Lopez Pushes For Alternative Energy Sources

Key to reviving New York agriculture and the Upstate economy
May 23, 2007
With rapidly rising fuel costs and a dangerous reliance on foreign fuel sources, Assemblyman Pete Lopez (R,C,I – Schoharie) is working to support farms, small businesses and families by seeking alternative fuel sources in order to create a sustainable environment and economy.

“Alternative energy production is key to the rebirth of agriculture in New York, to securing independence from foreign oil and for promoting a cleaner environment,” said Lopez. “I look forward to working with individuals in the community as we look to secure a sustainable future for our families.”

In his remarks, Assemblyman Lopez emphasized that energy is important in every facet of our lives. “As a society we must prioritize the development of alternative energy supplies to ensure that clean, homegrown energy becomes the mainstay of our communities,” said Assemblyman Lopez. Since taking office, Lopez has held meetings with groups such as the NYS Farm Bureau, NYS Energy Research and Development Authority, NY Power Authority as well as with individual businesses and entrepreneurs to identify and support local projects that would bring alternative energy to the region. Some of the projects being worked on by Lopez include the following:

  • Working with biodiesel producers in Bainbridge in order to process and expand a facility that would make use of locally produced energy crops as a substitute for diesel and home heating oil,
  • Coordinating a project with the Chenango County Farm Bureau that would use cow manure and cheese whey to generate methane gas which would be used for heating and the generation of electricity,
  • Touring wind generation facilities in order to give constituents, business owners and community leaders a chance to see firsthand the pros and cons of wind generation, and
  • Pursuing opportunities for expanding hydro-electric energy production in the Catskill Watershed.

Assemblyman Lopez is also working to advance the concept of community owned and decentralized power production in concert with the pursuit of alternative energy. These efforts have been well received and reinforced through a series of public meetings throughout the district where local residents have voiced concerns over dependence on foreign oil and the increasing cost of energy.

“Currently, there are state and federal statutes that provide for rural and municipally owned electricity cooperatives. I will be working to promote the expansion of these cooperatives in concert with exploring alternative energy production,” stated Lopez. “This two-tiered strategy offers the potential for local control of our energy supply and for cost-effective production of energy.”

“Lastly, I’m working with my colleagues in the Legislature to initiate and co-sponsor a number of measures that would promote attention to sustainable communities and a sustainable environment,” concluded Lopez. “This affects us in everything that we do. How we live and work. We need to aggressively pursue long-term energy solutions to create a better future.”