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Letter: Conversion to renewables needs to happen, right now

A recent letter writer argues against converting to renewable energy sources (wind, water and sunlight) and refers to a 2013 Cornell and Stanford study to conclude that converting to “100 percent renewable energy in the state (New York) would cost more than $380 billion.” He instead argues that using other energy sources “like natural gas” would best provide for our needs.

The referenced study’s conclusions however are directly opposite his position, instead recommending immediate conversion to 100% renewable energy. It makes no mention of any $380 billion cost, but instead finds that the cost of converting to renewable energy sources would be paid for in 10 to 15 years, that fuel costs would then be reduced to zero, demand reduced by 37 percent, more New York State jobs would be created than lost and our air pollution mortality rate would be reduced by 4,000 deaths/year. Further the study discourages use of natural gas by concluding that “natural gas increases global warming relative to coal.”

The letter’s author, who formerly served as deputy chief of staff to the recently indicted U.S. Rep. Chris Collins, is executive director of Unshackle Upstate which he describes as a “nonpartisan coalition representing thousands of businesses and taxpayers.” The Buffalo News, however, reports that Unshackle Upstate is in fact a business advocacy group lobbying in Albany.

Conversion to renewable energy sources is both economically feasible and necessary if we are to have any chance of harnessing the deleterious effects of global warming. And the time to act is now!

Robert W. Moore


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