Green-energy activists target Cuomo energy plan

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Green-energy advocates Monday took aim at New York State's recently released energy plan, saying the draft proposal falls far short of what's needed to help stem a climate crisis.

Advocates for wind and solar power, geothermal heating systems and electric cars -- and even a white-roof advocate -- joined with opponents of natural gas hydrofracking in calling on Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to do significantly more to turn the state away from dependence on fossil fuels.

"There should be a mandate that every flat building on Long Island and New York State have [rooftop] solar power," said Anne Mayer of Centerport. "There's no excuse [not to] at this point."

The draft state energy plan refers often to the need for more clean-energy sources, and envisions public-private partnerships to create a "pathway" to cut emissions by 80 percent by 2050.

But speakers at a hearing Monday at Farmingdale State College said goals need to be more aggressive.

David Alicea, an organizer for the Sierra Club, called Cuomo's energy plan "a non-starter" from the standpoint of reducing climate change and reducing dependence on fossil fuels. "Wind energy is barely mentioned in the plan," he said.

Speakers urged Cuomo to do more to advance languishing wind-energy projects around Long Island. Developer Deepwater Wind said through a spokesperson wind energy can be "cost competitive" with other energy sources and put "hundreds of people to work."

While hydrologic fracking for natural gas won't happen on Long Island because there are no local gas sources, fracking opponents were prominent at the hearing.

A spokesman for Cuomo had not responded to a request for comment last night.While green-energy proponents were prominent, a couple of speakers encouraged the expansion of traditional fossil-fuel plants, and warned against closuring nuclear plants.

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"Of particular importance is keeping our existing power sources -- especially our state's six nuclear power plants -- online," said Matthew Cordaro, a former energy company executive who is also a Long Island Power Authority trustee.

He called a state effort to close the Indian Point nuclear plant "deeply concerning," and even expressed regret that "Long Island lost a major opportunity to have an affordable energy system when it prematurely shut the Shoreham nuclear facility."

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