Editor’s Note: The following opinion column was written by Jerry Kremer, chairman of the New York Affordable Reliable Electricity Alliance (New York AREA) and formerly the Assembly Ways & Means committee chairman.

A response to Kremer’s column will be published later on Monday. Kremer’s column was prompted by the Ithaca Voice story, “NYSEG says it’s been forced to deny Ithaca area request for natural gas.”

Contact me at jstein@ithacavoice.com to submit an alternative or dissenting viewpoint.

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Svante:
Why I Shop Downtown

Dear Editor,

The recent article on the denial of natural gas requests (NYSEG Says It’s Been Forced to Deny Ithaca Area Requests for Natural Gas) because of pipeline opposition is another example of the short-sightedness that is responsible for much of the region’s energy pinch and the directly related economic under performance.

Technology start-ups and higher education bring tens of thousands of people to Ithaca every year, but high-tech businesses and academics require modern energy infrastructure to expand. Two recent Ithaca transplants, a microchip-laser company and a farm services provider, are creating new opportunities. New construction in Collegetown, downtown, and Inlet Island will attract even more residents and companies to Ithaca.

At the same time, experts told the Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce to expect the local economy to grow only 0.3 percent, citing insufficient access to natural gas and other energy infrastructure constraints as a major factor.

Ithaca needs, and deserves, access to natural gas. The opposition to the pipeline has offered no credible alternative to provide the power Ithaca needs. Local business’ and homeowners’ requests for access to natural gas are being turned down, throttling the local economy. Why shut down prosperity at such a critical time? Ithaca needs power today.

Sincerely,

Arthur “Jerry” Kremer


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Jeff Stein

Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.