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Letter: Cuomo’s renewable plan has merit, but needs power

Cuomo’s renewable plan has merit, but needs power

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s goal for New York State to produce 50 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2030 is laudable and supported by climate justice communities. The “50 by 30 plan” is a step toward the target of 100 percent renewables by 2050 that will keep our air and water clean and create the new jobs that will strengthen New York State’s economy and infrastructure.

But why so slow? Why can’t we move faster to end the damage of climate change and improve public health? This year’s Department of Energy report showed clearly that nearly 400,000 Americans are already employed by the solar industry, and over 100,000 in wind farms across the country. 

These opportunities will increase as the technologies improve and as more communities call for renewables.

Montante Solar, a Buffalo solar developer, this past week opened the Riverview Solar Technology Park in Tonawanda, one of the first solar community projects in Western New York that was supported by Cuomo’s NY-Sun Campaign. Health-wise? Over 200,000 Americans die each year as the result of pollution caused by fossil fuel corporations, thousands in New York State alone.

Those of us concerned with the future health of our children and our communities applaud the announcement of the “50 by 30” plan. We also look forward to Cuomo’s announcement of plans to get to 100 percent renewable energy in his next State of the State that funds the energy transition by making corporate polluters pay for the damage they’re doing to our health and our climate.

Lynda Schneekloth

Sierra Club Niagara Group

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