Face It: New Jobs Will Require Energy


Face It: New Jobs

Will Require Energy

To the Editor:

My wife and I recently moved to the area (my wife was born in Cooperstown) and I have been reading with interest the conflict about economic development that is being shaped in large part by Otsego Now! and Otsego 2000.

I was also born in Upstate New York near Syracuse and have witnessed firsthand how cities and towns across Upstate were left gutted when industry moved out or shut down from the ’70s to the ’90s.  So the debate about development in Otsego County is important to me.  I was appalled to recently read that Oneonta has a poverty level in excess of 25 percent; this with two  colleges and a hospital as major employers.

Three quick points:

  1. I always read with interest Professor Kuzminski’s whimsical columns that decry almost any form of economic development. Of course, he is retired and therefore doesn’t have a long-term stake in the economic prosperity of the county like young families.
  2. “Industrial Development” does not mean massive plants that will belch tons of noxious fumes into the sky. There is a lot of light industry that is very desirable, has limited emissions and provides good jobs.  But let’s face it folks – any business we attract is going to require a reliable and reasonable energy source and that doesn’t seem to be the case right now.
  3. I was fascinated to read that Otsego 2000 had a major hand in blocking the Jordanville wind farm. Isn’t this the group that is fervently extolling the use of renewable energy sources?  This isn’t just NIMBYism – this is what I call the BANANA principle:  Build Almost Nothing Anywhere Near Anything.  What future are they promising to provide the residents of the county?

I write all this even while I firmly believe that global warming must be addressed.  However, it is a process that will take time and we cannot turn our backs on residents who want to live here with the prospect of a decent job at a good company.

I lived in Vermont for 15 years and witnessed this same debate.  That state has still not recovered the jobs lost during the recent recession.  The population is stagnant and aging as young people leave the state to seek job careers elsewhere that aren’t available in Vermont.  Now the state is offering $10,000 for “knowledge workers” to move to the state where they can work remotely from home.

I only hope that this region doesn’t have to resort to the same desperate ploy in an effort to provide a good living and a future for young workers and their families.


Fly Creek

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