Israel, Gaza militants agree to cease-fire after deadly weekend kills at least 43     Ukraine Live Briefing: Radiation levels remain normal after shelling at nuclear plant, official says     Iraq broils in dangerous 120-degree heat as power grid shuts down     Israel, Gaza militants agree to cease-fire after deadly weekend kills at least 43     Ukraine Live Briefing: Radiation levels remain normal after shelling at nuclear plant, official says     Iraq broils in dangerous 120-degree heat as power grid shuts down     China expands military drills, escalates threats against Taiwan     Rocket attacks at Zaporizhzhia power plant raise fears of ‘nuclear catastrophe’     Amnesty International’s Ukraine chief resigns after report criticizes Kyiv     Israel, Gaza militants agree to cease-fire after deadly weekend kills at least 43     Ukraine Live Briefing: Radiation levels remain normal after shelling at nuclear plant, official says     Iraq broils in dangerous 120-degree heat as power grid shuts down     Israel, Gaza militants agree to cease-fire after deadly weekend kills at least 43     Ukraine Live Briefing: Radiation levels remain normal after shelling at nuclear plant, official says     Iraq broils in dangerous 120-degree heat as power grid shuts down     China expands military drills, escalates threats against Taiwan     Rocket attacks at Zaporizhzhia power plant raise fears of ‘nuclear catastrophe’     Amnesty International’s Ukraine chief resigns after report criticizes Kyiv     
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News of Otsego County

greenhouse gasses

New from the Noteworthy: Land Use, Energy and the Economic Future of Upstate New York

News from the Noteworthy

Land Use, Energy and the
Economic Future of Upstate New York

Climate change and land use are inextricably bound together. The collision between the two creates tension. We are experiencing that tension in multiple ways — not least of which is the drive to create more renewable energy through use of solar and wind-power generation on central New York farmland.

There currently are proposals — some approved and some being considered — to develop large solar and wind “farms” throughout upstate New York, including Schoharie, Delaware, and Schenectady counties.

In some cases, these projects will reduce or eliminate crop production from previously fertile farmland and reduce or eliminate grazing capacity for livestock. The result of this will be a reduction in agricultural productivity
in central New York and removal of these lands from agricultural production for at least a generation.

Otsego 2000 was instrumental in the elimination of hydrofracking for natural gas in New York and has advocated for responsible development of solar and wind energy production for local use. Large-scale production of solar and wind energy, however, can be quite a different proposition if it involves taking potentially productive farmland out of service or fragmenting the ecological integrity of natural systems.

MELLOR: With renewable energy, details are key

LETTER from WAYNE MELLOR

 With renewable energy, details are key

Wayne Mellor, board chair of Sustainable Otsego.

New York state passed the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act in 2019. The law will propel New York towards a climate change friendly economy that will rely much less on burning fossil fuels for energy by 2050.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan is ambitious. It calls for an 85% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, 100% carbon-free electricity by 2040, and 70% renewable energy by 2030.

In 2020, New York derived approximately 0.1% of its electricity from petroleum, 1% from coal, 36% from natural gas, 30% from nuclear, 26% hydroelectric, 5% wind and solar and 2% biomass.

The shut down of the Indian Point nuclear plant on the Hudson River, completed in April 2021, decreases carbon-free nuclear power to 20% of the state total and increases greenhouse gas emitting natural gas to 46%, with two new natural gas plants in Orange and Dutchess Counties now operating.

This doesn’t make sense if carbon-free electricity is the goal.

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