This page can connect you to ways in which you can get involved with the battles against the fossil fuel monsters that would threaten our future, and it can also offer you ways to make your voice heard in favor of renewable energy options locally and at the state level.
Keeping The Frackers Out of the Delaware River Basin
The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) has had a de facto fracking ban in place for a few years, but over the last year or two, the agency has considered allowing the frackers to withdraw freshwater supplies from the basin, and has also contemplated allowing fracking waste processing within the basin. In January, NJ Governor Murphy notified the DRBC about his support for a complete ban on fracking and its associated activities in the Delaware River Basin. This being the case, now would be a good time for NY residents to call Governor Cuomo (at 518-474-8390) and PA residents to call Governor Wolf (at 717-787-2500), urging both of them to support Governor Murphy’s proposal. Their 3 votes would comprise a majority, so they could pass the ban together, and it’s possible the DE Governor Carney might join them, though it’s unlikely that Trump’s Army Corps of Engineers rep would also go along.
Click here to see a January 2019 press release from NRDC about Governor Murphy’s announcement.
The Vestal Town Board and the solar PTE
In the spring of 2016, as the Vestal Town Board considered opting out of the NYS solar property tax exemption (PTE), we at VeRSE rallied our members and others in the community in opposition to this move. The town board tabled the idea at the time, but it does remain an ever-present possibility, so if this issue reappears in our locality, we will again raise the alarm.
The NYS solar PTE, in effect since 1977, prohibits the local tax assessor from raising a property’s assessed value due to the presence of solar panels for the first 15 years following the solar installation, so NY residents can invest in solar power knowing that during the payback period no additional unexpected costs will crop up due to the presence of the PV (photovoltaic) panels. When making the cost/benefit calculation, this PTE eliminates a large question mark that can cast a dark shadow over a potential solar deal, and in recent years, many homeowners across NY have plugged into the solar option and bought themselves a measure of energy independence, with the PTE helping to make the solar option more affordable. At current rates, it generally takes about 7-8 years for solar panels to pay for themselves, so this PTE plays a major role in making PVs affordable.