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“The Dikes Will Never Look the Same”

August 9, 2010

Were people complaining about windmills in Holland in the 13th century? 

Did they look at the new contraptions and say: “O mijn Gott, what a monstrosity. The dikes will never look the same.” 

People are people. Of course, there were complainers. But forward-looking Dutchmen said in response: “No, you don’t understand. These new windmills will help us control water levels between the dikes. Not only that, we’ll be able to grind our wheat into flour!” 

“OK, but what about the seagulls that run into the turning blades? And what about the creaking noises that come from all those wooden gears? And what about our scenic vistas?” 

Of course, we’re being facetious. It’s just that we believe we’re on the verge of something really good happening in New York and we don’t want to see this opportunity blown like so many others. 

At issue is Andrew Cuomo’s “Power NY” energy plan announced last week. Cuomo says some affirmative things about wanting to promote clean energy, but then takes a swipe at “unscrupulous…unethical …and illegal” actions by wind energy companies. 

The only problem is there are no bad actors in this sector. In fact, there are no verified accounts of wrongdoing at all. There are just reputable companies poised to invest in New York to create clean energy and good jobs, if we allow them to do so. 

Cuomo’s shot against the wind companies, presumably a nod to NIMBY opponents, was ill-conceived and gratuitous, and threatens to set back the growth of a vital industry in New York. 

No, we’re not overreacting. This is a critical moment. In this regard, every vibe we get from the business community is that executives are willing to give us one more chance (after four years of complete chaos) before they simply give up on New York. 

Business leaders are now looking to Cuomo for signals, and what he’s telling them with this report is that he’s willing to take cheap shots at businesses that are trying to break into the New York market. 

This is wrong. For the good of the entire state, we should be enthusiastically promoting the wind energy as a vastly preferable alternative to the fossil-fuel burning energy sector.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Anonymous permalink
    August 9, 2010 4:53 PM

    Andy’d support the buggy whip industry if he thought the constituency big enough . . . and never have the vision to see a world with less horse poop.

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