There are critical connections among numerous important stories published in the Jan. 13 edition of the Lockport Union-Sun & Journal.

With our heedless burning of fossil fuels, the last eight years have been the hottest experienced since record-keeping began in 1880 (“2022 was fifth or sixth warmest on record as Earth heats up”). We might have curtailed this ongoing disaster if Exxon Mobil had not publicly and deliberately denied its own very accurate 1970s climate predictions in favor of supporting their own outlandish profits (“Study: Exxon Mobil accurately predicted warming since 1970s”). Fossil fuel greenwashing is a long-established campaign continued by the gas industry.

We will certainly experience continuing climate catastrophes, but scientists now consider that we may be able to avoid critical tipping points by a rapid transition to renewable energy. Fortunately, this is happening right now in Western New York.

In good news reported, the Maverick Farm solar project in Lockport has gotten the go-ahead (“Solar project finalizes taxes, community benefits”). Despite the misguided moratorium on new solar projects, this long-planned project can proceed, literally saving the Kowalskis’ organic dairy farm.

In more good energy news, SIVA Powers America Inducement is opening a wind turbine manufacturing facility in the Lockport industrial development park for use by companies and individuals who want to facilitate their own gas transition (“Wind powered manufacturer coming to the town”). A solid economic investment, the company will bring 15 full-time and 5 part-time jobs in both white- and blue-collar positions in its first two years.

Governor Kathy Hochul is leading New York’s necessary transition from gas with smart investments in wind and solar power and extensive aid to families to keep their energy bills low and to weatherize and electrify their homes. Passage of the All-Electric Buildings Act requiring no gas hook-ups in new construction, blocked by State Assembly leader Carl Heastie last year, is essential.

U.S. Rep. Claudia Tenney advocates for the enormous number of farmers in her district but resists electrification ("Claudia Tenney speaks on district priorities, issues.”). Climate change from fossil fuel burning has hit farmers hard with drought and devastating storms. Electrification and use of clean energy would bring broad benefits to farmers in reduced energy costs.

It is a myth that farmers and businesses are in a mandated race to electrify. There’s no requirement that entities have to take individual action. Instead, state policy is bringing the advantages of clean energy to all New Yorkers.

NONNA SHTIPELMAN, Fairport

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