Long Islanders gather to call on LIPA to invest in clean energy, like offshore wind
Point Lookout, NY – Today (Tuesday, September 25th, 2012), a wide range of Long Islanders, from local business leaders to university students, rallied around the wind turbine in Point Lookout to call on the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) to invest in clean, renewable energy. This show of support for clean energy comes at a critical juncture, as LIPA debates various sources of new power for Long Island homes. They are expected to announce their decision one week from today at their Board of Trustees meeting on October 2nd.
Dan Sabia, president of Built Well Solar, one of the first solar companies on Long Island explains, “LIPA has a big decision to make soon to continue to support clean energy here on Long Island, as it has with its Solar Pioneer and Entrepreneur programs. On October 2nd, our local utility has the opportunity to help solidify Long Island’s position as a leader in renewable energy by moving forward with a clean energy proposal that can make a difference to Long Islanders today and especially for our future.”
All of the community members at this rally came out to express their concern about the current sources of energy generation and share their hope for Long Island’s energy future. Currently, both the State of New York and LIPA are failing to meet their renewable energy goals of 30% renewable sources by 2015 set by the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard, which LIPA voluntarily committed to. The current debate over new sources of energy generation presents the best opportunity for LIPA to keep their promise to Long Islanders.
Bahar Zoghi, engineer and concerned mother of two, explained, “I am working for a better future for my daughters. I am not involved in this work because it is easy. To move towards a new energy system will of course be challenging, everything new is challenging, but what we will gain from this transition is without a doubt worth it.”
As an engineering student studying at Farmingdale State, Andre Robinson has a very specific vision for Long Island’s future. “As I sit in class, hearing about the progress happening in other countries I get really frustrated that I am not seeing this same progress that I know is possible in my own backyard…The Long Island I would like to see is leading the country in clean energy innovation because LIPA made the right decision to invest in clean energy now for our future. Because of this the Long Island I see has good job opportunities so I can stay here after I graduate. By good job opportunities I am not just referring to jobs that pay well. I mean jobs that pay well and promote healthy communities at the same time. That is the Long Island I will be living on and it all starts on October 2nd.”
With exactly one week until LIPA’s decision, this rally also marked the launch of a call-in campaign to LIPA. Every attendee at the rally took out their cell phone and made sure LIPA heard his or her demands for clean energy. It was also made clear that these calls will keep coming in until Long Islanders see the shift they want to a clean, renewable energy economy.
Peter Gollon, Energy Chair of the Long Island Sierra Club, challenged LIPA to have the “courage” to make this necessary change. He said, “We are here to tell them to find the courage to actually lead us into the future of renewable energy, where we all know we have to go…Our children and grandchildren can’t wait while the LIPA Board and the Governor, like the Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz, look to find their courage. So, today we call on LIPA to make the right decision on Ocober 2nd and invest in clean energy, like offshore wind.”