Editor's Note: This article was written and submitted by Chris Boyle.
This week, Long Islanders attended a rally,
organized by the Sierra Club of Long Island and located at the wind turbine
located at Point Lookout, to make their collective voices heard.
The message they were sending was to the Long
Island Power Authority (LIPA), and that message was loud and clear: invest in
clean, renewable energy for the future of Long Island.
Emma Boorboor, organizer of the Sierra Club’s
“Clean Energy for Long Island” campaign, said that LIPA should seriously
consider the benefits of harnessing the strong winds blowing off the shores of Long
Island for the purpose of generating power.
“Right now LIPA is discussing long-term
contracts for Long Island’s energy future,” she said. “We’re calling on
LIPA to invest in clean energy, such as an off-shore wind farm. The purpose of
this rally is to show that Long Islander’s in general would like to see this
happen for the health of our communities.”
LIPA is planning a board meeting on Oct. 2 to
vote on the future direction of their energy development, hence the timing of
the Sierra Club’s rally. Boorboor said that an investment in clean energy is
not only environmentally sound for LIPA, but fiscally sound as well.
“We like to see investment in innovation on Long
Island,” she said. “We have an opportunity to make Long Island a
leader in clean energy, by building the country’s first off-shore wind project.
But our fear is that LIPA is going to lock us into dirty fossil fuel contracts
for the next several decades.”
Among the speakers invited to the rally by the
Sierra Club was local Bellmore businessman Dan Sabia, owner of Built Well
, one of the first solar energy companies on Long Island.
“As a business owner, I really feel strongly
that the old fossil fuel plans here on Long Island are inefficient,”
he said. “Plus, they’re obviously not good for our environment. Long Island’s
electricity needs are increasing on a daily basis, and instead of relying on
fossil fuel, why not transform Long Island into a clean energy
economy, and bring on more solutions that involve clean energy.”
Other speakers at the rally included other Long
Island business leaders, a Farmingdale State College student concerned about
the environmental future of New York, and an impassioned mother who stated
that she wants her child to grow up breathing clean air.
According to Sabia, LIPA has been slowly
embracing more solar energy programs in recent years, so the hope remains that
they will adopt other forms of clean energy as well.
“LIPA has been making some strides towards solar
energy, but I feel much more can be done,” he said. “I also feel that, if they
can put a wind farm on Long Island, that they should do that as well,
because that will help the environment and help create jobs. Those are the two
things we want here at Built Well Solar.”
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