ALBANY – The New York State Conservation Council is supporting legislation sponsored by Sen. George Borrello to ban wind turbines on New York’s lakes and bodies of freshwater.
Concerned about the threat the wind turbines pose to the environment, NYSCC Board Members voted to support Senator Borrello’s bill S.6314 and companion legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Brian Mankelow A.7756 during NYSCC’s May Board of Directors meeting
“The New York State Conservation Council has been fighting to protect our natural resources for 88 years,” Borrello, R-Sunset Bay, said. “They recognize that once these wind turbines are forced into our lakes, the damage is done. I want to thank them for lending their voice to this fight and supporting my bill and its companion legislation sponsored by my colleague, Assemblyman Brian Mankelow.”
In their memorandum, NYSCC board members said they are concerned that the negative impacts of allowing wind turbines in New York’s lakes aren’t being considered. Their memo reads in part:
“Moving forward on the construction of offshore wind turbines at this time is little more than a best guess from insufficient information. This is a guess we cannot afford to be wrong about. It is essential to enact this proposed moratorium until such time as significant supportive data becomes available … The NYSCC believes that too little is currently known at this time to support the installation of wind turbines on Lake Erie and other bodies of water. Therefore, we support the proposed legislative moratorium.”
NYSCC Board President A. Charles Parker said there is too much at stake to allow wind turbines in New York’s lakes
“We can’t afford to be wrong, not with our great lakes,” he said. “There’s not enough known. The data isn’t there and it’s just not worth the risk.”
Borrello said Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s push to litter New York’s lakes with wind turbines is a move to appease his political supporters, not address climate change
“This is nothing but crony capitalism gift-wrapped to look like environmental policy,” Borrello said. “Gov. Cuomo and his friends and allies who benefit from these projects would allow 460-foot industrial wind turbines in the waters of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario without considering the impact on the environment or human health.”
Borrello said the governor’s green energy agenda also unfairly targets Upstate New York, putting lakes, woodlands and productive farmland at risk of becoming an industrial wasteland blemished with wind turbines and solar installations to help power New York City.
“Upstate is already green,” Borrello said. “More than 85% of Upstate’s electricity comes from zero-emission sources. New York City is the issue – 70% of the city’s power comes from fossil fuel plants. These projects will only harm the upstate communities where they would be located.”
Borrello’s wind turbine moratorium bill (S.6314) is under review by the Senate’s Environmental Conservation Committee.
BORRELLO ALSO HERALDED passage of Senate Bill 7028, which he co-sponsors, as a critical step forward in expanding access to broadband service in rural areas.
The measure will ease cost and operational obstacles faced by broadband service providers seeking to build out infrastructure in rural and underserved areas of the state.
“The prevalence of ‘internet deserts’ remains one of the biggest problems in our rural areas and it was an issue that was exacerbated by the pandemic, which made remote work and schooling essential,” he said.
One key provision of the bill would allow broadband providers seeking to install internet service via utility poles in a given area to obtain one contract for all the poles in that city, town or village, rather than being forced to get a contract for each individual pole, as is currently the case.
Streamlining this process for providers will encourage more broadband development while also ensuring equitable service and access to the homes within a given municipality.
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