Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Westchester County Business Journal: Letters To The Editor

To the editor:

Your informative March 3 story, “Greenhouse Gas Key To County Initiative,” talks about many positive steps Westchester businesses are taking and the importance of reducing greenhouse emissions in the county overall. However, all of these good efforts will essentially be wiped away if County Executive Spano has his way and closes Indian Point.

Mr. Spano’s plan to reduce Westchester’s carbon dioxide emissions by 20 percent by 2015 will be meaningless if Indian Point is closed. Indian Point emits practically zero carbon emissions. If its power could somehow be replaced by other sources serving New York state (and it can’t), carbon dioxide emissions would increase by 14 million tons annually, not much different than Westchester County’s total 2005 carbon dioxide emissions (13,140,000 tons).

Power generation accounts for more than 33 percent of America’s carbon dioxide emissions. As such, it is unfortunate that the county executive’s report does not discuss electricity power generating sources. One cannot address the carbon dioxide challenge by ignoring one of the major contributing factors.

Without Indian Point, there would need to be at least four more fossil fuel plants in the region – and in addition to carbon dioxide, that would also increase sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides emissions, both of which produce serious negative health issues.

Norris McDonald
President, African American Environmentalist Association
Staten Island

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