Shortsighted leaders are hurting our region
Our shortsighted Erie County Legislature has approved Legislator Ed Rath’s resolution to review wind turbines’ effect on the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station. What Rath can’t seem to grasp is that both the air base and wind energy are important to our area – and that they are not mutually exclusive.
The air base commander has indicated “no problem” with the wind farm. Moreover, existing standards include a review by the military, which already has given the green light.
I get to Europe at least once a year. Recent trips to Iceland and Scotland showed windmills near every port, with airfields not far away. Germany is close to a 50 percent dependence on renewable energy, and England is moving very quickly toward green sources.
It was Clarence congressman and climate denier Chris Collins who started this nonsense. Collins, a dear friend of Big Oil, has used the fear of base closing as a political ploy. If he had common sense, he’d realize that repeated government threats to close the air base just make it increasingly vulnerable.
Our elected representatives should champion not only local economic opportunities but also our region’s farmers and rural towns that benefit from wind leases and taxes. Alternative energies like wind farms are not scary specters from a frightening future, but are here-and-now gold mines of potential job opportunities and technology advances.
When you pull the voting levers this fall, remember the smart and tough people like Rep. Brian Higgins, who build progress through cooperation and ingenuity. Bypass those like Collins and Rath, whose worldview never dares to go beyond Transit Road.
Joseph N. Weiss, Ph.D.