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Letter: Smog levels argue against coal plants

Smoke is emitted from chimneys of a cement

Smoke is emitted from chimneys of a cement plant in Binzhou city, in eastern China's Shandong province. (Jan. 17, 2013) Credit: AP

I was shocked to read that Suffolk County received a failing grade on some air quality measures ["Report: Suffolk smog the worst statewide," News, April 29]. I was further shocked when I read that New York State still has four coal-burning power plants, and that we, the taxpayers, subsidize their operation. Coal isn't mined in New York. Why does the Cuomo administration continue to use our money to help in the trucking in of coal and the running of old, inefficient power plants?

In light of our air quality issues, it is very disturbing that the Long Island Power Authority decided in December against an ambitious offshore wind project at Montauk. Offshore wind would mean we create many good paying jobs for New Yorkers -- especially on Long Island, which has abundant wind resources -- and take a big step forward in reducing emissions from dirty coal.

The offshore wind industry is booming in Europe, providing clean energy and many thousands of good-paying jobs that will be there for the forseeable future. Long Island needs to get in on this action!

Joe Tonini, Mineola