Power issue in Lansing has Dunkirk similarities

We have the opportunity to come together over two important issues for our community: improving our economy and protecting the environment.

We can reap the benefits of both with the conversion of the Cayuga Power Plant in Lansing.

In Dunkirk we saw thousands of residents voice support for a similar repowering initiative that would protect and create jobs.

I was pleased to join with local Democrat and Republican leaders to prevent the effects that closing the facility would have on the city and county. We shared a concern about the potential impact to the community if the power plant closed. If we work together we can do the same to support our community in Lansing.

The plant in Lansing contributes to the local tax base, including over 10 percent of the school district’s budget and 7 percent of the town’s property tax revenue. It is also one of the largest contributors to the Tompkins County tax base. If repowered, the plant will eliminate sulfur dioxide emissions and reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

It’s disappointing that despite us twice reaching out directly to my opponent in an effort to work together to solve this problem, she chose not to respond.

If an outspoken Ithaca-based group would rather we import energy than produce clean burning energy in our own backyard, I respectfully disagree. To me it is simple; by repowering we will improve our regional and system reliability, ensure lower costs for our residents and avoid the disastrous effects a closure would have on Lansing and Tompkins County.

As we did in Chautauqua County, lets work together to address the needs of our community by supporting repowering the Cayuga Power Plant with natural gas – a solution which will benefit our community with jobs and less expensive utilities for all while improving the environment for generations to come.

Tom Reed is our U.S. Congressional representative whose district includes Chautauqua County to Chemung County of the state’s Southern Tier.