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Activists push Cuomo on wind power

Oct 10, 2015 12:03 am
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Andrea Sears at Public News Service reports that climate activists say the answer to global climate change is blowing in the wind - right off New York's shores. Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday announced a four-point plan to fight climate change, but Mark Dunlea, who chairs the Green Education and Legal Fund, said the governor has overlooked a report that outlines how the state could get all its power from renewable sources in just 15 years. "That envisioned that 40 percent of the power would come from offshore wind," Dunlea said, "and there have been a number of studies showing that that's more than feasible." Renewable-energy advocates want Cuomo to commit the state to a long-term contract to purchase 5,000 megawatts of offshore wind power by 2025 and double that by 2030. According to Dunlea, the potential for offshore power here is huge. "Long Island, New York City is the gold mine for offshore wind," he said. "University of Delaware believes that we could develop about 23 gigawatts of power." That University of Delaware report criticized the United States for failing to develop offshore power, saying it's essential for avoiding the worst effects of climate change. Only one small offshore wind installation currently operates on the East Coast. Dunlea said a large project here also would have a big economic impact. "The first big one is going to attract the shipping and the factories that are needed, and that will control the development of offshore wind along the East Coast," he said. "You're talking hundreds of thousands of jobs, potentially." The Green Education Legal Fund supports some of Cuomo's plan to combat climate change, but says the plan still depends too much on fossil fuels when there are better alternatives. More information is online at udel.edu.