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Letters: Power plant delay, green energy

While PSEG Long Island's recent report found that there is no need for the Caithness II power plant ["Concession on power," News, Aug. 8], we still need more renewable energy sources to power Long Island without polluting our air or water, or contributing to climate change.

PSEG's announcement that it will spend the next 18 months planning how to meet energy needs should not serve as an excuse to delay or cancel dozens of clean-energy projects that already have been submitted and are scheduled for selection by the Long Island Power Authority later this year.

When PSEG took over LIPA, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and the State Legislature assured Long Islanders that plans for 400 megawatts of renewable power projects already under consideration would not be abandoned. Let's make sure that the promise for a clean energy future is kept.

Gordian Raacke, East Hampton

Editor's note: The writer is the executive director of Renewable Energy Long Island, an advocacy organization.

Even a highly efficient new natural gas plant would lock in at least 20 years of continued pollution and price volatility Long Islanders cannot afford. The PSEG Long Island report shows we have time to bring more 21st-century alternatives online and even save money. Wind and solar require no fuel. Rooftop solar can save homeowners thousands over the life of the system.

But we must also replace existing infrastructure. Poor air quality, acidifying oceans, and a warmer, less-predictable climate threaten our health and the farms, fisheries, and family businesses on which Long Island's economy depends. If these costs were reflected in the price of traditional fuels, cleaning up our grid would be the obvious course.

Jeanne Brunson, South Setauket

Editor's note: The writer is a volunteer with the Climate Reality Project, which advocates for action on global warming.

On behalf of the Sierra Club's 6,000 members on Long Island, I would like express our thanks to the PSEG Long Island staff for preparing a realistic and forward-looking estimate that shows that the gas-fueled Caithness II electric plant will not be needed for the next five years.

We also appreciate the steps proposed in PSEG's draft Utility 2.0 Plan that would move us well beyond LIPA's initial steps in renewable energy and include better management of electricity demand as well as construction of renewable energy sources.

The continued expansion of solar power can provide much-needed summer power midday and into the afternoon. We can also start to tap abundant power from offshore wind, which picks up in the late afternoon. Neither is affected by the volatile price fluctuations of fossil fuels.

Of course, PSEG's decisions in these areas must be approved by the LIPA board. For this reason, we hope that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo will use his influence with the board to advance wind and solar power.

Peter Gollon, Huntington

Editor's note: The writer is the energy chairman for the Long Island Sierra Club.

Renewable energy activists did it! Now, Long Islanders can see a path toward a 100 percent renewable energy electricity future. LIPA's agreement with PSEG to delay the Caithness II plant, along with the announcement of a new solar energy loan program ["Home energy loans powering up," News, Aug. 1], moves us away from an outdated past. This is better for Long Island's economy and environment, particularly given climate challenges.

It took four decades to achieve this goal, beginning in the 1970s with the anti-Shoreham movement. Then it was only a pleasant dream hidden in a Long Island mist waiting for today's summer sun to reveal its power.

Peter Maniscalco, Manorville

Nassau resident has less to spend

Recent reports say Nassau County is falling short of sales tax revenue ["Deficit warning," News, July 30].

When I retired in 2008, my property taxes were $10,065. Last year, the bill was up to $13,055. Therefore, I had $3,000 less to spend to generate sales tax revenue for the county.

As the school taxes continue to rise, the sales tax revenue will continue to fall.

Christine Schuchman, Oceanside

Safety vests shouldn't require special grants

Just a quick word about "Advocating vests for cops" [News, Aug. 7].

I always thought that in this country, when you put people on the front lines, they were the best equipped! Grants to save cops' lives is an outrage. The vests should be issued the day they sign on.

Scott Miller, Shoreham

Avoiding traffic-light entrapment

May I suggest an alternative to speed cameras ["Speed cams get to work," News, July 27]? Place speed bumps in the road to slow traffic. These would be cost-efficient and serve the purpose.

Also, intersections with cameras should all be equipped with digital counters to display the number of seconds before the light is going to change. This would give drivers adequate warning, so they don't have to speed up or slam on their brakes.

Mick Du Russel, Lake Ronkonkoma