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Let’s produce biogas from our farm waste

The way we can improve the lot of struggling farmers in the Southern Tier, who are being lured by big energy for short-term prosperity and a damaged environment, is to produce renewable energy from farm waste. Bioenergy is created by fermenting animal and crop waste in large tanks called biodigesters that create natural gas.

The gas, which is the same as the fracked methane gas, can be used to fuel generators to produce electricity that can be used on the farm or sold to the local power company. Producing biogas is not an invasive process and will not cause permanent damage to the environment, as will the carcinogenic, chemical-laden fracked gas produced by big oil and gas companies that will contaminate New York’s soil and water.

Solar panels on barns and in pastures would also be useful. These are widely used on farmland in Bavaria, Germany.

Unfortunately, there is a lack of will by our elected representatives in Albany. They could easily subsidize New York farmers to build biogas digesters, but they won’t because they refuse to tax the rich and are being influenced by big energy trade groups like the Independent Oil and Gas Association.

Susan R. Wilke

North Tonawanda