

Allow the electrical energy distribution companies the right to own solar arrays, wind turbines and other alternate energies they place on their accessible land connecting these energy sources to their own grid. This eliminates third-party cost.

Phase out all subsidies and tax abatements on an absolute time schedule to encourage and stimulate alternate energy development.

Revamp the formula for electric utility profit margins so they are motivated to reduce costs.

Require customers to pay transportation costs of electrical energy from highly subsidized sources, such as hydro, to avoid distortion of true costs.

Properly assign the amortization of investment costs over reasonable time periods to eliminate distortion of actual true costs of every energy source.

It is time for a change; we cannot afford to delay action.

Kean W. Stimm

CEO, Kean Wind Turbines

Williamsville