A rendering of the planned Organic Energy anaerobic digester facility...

A rendering of the planned Organic Energy anaerobic digester facility in Yaphank. Credit: JPN Studios / Jim Neidert

Debating switch to electric buildings, cars

The letter from the coordinator of Long Island Regional Renewable Heat Now promotes a state proposal to mandate all new residential and business buildings be heated only via electric heat ["State must act now to become electric," Letters, April 3]. The economic disaster issues are overshadowed by the greater issue of safety. Electricity especially can be dangerous in the wrong hands. It requires wiring of much greater capacity for a home. Mistakes happen in construction design. What if wiring gets modified during alterations, resulting in fires and deaths?

My own sister's home in Bethpage burned down because of electrical wiring.

Almost all the time, work will be high quality and to code. But in low-income areas, will they rush to save money, leading to lesser quality wiring? Lacking enough heat, will people add space heaters, creating more danger? That equates to people possibly dying, and that is not acceptable. In the 1970s, they tried using aluminum wiring to save money. How'd that work out? Aluminum wiring was banned.

This new electric mandate would make New York an even less affordable place to live while also raising safety issues. The mandate is bad for this state. End it now before the lights go out in New York.

Barry Cowen, Wantagh

An environmental proponent applauds an Albany proposal that would ban gas and oil hookups in all new homes and businesses fewer than seven stories, meaning you will be left relying on electric heat.

Where do the climate extremists think the power comes from to run plants that generate electricity? As of today, it comes overwhelmingly from burning oil and natural gas.

So this ratepayer-crushing proposal will do nothing to reduce greenhouse gases but will contribute to making New York even more cost prohibitive, thereby accelerating the fleeing of our residents to more affordable states.

Edward J. Kelly Jr., East Islip

The writer is a board member of the Center for Cost Effective Governance.

We should be done with the debate on the necessity for renewable energy ["Debating use of natural gas," News, April 7]. We need to stop burning fossil fuels to stave off the most disastrous effects of the climate crisis, and do it now.

I am sympathetic to the plight of workers whose jobs will disappear. However, it’s important to realize that jobs have long ago peaked in the oil and gas industries, while in the renewable sector, opportunities are growing rapidly. No jobs in our society are stable forever and will change over time including those within our energy infrastructure. There are tremendous opportunities in rehabbing older buildings for renewable heat, and in building out our electric infrastructure. The fight is to make sure green jobs are good-paying jobs.

A.J. Pearl, Valley Stream 

Federal funding for electric car charging stations will give a major boost to New York’s own push to get electric vehicles on the road ["NY auto show dominated by electric vehicles," LI Business, April 14]. Both are overdue.

Here in New York, the Climate Action Council Scoping Plan, charged with making sure the emission reduction goals of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, is boldly dedicating $1 billion for EV infrastructure.

It has other EV work to do: barriers to adoption of EVs must be lowered in disadvantaged communities and barriers to direct sales of EVs by EV-only makers such as Tesla, which have had sales locations artificially restricted, must be eliminated.

Ubiquitous, efficient charging stations will make it easy to make your next car an EV.

Amy Posner, Lido Beach

The writer is a member of Sierra Club and other environmental groups.

Don't dump waste project on one community

The planned anaerobic digester in Yaphank, a project of American Organic Energy, headed by chief executive Charles Vigliotti, is marketed to residents as “green” but will entail importing up to 210,000 tons of food waste by truck (Think: traffic, gasoline use, vermin) ["Plan to turn food waste into energy," News, April 7]. Area residents were told it would turn this waste into electricity, but it will now be producing natural gas, which will eventually be burned.

“Green”? As we approach a potential climate disaster -– we’re nine years closer than we were when Vigliotti started his project -- it has apparently been approved by the state Department of Environmental Conservation and Brookhaven Town. The town's Industrial Development Agency also is said to likely give the energy company long-term tax breaks, depriving local schools and emergency services of tax revenue.

The imminent closure of the Brookhaven landfill has spawned a variety of private garbage industries in the surrounding area. Environmental justice issues seem to have been ignored or evaded. We need our town and the DEC to protect the health of our residents and the planet. Long Island needs a real waste management plan that doesn’t dump on a single community.

Darcy Stevens, Bellport