The following is a Letter to the Editor published in Our Town Newspaper.

To The Editor

It seems like Albany has been talking about clean energy and its potential to create jobs for a very long time. Fortunately, Senator Liz Krueger is doing something about it, and we’d like to thank her for real leadership on this issue.

Right now, the state Legislature is examining a major initiative to revitalize New York’s economy by adding an impressive 5,000 megawatts of solar power capacity. As a co-sponsor of the so-called “New York Solar Industry Development and Jobs Act,” Senator Krueger is playing an important role, helping blaze the trail toward a greener, stronger New York.

The Solar Industry Development and Jobs Act is not only good for the environment, it will help reinvigorate New York’s economy in a very real way. This legislation will generate $20 billion in economic activity for the state and create at least 22,000 jobs. These jobs will be diverse, ranging across a broad spectrum of salary levels, skill and education requirements and employment fields. What’s more, they will be local jobs and difficult to outsource, meaning they will truly benefit New Yorkers.

Right now, New Jersey—where this program is already in place—has six times the solar capacity that we do. Clean energy has become a major industry in New Jersey, and its rapidly growing solar industry companies say that this type of program has been critical to their success.

It’s time to bring those jobs and benefits to New York. The Assembly is expected to pass this bill in early May. It already has strong bipartisan support in the state Senate, and fits perfectly in with Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s vision to make New York a clean-energy leader.

All those years of talk about the innovation economy come down to this moment—Albany must act today for a better, more prosperous tomorrow.

Marcia Bystryn
New York League of Conservation Voters

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