Letter: The only green options are renewable energy

The following letter to the editor was published in the Times Union on September 17, 2021 and was written by Conor Bambrick, Director of Climate Policy  at EANY.

Dear editor,

The article “More shades of green sought,” Aug. 20, struck me as a bit one-sided and in need of some clarification. New York state’s climate law is clear: By the year 2040, the state’s electricity grid will be powered by zero-emission sources.

The term “zero-emission” is also quite clear and does not just mean zero carbon. It means no more harmful pollutants pumped out of smokestacks into our air with dangerous particulate matter settling in our communities and making us sick. It means transitioning to renewable power like solar and wind. It means investing in innovative technologies that provide energy without disastrous and dangerous side effects. We are seeing the impacts of our addiction to fossil fuels across the state and nation in the form of stronger, more intense weather events, heat waves, droughts, sea-level rise and erosion of our coastlines.

“Zero-emission” means no more burning of fuels to produce electricity.

Asking utility customers to pay a premium so the fossil fuel industry can experiment with burning alternative polluting fuels like hydrogen or so-called “renewable” natural gas runs contrary to our climate law and takes ratepayers for a ride.
The Public Service Commission must be laser-focused on dedicating resources to meeting our climate and clean energy requirements — and not be distracted with false solutions that will slow our progression to a truly renewable energy future.
Conor Bambrick

Director of Climate Policy
Environmental Advocates NY