Buffalo News OPED Feature: “Our Twin Challenges of Clean Energy & Economic Growth"

In a recent OPED published in the Buffalo News, Clean Energy Jobs Coalition member Greg Lancette advocates for sensible solutions to solve “Our Twin Challenges of Clean Energy & Economic Growth.”

Below are some excerpts from the piece:

Climate issues are creating intense pressure in the U.S. and across the globe to greatly reduce carbon emissions.

The problem is the state has been pursuing a plan to close fossil fuel power plants, or denying power plant upgrades that would actually lower emissions, without replacing those resources with something else. The result has led the state’s grid operator, the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO), to issue increasingly dire warnings about shrinking electric supply reliability margins.

There are solutions though. In addition to the wind and solar farms being pursued by the state, other clean technology is emerging to help with the transition. One innovative strategy showing strong potential is the use ofThermal Energy Networks (TENs), which offer a carbon-free power source for heating and cooling buildings. These systems require large-scale infrastructure projects that connect multiple buildings through a shared network of piping systems. Under a bill signed recently by Governor Hochul, and backed by labor and environmental groups, the state’s utilities are now advancing project proposals for consideration next year.

The Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) is working on a Scoping Plan has been inching towards embracing an “All of the Above Energy Strategy” to accomplish the clean fuel switch across industries and individual homes over a responsible period of time. More, the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act is providing $400 billion in incentives to help make near zero emission power the new standard for heat and electricity.

New York needs an energy transition that is cleaner, as well as more reliable, or we will suffer a broad set of consequences in environmental and economic losses.

Greg Lancette, of Syracuse, is president of the New York State Pipe Trades Association and Central and Northern New York Building and Construction Trades, representing 29,000 members. He is also a member of the Clean Energy Jobs Coalition – NY.

Read the full opinion on the Buffalo News website.