Generating Controversy In New York

Financial incentives from state agencies, and proposals in New York state urging local businesses to run backup diesel generators this summer to ease pressure on the grid "have raised concerns among environmentalists, because diesel generators pollute much more than even coal-burning power plants," The New York Times reported.

09/01/2001


Financial incentives from state agencies, and proposals in New York state urging local businesses to run backup diesel generators this summer to ease pressure on the grid "have raised concerns among environmentalists, because diesel generators pollute much more than even coal-burning power plants," The New York Times reported.

On one side, John Cahill, a senior advisor to Governor George Pataki, noted that "the environmental carnage from a blackout would be much worse" than that caused by generators used to avoid one. His point: in a blackout, all backup generators could kick in—and run full-time while the power was out. There are as many as 1,500 diesel generators in New York City.

On the other side, a representative of the American Lung Association told the Times: "It's dirty, it's dumb, and it shouldn't be done ... The state is talking about giving incentives to turn these things on when demand is highest, which is when temperatures are hottest and smog is at its worst. It's the worst possible time to spew diesel fumes at the public."

From Pure Power, Fall 2001.





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