Cuomo must promote green energy policies

The decision on whether or not to allow “hydraulic fracturing” in New York State is about much more than preventing large-scale water contamination. Equally important is the question of what energy policy future we want to put in place for our state.

Our long-standing energy policy path has encouraged more development and the use of climate-warming fossil fuels. As a result, “never-seen-anything-like-this-before” catastrophically destructive events like superstorm Sandy are occurring with increasing regularity. The property damage alone for New York and New Jersey from that “Frankenstorm” is estimated at $70 billion.

The alternative path would be to actually establish the long-discussed, feasible green energy path that quickly phases out carbon energy. Just as we, as individuals, can decide to build a house that uses green energy such as geothermal heating and, thereby, reap long-term economic benefits, the governor can establish statewide energy development policies that put our whole society on a more beneficial and sustainable footing.

In the midst of the recent devastation wrought by Sandy, Gov. Andrew Cuomo voiced his clear understanding that we humans are causing climate change by burning fossil fuels. A decision not to allow hydraulic fracturing for fossil fuel in New York State is clearly the right place for the governor to translate that understanding into action. It’s not too late to prevent a future that’s littered with extreme weather and climate armageddons.

Jim Rauch