Op-Eds

It’s Time to Restart Greenidge

By: Tom Reed

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Washington, DC, October 27, 2015 | comments

We recently received some exciting news: the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) found that the Greenidge Power Generation Station’s application for restart meets all state requirements. This is an important step toward restarting the power plant and brining good-paying jobs back to Yates County.

I care about creating jobs, growing our economy, and ensuring that our families and businesses have access to affordable sources of electricity. That is why we joined with a broad coalition of local businesses, community leaders, and elected officials that are working tirelessly to get this plant back on-line producing power and jobs. What’s more, we are using our domestic natural gas resources and reduce our dependence on Middle Eastern crude oil.

The power generated by Greenidge will reduce energy costs, help meet local energy demands and reduce the impact on the local environment. That is an immediate boost to the region and lowering energy costs through repowering Greenidge also plays a long-term role in restoring even more manufacturing jobs to the region.

Producing cleaner power is also good for our environment. Under the Clean Air Act, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation has the primary responsibility to review the facts and determine whether Greenidge meets all state and federal environmental standards. After conducting a thorough year-long review of the permits, applications, and plans for the facility, the DEC has reached the conclusion that this plant is ready to begin working for our community once again.

Greenidge exemplifies the type of power-supplying facility that can help meet the energy needs of local communities while also protecting the environment. The plant will convert from coal to natural gas as the primary fuel used for its generating operations. Throughout this transition, Greenidge will be able to run on natural gas and biomass, which the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has cited as an important source of reducing CO2 emissions in energy production.

More than $45 million has been invested in emissions control upgrades in recent years, $14 million of which has come from the Department of Energy. It is only fair that taxpayers see a direct, positive return on their investment; restarting the Greenidge plant will provide real benefits and have a positive impact on our community for generations to come.

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