Last week, AEA President Thomas Pyle penned an op-ed in the New York Post entitled “Lights Out, New York.” In the piece, Pyle explains how former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and current New York Governor Andrew Cuomo are turning off the lights on New York’s energy and economic future. Below is the text of the op-ed:
Lights Out, New York
By Thomas Pyle
High electric bills. An undependable power supply. Withering jobs in an economy increasingly dragged down.
That seems to be New York’s energy future. And for that we have to thank state (and national) environmentalists — and compliant leaders here who are intent on moving “beyond” the current practical options for producing juice.
It’s a campaign, frankly, that defies sanity.
Take New York City’s former mayor, Mike Bloomberg. As mayor, “sustainability” was a major priority for him. And though he’s out of office, he’s still causing trouble.
Recently he pledged a personal contribution of $30 million to the Sierra Club’s “Beyond Coal” campaign. Before that, he pledged $50 million. The goal: to shut down half of all US coal plants by 2017 — which produce enough power for more than 134 million Americans — in a dubious effort to control the Earth’s temperature.
When the Potomac River Generating Station (a coal-fired power plant that supplied power to Washington, including the White House) closed in 2012, Bloomberg & Co. took credit, firing off a self-congratulatory press release that touted “a great step forward for the Beyond Coal campaign.”
Guess what? Last week, the lights went out. An outage cut off power to the White House, the State Department and some downtown areas. And though it’s impossible to know for sure, it well might be that the power failure could have been avoided if the Potomac plant were still running.
New York doesn’t rely heavily on coal, the nation’s most affordable, abundant and reliable energy source. But vanquishing coal is just one front in a larger anti-energy crusade. For example, while Bloomberg wages his private war on coal, his environmentalist allies and state leaders are trying to move New York beyond natural gas and nuclear power, the state’s two largest sources of electricity.
In a shameful, drawn-out cave-in to pressure groups, for example, Gov. Cuomo in December finally banned fracking (hydraulic fracturing) outright. That will deny New Yorkers access to abundant natural-gas supplies in their own state.
Not only will such a ban drive up energy costs, it will also kill off jobs. One resident of New York’s beleaguered Southern Tier described his town as “dead in the water now,” thanks to Cuomo. (Even Bloomberg criticized Cuomo’s ban as “misguided.”)
Ultimately, Cuomo wants to move the Empire State beyond coal, natural gas and nuclear — and into an energy abyss. (New York laws already restrict oil use, too, by the way.)
Most notably, the governor has long opposed the Indian Point nuclear plant, which he once called a “catastrophe waiting to happen.”
Last summer, state regulators quietly proposed idling the plant for 100 days per year, ostensibly to protect fish during breeding season.
Entergy, the plant’s operator, points to more sinister motives: “This is not about science. This is about closing what is a safe, clean, environmentally responsible facility that generates electricity in a cost-effective manner for New Yorkers.” Entergy says the move would cost billions per year and could make the plant uneconomic.
While Cuomo bans fracking and shuns nuclear, he’s smitten for solar. Last spring, the governor announced plans to spend $1 billion to boost New York’s solar output by 3 gigawatts — a tenfold increase over the next decade.
That works out to $333,000 per megawatt-hour, which is more than 17,000 times the $19.26 cost New York residents currently pay for electricity.
New York already has the fourth-highest residential electric rates in the country (made worse by the state’s outrageous energy taxes). Cuomo’s policies will push those prices higher still, while leaving the state’s energy supply vulnerable to the whims of the weather. All of which will make it harder to live here, do business here and create jobs here.
Just as climate scientists can’t blame any single weather event on global warming, we can’t definitively quantify the impact of New York’s mindless anti-fossil-fuel and anti-nuclear policies.
But we do know for sure that the “beyond energy” policies of advocates like Cuomo, Bloomberg and the environmental lobby will boost costs, make blackouts more likely and take a tragic toll on the economy.
Even climate-change folks admit that “healing the planet” is a tall order. But this man-made disaster has an easy fix: Get folks like Cuomo and Bloomberg to stand down.
Click here to see the original op-ed.