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Letter: Great Idea! Let’s ‘Table it’‘til 2025

We love our oil. We love it for our cars. We love it on our food. And as long as it isn’t seeping into Manhasset Bay, all we have to do is shrug it off as it bleeds unchecked off the coast of Louisiana.

Or not.

I’m going with the not. And I’ll tell you why. I’m one of the cheapest sons of a _ you’ll ever meet.

Solar power. Now I could tell you all about the benefits, tree hugging-earth saving reasons to “go solar” and “be greener” but do you really care? Probably not. So I won’t waste your time or the paper’s ink. I’ll make it simple:

I pay no electric bills. I, in fact, receive a small check from LIPA at the end of the year for the excess electricity my home creates and LIPA buys back from me.

My panels are located on my rear roof and are not visible from the front of my home, most of my neighbors are unaware I even have them.

Federal, State, and LIPA rebates make New York State the best and cheapest state in the country when it comes to converting to solar power. Of the total cost of my two systems, I paid a little less than a third of the total cost; incentives paid the rest.

If we used the available acreages on top of the high school and middle schools, we would cut our school taxes by over two thirds. Yes, two thirds. Photovoltaic solar cells generate energy even in rain and cloudy days. The schools would be generating revenue 365 days a year, even before the sun fully rises and even after the sun has set on the horizon. Did I mention it could cut our school taxes by two thirds?

So it’s a silly fantasy I know. And it’s a better suggestion to consider, say 10 or 15 years from now. Sadly, the current Obama administration is desperately trying to give millions away for these types of projects, all you have to do is ask.

Problem is, I’m just a crazy tree hugger in an oil hungry town. I have no pull, no special number to call to or favor to call in. If anyone reading this knows anyone who I can talk to about actually reaching out to the state and federal folks who can actually make this pipe dream (pardon the pun) happen, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

It would probably make more sense to wait for the government offer to run out and simply ignore alternatives to fossil fuels, but maybe, just maybe, we can save money, save the environment, save our children’s future, and (to reiterate) Save Money.

Your crazy tree-huggin neighbor,

David L. Paterson

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