Time For The State To Step Up

To The Reader’s Forum:

Chautauqua County and Dunkirk residents have had the advantage of receiving tax revenues from the operation of the Dunkirk Power station since the 1960’s.

At the PSC hearing last week speakers indicated that 25 percent of Dunkirk’s tax revenues would be lost if the plant closed. This same situation is facing dozens of communities in New York state as fossil fuel and nuclear plants are phased out. Although these closures are necessary for the general public good, it is not fair that these communities become “sacrificial lambs” for the good of the whole state. True, these communities over time have had an unfair advantage over other communities, and things must eventually be balanced out, but just “pulling the plug” overnight is not fair.

Clean electricity solutions are coming in time, producing new “green” jobs and a better environment for generations to come, as well as bringing new tax revenues, but New York state government must figure out a way to accommodate the change without destroying local economies. A simple answer is to allow the entire New York state tax base to cover local tax losses until new tax revenues phase in. And begin re-training employees in green technologies without cost. Dunkirk is in an excellent location to take advantage of off-shore and on-shore wind generation, as well as for manufacturing large wind turbines. Our state government needs to step up to the plate and provide subsidies for these green energy opportunities to take hold.

James S. Miller

East Aurora, N.Y.