TODAY'S PAPER
Good Morning
Good Morning
OpinionLetters

The Jets' Mike White, LIPA, fossil fuels and billionaires

The Jets' Mike White during a game against

The Jets' Mike White during a game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium on Nov. 14, in East Rutherford, New Jersey. His story is one of perseverance and resilience, a reader writes. Credit: Jim McIsaac

The valuable lesson from Jets’ QB White

The saga of Jets quarterback Mike White is a modern-day fairy tale ["Rising star falls back to Earth," Sports, Nov. 15].

From out of nowhere, White, a backup, was handed the role of starting quarterback, delivering a stunning performance against the Cincinnati Bengals and winning the adoration of Jets fans.

The following week he suffered an injury after throwing a touchdown pass and left the game. In his next game, against the Buffalo Bills, he threw four interceptions. A few days later, White was relieved of the quarterback job and relegated back to the bench.

As a psychologist, this story resonated with me. Not only has White handled these ups and downs with an even-tempered, team-first demeanor, his ability to persevere despite many setbacks, which serves as a template for us all.

White was cut by the Dallas Cowboys, and after the Jets picked him up, he was cut four more times before this season.

His story is one of perseverance and resilience. He is a role model on how to handle adversity. White has taught us all a valuable lesson — never stop believing in yourself.

— Steven Baron, Bellmore

LIPA can work — without PSEG LI

How is Long Island different from all other areas of the country? In lots of terrific ways, of course, but in one egregious one. Unlike all other municipalities, our electric utility contracts out its operations ["Lawmakers cite probe in calling for delay of LIPA-PSEG contract," News, Nov. 12].

Contractor PSEG Long Island may have agreed, post-Hurricane Isaias, to better performance and to more thorough Long Island Power Authority supervision, but there’s no getting away from the fact that having a middleman slows our necessary move to renewable energy.

PSEG has no interest in achieving an electric grid powered 70% by renewable sources by 2030, as the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act mandates. It stands in the way of what LIPA must do for the good of Long Islanders.

Gov. Kathy Hochul must act to change the requirement that LIPA outsource its operations by amending the LIPA Reform Act. LIPA must act on its own to ensure our clean energy future.

— Alexa Marinos, North Babylon

After almost a year of painfully slow negotiations following the Hurricane Isaias blackout, PSEG LI finally agreed to a contract letting LIPA adequately supervise PSEG’s operation of the electrical system that LIPA owns for our benefit. The contract’s good parts are that PSEG has greater financial incentives to perform well, LIPA has better tools to monitor PSEG, and, most important, the contract lasts "only" four years.

The bad part: It’s still with PSEG.

As a LIPA trustee, I saw from the inside how inefficient, slow and costly it was to get PSEG to properly perform the most essential tasks — like producing an accurate inventory of billions of dollars of LIPA’s property. Or running a functional computer system to manage recovery from storms.  PSEG’s interests, mindset and competence diverge from LIPA’s.

State legislators and Gov. Kathy Hochul must amend the LIPA Reform Act’s requirement that LIPA outsource   system  operations. This arrangement didn’t work well when National Grid ran the system, and it hasn’t worked  that well with PSEG, either. There is a reason why no other large municipal electrical utility in the United States uses this management structure.

It’s time to let LIPA do the job right. By itself.

— Peter Gollon, Huntington

The writer was a LIPA trustee for five years through August.

We can do well without fossil fuels

  A reader seems to think we must depend on fossil fuels ["Fuel industry big part of daily living," Letters, Nov. 21]. On the contrary. We can drive electric, and with the Advanced Clean Truck rule, Gov. Kathy Hochul can have our goods delivered clean as well.

Buildings heated by natural gas, oil and propane, the largest sources of greenhouse gases, should be a thing of the past. Heat pumps and geothermal heating can readily replace them, and are as green as the electric grid will be when it’s being generated by 70% renewable energy by 2030.

The All-Electric Buildings Act, which needs the support not only of Hochul, but of State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, would requires new construction to have electric heating, cooking and clothes drying. No new gas hookups.

It can be done.

— Karen C. Higgins, Massapequa Park

Billionaires get rich with Congress’ acts

Several articles and letters have condemned the ultrarich because of the increased gap between them and the rest of us, as well as their failure to pay any or little income tax ["Key Dems differ on deal’s progress," Nation, Oct. 28]. Most of this criticism is unfair.

Today’s billionaires and their companies did not accumulate wealth by exploiting labor. Rising stock prices and/or sale of a company is how they do it. 

As to the no or low taxes, why is that? Do they employ knowledgeable tax preparers who claim deductions and credits passed by Congress? Yep. We encourage investment with 100% depreciation in the first year (like a new Amazon distribution center). We encourage philanthropy with charitable deductions. We support marriage with a better tax schedule.

The Build Back Better legislation, if passed, may contain a 30% tax credit (credits are more valuable than deductions) for purchasing electric vehicles. When Hertz announced a $4.2 billion purchase of Tesla vehicles, that works out to a $1.2 billion tax credit for Hertz. So over the next 20 years when Hertz makes $10 billion net profit and would have paid taxes of $1.5 billion but instead only pays $300 million (3%), whom will you blame?

— Robert Bialer, Glen Cove

Columns