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Sullivan, Energize NY and Trump

November 22, 2016

The Sullivan County Legislature voted eight to one on November 17 to become part of the Energize NY program, which will lend money for energy improvement projects to buildings that are commercially-owned or owned by nonprofits.

The stated goal of the program is “to scale the demand for energy improvements through establishing energy upgrades as a social norm in local NY State communities.”

The Energize NY website says the program is beneficial to building owners who will see an increase in the value of their buildings after undertaking a project. It’s good for municipalities because the projects drive economic development and increase the demand for green-collar workers.

And the website says, “The environment benefits enormously when buildings make energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements. There are less emissions and decreased pollution in the area, as well as less dependence on foreign energy imports.”

The site also gives several examples of projects that have already been completed, such as one for a church in Cortland. The Reverend Dr. George Oonnoonny said, “Pope Francis strongly urged the people to protect the environment, and I thought what could I do to protect this environment? Installing solar on our church is another way of keeping his word in our practical life. This project provides us with both financial and environmental benefits.”

Barbara Glustoff, the owner of 5 Spoke Creamery in Goshen, said, “Orange County Planning directed us to their Energize NY Finance program to help get the balance of funding we needed to make this project happen. Going through the Energize NY Finance program was pretty simple and the energy savings will have more than paid for the financed amount by 2020.”

President-elect Donald Trump has said that the concept of climate change was created by China to gain an economic edge over the United States. He later said that was a joke, but he has promised to reverse major climate-related initiatives made by President Barack Obama.

Trump has promised to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement, which some 200 countries have signed onto, and that’s nearly all of the countries on the planet. If Trump makes good on that campaign promise, it will further diminish the reputation of our country as being one where science no longer matters to too many of its citizens. An overwhelming percentage of climate scientists say the science is clear ( Trump’s promised move will put our country in a club with a very small number of others who have not signed, and that includes Iraq, Syria and Uzbekistan.