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State policies should aid, not hinder, clean energy


As the commentary (“Opinion on the web: Warming trend heats up,” April 20) from Ian Kinniburgh reminds us “years of delay make action on warming urgent,” we thought we had an environmental hero when Gov. Andrew Cuomo banned fracking in the state in 2015 and issued a Clean Energy Standard in 2016.

More recently, Shiva Prakash and Kartik Amarnath (“Time to commit to help climate-vulnerable communities,” April 20) have called for dismantling barriers to participation in clean-energy opportunities by low- and middle-income New Yorkers.

For example, solar energy can lower everyone’s electricity bills, but state policies make it nearly impossible to meet our worthy renewable-energy goals. We need policies that monetize all the public benefits of renewable energy developments, and solutions for: 1) the challenge of a single utility bill for residential customers in a renewable-based community choice aggregation municipal program; 2) a net-metered homeowner who wants to combine home solar with a community solar supplier; or 3) a renter who wants to combine community solar with a renewable energy supplier.

These strategies lower the customers’ electric bills, help achieve a cleaner environment and create jobs, but state policies prevent this win-win opportunity. We have the technology, the economics have fundamentally changed, and it is now time for state policy and local action to achieve the energy revolution that can transform our energy infrastructure and our state economy for the better.

At every level of government, we must tell our elected officials that we need climate action now, and we must vote accordingly.

William Reinhardt

Slingerlands

Director, Solarize Albany

Albany County Legislator, District No. 33

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