JAMESTOWN – Senator George Borrello has introduced legislation mandating that New York City, the largest consumer of energy in the state and the most fossil fuel dependent, accept turbine installations at a rate equal to that of upstate New York.
“New York State’s leadership has expressed a commitment to making the state the most progressive in the country in its energy policy and conversion to renewables. To clear the path for their agenda, they have trampled on the state’s constitutional home rule doctrine, forcing upstate localities to accept industrial wind turbine installations even when local officials and residents are fiercely opposed,” said Sen. Borrello.
“The special interests and legislators pushing this conversion to all-renewables are largely from New York City. As upstate New York’s beautiful landscapes and Long Island’s shoreline are destroyed to make way for industrial turbine installations, the city has not had to make any comparable sacrifices, despite the fact that most of the energy produced will be diverted to the five boroughs,” said Sen. Borrello.
Specifically, the legislation would prohibit the New York State Board on Electric Generation Siting and the Environment from granting a certificate for the construction of an industrial wind turbine within New York State unless a certificate for a wind turbine within New York City was also issued.
“As it stands now, the loss of green space as well as the wildlife and ecosystem damage that turbines cause will be solely borne by upstate and Long Island communities, which is not only unfair, but contradicts the ‘urgency of the climate crisis’ narrative that we hear often from New York leaders,” Sen. Borrello said. “If climate change is truly an ‘existential threat to humanity’ then the cost and logistical challenges of placing wind turbines in New York City should be tackled with the same urgency of those efforts that are ongoing in other parts of the state.”
Senator Borrello also noted that upstate New York’s energy generation is already more than 90 percent emission-free, thanks to hydropower and nuclear resources. In contrast, New York City’s energy production is largely dependent on fossil fuels.
“New York’s transition to renewable energy is going to require great sacrifices and higher costs. Those burdens shouldn’t fall disproportionately on the shoulders of upstate and Long Island residents. This measure is aimed at ensuring all regions of the state bear their fair share of the difficulties that will accompany this transition.”