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New report says state benefiting from wind energy

WBFO News file photo

The environmental benefits of wind energy go well beyond helping reduce the effects of global warming. That’s according to new research published by Environment New York’s Research and Policy Center.

The report “Wind Power for a Cleaner America” estimates wind energy is helping avoid 1,724 tons of pollution causing nitrogen oxide each year. The research also claims that wind power helps saves New York State more than 800 million gallons of water annually. 

“We’re avoiding the carbon pollution equivalent to 380,000 cars, and over 2,130 tons of sulfur dioxide, which is a key component in acid rain and soot, which can lead to asthma and respiratory diseases,” said Field Director of Environment New York’s Research and Policy Center Eric Whalen.

Whalen says although wind power is costly at the front end, it’s a cheaper, healthier alternative in the long run.

“Coal, per kilowatt hour, many be cheaper now, but the bottom line is we’re not including the cost of mountain top removal related to coal. We’re not including the public health impacts from asthma and heart disease caused by coal. We’re not counting the extreme weather events which have cost billions in recent years driven by global warming, which is largely apart of coal fired power plants contribution to the carbon pollution problem,” said Whalen.

Whalen says authors of the report are calling on Governor Cuomo to extend the state’s clean energy programs.  

"And our members of Congress should everything within their power to extend critical federal tax incentives for clean energy and for wind power in particular, which are set to expire at the end of the year,” said Whalen.

Opponents of wind energy say without tax incentives the wind energy industry isn’t sustainable