Schoonmaker: Multiple Energy Sources Needed

Letter from Gary R. Schoonmaker

Multiple Energy Sources Needed

Which is more stable: a one-legged stool or one with three or more legs? The Climate Action Council is moving quickly to implement a program to terminate the use of any energy in the State of New York other than electricity. That would leave us with an energy stool sitting on one leg. Have you ever tried to sit on a one-legged stool?

Right now, we have a stool with multiple legs: We have electricity, yes, but we also have natural gas, propane, gasoline, etc. Why, when so many people are clamoring for diversity, and financial advisors recommend that no one put all of their money in a single investment, does the state legislature and governor think it wise to get rid of all forms of energy except electricity?

I won’t argue here about the efficacy of the climate change arguments, but just ask that you consider the wisdom of the proposed action. If a fire had to be put out, would it be wise to only have water? Today, fire departments have a large number of options, depending on the type of fire they are asked to fight. Would it be advisable for the Legislature to dictate that the fire department only be able to use water? If the logical answer is no, then why is it wise to allow the legislature to dictate that we citizens only be able to use electricity to address our individual energy needs?

Beyond the logic is one significant threat that accompanies the sole use of electricity. There are two possible situations where this threat manifests itself: solar flares and an electromagnetic pulse. Either of these threats can destroy the electrical grid as well as each and every unprotected appliance/vehicle.

That is a threat today, but the threat to our survival is magnified many times if the only energy we are allowed to have is electricity, because—as opposed to now—we would have no backup for heat, cooking or transportation. Can you say 1850?

Gary R. Schoonmaker

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