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To the editor:
Our environment, health, and economy are threatened by our dependence on fossil fuels. Thankfully, New York is taking steps to transition to renewable energy to protect our environment and health, create jobs and rebuild our economy. New York has a goal of meeting 45 percent of the state’s electricity needs with renewable energy and energy efficiency improvements by 2015. Developing the tremendous wind power off of our coasts can help ensure that we meet this goal.
New York has a large and untapped potential for generating offshore wind power — the National Renewable Energy Laboratory estimated that developing wind off of the Atlantic and Great Lakes coasts could generate enough energy to power 44 million homes. An offshore wind project being proposed off our coast could create 4,700 jobs in construction and installation and 170 jobs in operation and maintenance. It could also power up to 210,000 households per year with little pollution.
Developing offshore wind in New York is critical to meeting our energy needs in a clean, responsible way while helping to renew our ailing economy. I urge Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer to support offshore wind development in New York and protect our environment and health by co-sponsoring the Incentivizing Offshore Wind Power Act (S. 1397).
Clean Energy Associate, Environment New York