Letter from Ted Potrikus
Mixed Messages Threaten Article IX
Last week’s editorial, “Saving Article IX,” appropriately cautions New Yorkers to defend home rule and guard against efforts that would erode our right to govern our localities as we see fit.
At the same time, though, I can see where state government may find itself in a bit of a Catch-22 when it comes to matters of siting solar and wind projects. In increasing numbers, New York voters have endorsed policies demanding the state rely predominately on renewable energy. On the other hand—and this could be a dangerous overgeneralization—many of those same groups demanding renewables are, at the same time, those leading the opposition to siting the projects necessary to decrease our reliance on fossil fuels.
One cannot deny a certain degree of “not-in-my-back-yard” going on in various pockets of the state when it comes to wind and solar projects.
The best way to protect the intents and purposes of Article IX is for local governments and their respective constituencies to avoid sending mixed messages to Albany. If we’re in favor of renewables, let’s make sure we’re arming our local officials with the support they need when builders are looking for good locations to generate the energy our communities need.