By Doug Rettig, Sr.
I am not surprised that there have not been any responses to the March 25, 2022 post by Rhiannon Sisson about the steps that our illustrious state government is taking to drive us back to the horse and buggy days, and even to the stone age – all under the pretense of being “the most aggressive state” to save us from the climate change emergency and rid us of those pesky GHG’s (greenhouse gases). It’s a lot of time and effort to look into this situation, and not too pressing for most at the moment.
Now, I do not say that there aren’t any currently developing or existing climate problems out there that need to be addressed, but, I do not believe that the current NY State government’s trying to be “first with the most aggressive solutions” is the answer, nor a practical solution to what ails the entire world, especially with the State’s track record on “solving” environmental problems!
While wading thru the DRAFT SCOPING PLAN OVERVIEW (18 PAGES), the DRAFT SCOPING PLAN (341 PAGES), 355 PAGES OF APPENDIXES, SEVERAL APPENDIX ATTACHMENTS (THAT WILL NOT OPEN), and numerous side trips to the WEB to try to define or verify information in all of the above – I have noticed some inconsistencies, confusing data and gaps in the plan and its logic.
I experienced one of NY State’s first climate salvation efforts about two decades ago, with their blind jump into a fleet of compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles. CNG vehicles were supposed to reduce pollution and the use of gasoline. The main problem was the “cart before the horse” syndrome. A fleet of CNG vehicles was placed in service but, they were short range vehicles and very few easily accessible fueling locations had been created first, mostly in the larger cities (NY City, Long Island City, Binghamton, Syracuse, Buffalo). This fleet should have been limited to these areas, not spread across the state where access to the fuel was either limited or non-existent. My use of this CNG fueled vehicle lasted less than a week and then I was back in a conventional gasoline fueled vehicle, due to the large area that I traveled in!
Next came a duel fueled vehicle, gasoline and CNG. Better, but again very little infrastructure for CNG fueling, and still on the eastern end of the State. Then, in the area that I traveled, from Western NY to NY City, eventually one in Middletown, then Hancock, then in Coopers Plains, and finally Friendship,– over the course of a good two years! Then I was switched back to gasoline only for several more years.
So much billable time was wasted by us traveling to get fuel and back to work, that the requirement to record it was terminated after a couple of months.
Reading the NEW YORK STATE CLIMATE ACTION COUNCIL DRAFT SCOPING PLAN makes one wonder what planet these people are from? If they think that the rest of the nation/world will follow along at the same pace, I believe they will be sadly mistaken, unfortunately us New York tax payers will be paying the price, and a very steep one at that!
I admit that I am only 107 pages into this “plan”, as one has to make side trips to other sites to get the full story (ie: the ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND HOUSING ADVISORY PANEL meeting minutes, along with the several other “advisory” panel meeting minutes and WEB sites.
But at this point, they are talking about having to re-train all of the current ‘dirty‘, carbon based employees – natural gas employees, auto service technicians (mechanics), heating system technicians, and on and on to ready them for “new high paying jobs” that these changes are supposed to create in the “Disadvantaged Communities”. Who are they kidding? Especially for those of us living in these “DISADVANTAGED COMMUNITIES”, which many of Allegany County communities are labeled.
I could go on for hundreds of pages but one thing I did do was research what it would take to make my living area totally electric.
Now, my wife and I live in a one story wood frame house in the “disadvantaged community” of Cuba, heated by a natural gas floor furnace and a small wall heater, the hot water tank is also natural gas. Our cooking range is electric. Based on online research into converting to electrical power- kilowatt hours to amps to BTU’S – it appears that we will have to upgrade our electrical service to at least 300 amps, from its current 150 amps – with no room currently for such a panel, nor room for the equivalent electrical heating equipment – on top of the fact that this house construction does not come close to meeting the current NY state, tougher than other states – naturally – energy code for electric heat. I doubt if many of the other houses in this community, or the State, would be economically or code compliantly converted either.
And there goes my natural gas fueled whole house generator, installed to make sure my wheel chair lift (or how about someone’s life sustaining machine somewhere else) continues to work during a power outage, outages which will increase exponentially, because so far, little has been said in this plan, about making sure the electrical grid and electrical supply, will get upgraded to be able to handle the massive increased loads to be imposed on it by the upcoming requirements. Also gone would be the similar installations for the local fire department and community center – defined areas of refuge during any large emergency event.
Kind of a horse before the cart situation.
And who is to say that a future regulation won’t be implemented to cap your monthly usage to a certain amount, no matter what the weather might bring? “Sorry, you’ve used up your monthly allotment and more than your neighbors – you’re shut off for the next ## of weeks!”
So far, very little has been found in this plan that would make sure that the electrical grid would handle the proposed massive demand and dependency on electricity, only the elimination of the alternatives (natural gas, propane, wood, gasoline to name a few) we currently have available, nor how to handle a widespread disaster shutting down the electrical supply, especially in bad weather.
COME ON PEOPLE, GET INVOLVED, STAND UP AND SPEAK UP – BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE TO HAVE REALISTIC, AFFORDABLE SENSIBLE CHANGES.
Maybe get involved in some local groups, get the media to start covering these meetings.
RESEARCH THINGS YOURSELF, CONTACT YOUR ELECTED OFFICIALS, ATTEND THE PUBLIC HEARING TO BE HELD AT THE BUFFALO & ERIE COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY, 1 LAFAYETTE SQUARE, ON APRIL 27, 2022 AT 3:30 PM.
There is also supposed to be a revised plan issued after incorporating points brought to the committee’s attention in the public hearings being held thru May 11, 2022, (none of which have been made public yet – although these comments were promised to be made public within 3 days of a hearing), and the written comments submitted, deadline June 10, 2022.