Molinaro votes for solar power, which local Republicans oppose
Nancy Kern reports in Columbia-Greene Media that Rep. Marc Molinaro, a Republican from Dutchess County, on April 29 voted against a bill to end a two-year moratorium on duties placed on imported cells and modules used on solar farms. Most Republicans voted for the bill, but it will not pass the Democrat-controlled Senate, nor be signed by President Joe Biden. And it passed 221-to-202, which means Molinaro breaking with his party did not jeopardize the bill passing in the House of Representatives. Even though the vote was mostly theater, Molinaro said, “Repealing this moratorium could force domestic companies, including those in New York’s 19th Congressional District, to pay over $1 billion in retroactive duties, eliminate thousands of domestic jobs, and cancel planned solar projects. I broke with my own party and voted against today’s legislation because it would kneecap our advances in domestic solar energy and eliminate jobs in Upstate New York." Judging from comments included in the story, Molinaro's vote won't be popular with local Republicans, who seem opposed to solar power. Greene County Legislature Chair Patrick Linger, a Republican, said, "I do not agree that it’s used as a utility scale. I don’t think that’s the optimal use for solar." Athens Town Supervisor Michael Pirrone said, “I don’t think I agree entirely [with Molinaro] because there maybe a PILOT involved with the project, which means that on a town level, the town does not get full taxation." Republican Greene County Legislator Thomas Hobart from Coxsackie, said, “I don’t see the residents of the region benefiting from the power that would be generated and would only experience the loss of open space.” Molinaro represents the 19th Congressional District, though he lives in the 18th Congressional District. Read more about this story at HudsonValley360.com.