The Here Comes the Sun Petition for Dutchess County sign now

Fact: Last August California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law "a Million Solar Roofs Plan to provide 3,000 megawatts of additional clean energy and reduce the output of greenhouse gasses by 3 million tons...like taking one million cars off the road; the plan will lead to one million solar roofs in California by 2018."
[gov.ca.gov/index.php/press-release/3588/]

Fact: By an overwhelming margin (73\%) six years ago San Francisco voters approved a landmark $100 million bond initiative that paid for solar panels, energy efficiency, etc. for public facilities; the measure is paying for itself entirely from energy savings at no cost to taxpayers. San Francisco has a population a little over 700,000; Dutchess County's population is about 300,000-- a bit under half of San Francisco's.

Question: Do you think that we here in Dutchess deserve the same chance that San Francisco voters had in November 2001-- the opportunity to revitalize our local economy and the air we breathe, ultimately saving tax dollars, creating good-paying jobs, and cleaning up the air we breathe-- by voting for a $50 million "Ten Thousand Roofs by 2020" bond initiative referendum to pay for solar panels and energy efficiency upgrades on county-owned and other properties throughout the county?

Sign on to this petition and pass it along to all you know if you agree that county voters should at least be allowed the opportunity to vote for such a bond; this $50 million bond should also help county residents and businesses with zero-interest loans to purchase solar energy-- and go towards setting up a local cooperative, nonprofit, member-driven organization for Dutchess residents to purchase solar power at bulk-rate discount, similar to what the folks elsewhere have done with the nonprofit CooperativeCommunityEnergy.com.

Fact: "According to Dr. Richard Perez, Research Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at SUNY -Albany, if you covered a mere 0.75\% of New York's total area with PV's, you would generate enough power over the year to meet the state's energy needs."
[from "Solar Solutions" by David Eisenbud (Westchester Environment 9/02):
fcwc.org/WEArchive/091002/solar_ny.htm]

Fact: Solar power is alive, well, and quite viable right here in Dutchess County; it just could use a bit more help from our government-- see HVCE.com, EarthKindEnergy.com, and NYSERDA.org.
[see "Programs Let Homes Produce Green Power" by Michael Hill (Associated Press 1/22/07)-- quotes from our county's own Michael Trimble and Hudson Valley Clean Energy's Jeff Wright of Rhinebeck, along with John and Anna Bagnall in Hyde Park: commondreams.org/headlines07/0122-05.htm]

Five realities on our local air quality and climate that should make this initiative a reality itself:

1. Dutchess County's air quality has been rated an "F" for the last six years in a row by the American Lung Association of New York State.
[see alanys.org/files/sota06_ny.pdf]

2. Dutchess County's average hourly concentration of ozone has been found to be much higher than even that of New York City's, according to a recent study conducted at Millbrook's Institute of Ecosystem Studies by Dr. Clive Jones, Jillian Gregg, and Todd Dawson that made the front page of both the Poughkeepsie Journal and New York Times as well just a few years ago.
[study itself can be downloaded at ecostudies.org/people_sci_jones_pubs.asp]

3. The pollution belched by power plants causes some 1,800 deaths, 1,200 respiratory hospitalizations and 37,000 asthma attacks in New York each year.
[Statement from Peter Iwanowicz in October 2004, then Director of Environmental Health for the American Lung Association of New York State, in joint press release withEnvironmental Advocates of New York, NYPIRG, and Sierra Club:
eany.org/pressreleases/2004/101804.html; comments from over 80 county residents calling for power plant emissions to be lowered here: petitiononline.com/Breathe]

4. "Since 1970, winter temperatures in the Northeast have increased 4.3 degrees...'This
is a tremendous change in 30 years' time,' said Cameron Wake, a University
of New Hampshire scientist who contributed to a comprehensive report about climate
change in the Northeastern United States and adjacent Canadian provinces. He spoke
recently at a conference about climate change in the Hudson Valley organized by
the Department of Environmental Conservation."
[from "Not-So-Cold Winter Is Good Time To Look At Hot Trend" by Dan Shapley
(Poughkeepsie Journal 12/17/06)
poughkeepsiejournal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061217/COLUMNISTS07/612170339/1006/NEWS01]

5. "Dynegy will reduce air pollution at its Midwestern plants before it upgrades its Hudson River plants, company officials recently told the Poughkeepsie Journal editorial board. Its Danskammer plant in Newburgh is the largest polluter in its 24-plant fleet, and a gamut of new state and federal pollution reduction laws will require changes there soon...Danskammer burns coal mined in South America...It emitted 1.2 million pounds of toxic air pollutants all within permitted levels in 2004, according to the latest federal data. Roseton emitted 840,500 pounds. Dynegy's power plants in the Town of Newburgh produce enough energy for about 1.5 million homes, and are among the Hudson Valley's largest air polluters. Dynegy paid $903 million for the now-47-year-old Danskammer and 31-year-old Roseton plants from Central Hudson Gas & Electric Co. when New York deregulated the electric power industry in 2001. 'If Danskammer's one of their dirtiest plants, why are they allowed to get away with putting off cleaning it up?' asked Phil Pitner, a Wappinger resident who lives across the Hudson from Dynegy's plants. 'It seems to me if you're working on a problem like this, why not start on your worst problem first? That's the biggest impact.'"
[from "Dynegy Focus on Plants in Midwest" by Dan Shapley
(Poughkeepsie Journal 7/1/06)
poughkeepsiejournal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060701/NEWS04/101130005/0/NEWS04&theme=MERCURY]

From VoteSolar.org...

"Leadership on renewable energy is coming from the local level. Vote Solar was founded on the premise that the solar revolution could be jumpstarted by a succession of municipal-led initiatives. The premise proved itself in reality cities across the country have risen to the challenge. This is by no means a comprehensive list; rather, it's meant to show some of the good company that solar cities keep.

The San Francisco Story

This was the one that got Vote Solar started. On November 6, 2001, San Francisco voters overwhelmingly [73 percent] approved a landmark $100 million bond initiative that paid for solar panels, energy efficiency and wind turbines for public facilities. The measure paid for itself entirely from energy savings at no cost to taxpayers. With this model, San Francisco pioneered a path for funding the transition to renewable energy.

The mechanics are simple. The city borrows money for solar panels and energy efficiency measures for public buildings. The money that would have gone to buy electricity from power plants instead goes to pay down the debt.

The campaign for the solar revenue bond happened because San Francisco residents, like many other Californians, were plagued by blackouts, skyrocketing prices and dirty neighborhood power plants. Large-scale solar power represents an important way for people to take greater control over their future by making their own affordable, reliable, and clean energy.

The effort to pass the measure became a consensus campaign. The measure earned the endorsement of organizations spanning the political spectrum from the Chamber of Commerce to the Sierra Club and almost every elected leader representing San Francisco from City Hall to Capitol Hill. The measure, which moved from a mere idea to approved legislation in less than 10 months, passed by 73\%. Implementation is being handled by the city's Public Utilities Commission. The first project to implemented was a 675 kW system on the roof of the Moscone Convention Center.

-- Oakland: Vote Solar has been working since 2003 to encourage the City to make investments in solar energy. We helped the City prepare a Request for Proposals for nearly 1 MW of solar issued in November of 2003; we worked to educate the City Council on the benefits, and on July 20, 2004, the Council gave its unanimous approval of the contract. The first 1 MW is now installed, and Vote Solar is helping the City identify sites, apply for rebate reservations, and issue RFPs for a further 5 MW of solar.

-- Last March the Richmond (CA) City Council voted unanimously to support a goal of developing 5 megawatts of solar photovoltaics on municipal, commercial and residential buildings by 2010.

-- In March of 2005 the state of New Mexico passed a $20 million bond for solar and energy efficiency technologies for state-owned buildings. We anticipate net savings of $18 million over the bond period.

-- On June 4, 2004, the Honolulu City Council approved a $7.85 million bond for solar and energy efficiency efforts on city buildings."

-- Los Angeles' Department of Water and Power wants 100,000 solar rooftops in the city by 2010, and theyve budgeted $150 million for the purpose.

-- In January, 2003 members of IBEW Local 617 finished installing a $1 million PV system that will provide all the power for the new 30,000 sq. foot forensics laboratory of San Mateo County.

[above from votesolar.org/city-initiatives/successes.html;
apolloalliance.org/about_the_alliance/benefits_of_apollo_s_plan/examples.cfm]

Nine facts from New Energy Choices:

[see newenergychoices.org/index.php?sd=no&page=mediaKit_solar]

1. The cost of producing solar panels, in constant dollars, has fallen from as much as $50 per peak watt in 1980 to as little as $3 per peak watt today.
[see www1.eere.energy.gov/solar/myths.html#6]

2. Solar power cannot only meet the needs of our nation's economy - it can help it grow. A University of California study shows that solar generation can create more than ten-times the amount of jobs than non-renewable energy sources per megawatt hour.
[sanfrancisco.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/stories/2004/04/12/daily17.html]

3. Renewable energy produces 40 percent more jobs per dollar invested than coal. In addition, the costs for wind and solar power have plummeted over the recent past and will continue to do so as technology develops.
[www1.eere.energy.gov/solar/myths.html#6]

4. Jobs installing solar panels and other renewable energy sources tend to be good jobs that pay a living wage.
[sentienttimes.com/04/feb_mar_04/print_new_energy.html]

5. Recent studies have found that solar thermal systems, for example, can reduce the energy needed to heat schools by nearly half.
[sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/06/050603062117.htm]

6. Solar is already saving money for Californians. San Diego's plan to install solar panels on several city facilities will save the city $700,000 in energy costs.

7. FedEx's hub at the Oakland airport is powered by one of the largest corporate solar installations in the United States.The 900 kW solar project protects the hub against power outages while reducing its utility bills and environmental impact.

8. Community-based solar could havemitigated the massive 2003 blackout by lessening the need for large regional power transfers.

9. There are many inexpensive strategies to heat homes with solar energy for heating rooms in all climates.

Fact: "Geography also factors in, not so much because of sunshine ('If you put your hand out and see a shadow, there is enough sunlight to produce electricity,' says George Sterzinger, executive director of the Renewable Energy Policy Project in Washington, D.C.) but because of electricity rates. Utility customers in states such as Hawaii, California, Massachusetts, and New Yorkwhere electricity is the most expensivesee faster returns than those in cheap-energy states such as Idaho and Washington, especially in places where the local utility allows residential meters to spin backward, sending excess energy to the grid and lowering power bills in the process."
[from "Sunshine's Bottom Line" by Kimberly Lisagor (from January 2007 Mother Jones):
motherjones.com/commentary/columns/2007/01/practical_values.html]

Fact: "Dirty Coal-Fired Power Plants and Air Pollution: Power plants are a major source of air pollution, with coal-fired power plants spewing 59\% of total U.S. sulfur dioxide pollution and 18\% of total nitrous oxides every year. Coal-fired power plants are also the largest polluter of toxic mercury pollution5, largest contributor of hazardous air toxics, and release about 50\% of particle pollution. Additionally, power plants release over 40\% of total U.S. carbon dioxide emissions, a prime contributor to global warming."
[from the Sierra Club: sierraclub.org/cleanair/factsheets/power.asp]

Fact: "Combustion of fossil fuels is the principal source of fine particle emissions, including the burning of coal, oil, diesel fuel, gasoline, and wood in transportation, power generation, and space heating. Old coal-fired power plants, industrial boilers, diesel and gas-powered vehicles, and wood stoves are the worst culprits."
[nrdc.org/air/pollution/qbreath.asp]

Fact: "The number of Category 4 and 5 hurricanes has almost doubled in the last 30 years. The flow of ice from glaciers in Greenland has more than doubled over the past decade."
[from Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" ClimateCrisis.net]

Fact: "Globally, 2006 was the sixth hottest year on record, cooled by La Nina conditions in the Pacific Ocean. The top 10 warmest years recorded globally have all occurred during the last 12 years."
[BBC 12/14/06: news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/6177663.stm]

Two paths are diverging in a yellow wood; let's not waste any more time in choosing the right one-- our lives and the lives of our children depend on it.

Sign on to this petition-- and contact our County Legislature at [email protected]; pass it on.

Joel Tyner
County Legislator
Clinton/Rhinebeck
324 Browns Pond Road
Staatsburg, NY 12580
[email protected]
RealMajorityProject.blogspot.com
(845) 876-2488

[For more information see:
NYSEIA.org;
MillionSolarRoofs.com;
DSIREUSA.org;
EnergyTaxIncentives.org;
HawaiiIslandSolar.org.]

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

"In 2003, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority released a report titled Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Resource Development Potential in New York State. The report assessed the technically and economically feasible amount of energy efficiency and renewable energy that could be created in the state and the achievable potential in terms of market barriers and state goals...The study found the achievable potential to meet 13\% of the state's generation needs in 2012 and 16\% in 2022."

[from the U.S. Department of Energy; see:
eere.energy.gov/states/alternatives/resources_ny.cfm]

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

From Riverkeeper...

[riverkeeper.org/campaign.php/indianpoint_reenergize/the_facts/1244]

There are many myths about solar power, but one of the greatest myths is that there just isn't enough sunlight in New York for the systems to be sustainable. Not true. New York receives the equivalent of 70\% of the sun's rays that sunny San Diego does due to our coastal weather pattern. The cost of solar power is on a steady decline, especially since California's Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger launched the Million Solar Roof Initiative in August 2006. With government rebates and loan incentives, solar panels are not only affordable and environmentally-friendly ways to generate your electricity -- they also increase the value of your home or building.

The Basics: Only a miniscule fraction about a hundredth of a millionth of a percent of the suns energy hits the earth. Yet, every minute, this is enough energy to meet the earths power needs for an entire year. Recent developments in technology allow us to harness this clean form of energy through various solar power systems...

New York State Energy Research and Development Authority has cash incentives available for the installation of small PV or solar electric systems. The cash incentives are only available for PV systems purchased through an eligible installer. NYSERDA's New York Energy $martSM initiative currently has several programs that, when combined with the PV cash incentives, could help offset the total installation costs of a PV system by 40-70\%.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

From ci.santa-clara.ca.us/pub_utility/ws_muni_solar.html...

Water Heating

Since 1975, the City of Santa Clara has taken a leading role in the development and promotion of the use of solar energy. That year, the City established the nation's first municipal solar utility. Under this program the City will supply, install and maintain solar water heating systems for residents and businesses within Santa Clara.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

From SolarSebastopol.org...

What is Solar Sebastopol?

Your chance to slash your electric bill
by making your utility meter spin backwards!

Solar Sebastopol is a local first-of-its-kind program to encourage more solar energy on residential, business, and public properties in Sebastopol. Our goal is to install 1 megawatt of solar power production by year-end 2006. (Yes, we have extended the program for another year!) Thats equivalent to solar photovoltaic (PV) systems on about 500 average-size homes.

We have a window of opportunity to drastically cut the out-of-pocket costs of each solar electric system installation. Act now while rebates and tax credits are still available!

How close is Sebastopol to reaching the goal?

As of July, 2006, Sebastopol has added 330 kW of solar power within city limits, or almost one-third of the 1 megawatt (1,000 kW) goal. We will update this information as new installations get approved - so come back often to check in. You can help us reach the goal!

An exciting addition towards our goal is the new system on Analy High School.

AND, although it does not technically count towards our goal, the 95472 zip code which includes Sebastopol and the surrounding unincorporated area has installed vbery close to 1 Megawatt of solar PV!!

Sebastopol and the surrounding 95472 zip code area ranked #1 in per capita solar installations for all cities of 50,000 or less in the Greater Bay Area.
~ Northern CA Solar Energy Assoc. study, 8/22/06

After three years, the Million Solar Roofs bill, SB 1, authored by Senator Kevin Murray, was signed into law this morning by Governor Schwarzenegger.... SB 1 compliments the California Solar Initiative established by the Public Utilities Commission in January and puts California on track toward building a million solar roofs in the next ten years.
~ Environment California, 8/21/06

California will impose broad caps on its greenhouse-gas emissions under a landmark plan that marks a clear break with the federal government and which backers hope will become a national model.
~ AP, Sacramento, 8/31/06 on AB 32 by Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez and Assembly Member Fran Pavley

How did this get started?

Local people like you who wanted a program like San Franciscos Vote Solar initiative started meeting in 2001. Students from Sonoma State University's Energy Management Design Program conducted a solar feasibility study in 2002 and the Sebastopol City Council endorsed the studys recommendation for a citywide solar program. A self-funded advisory group of solar business and community leaders now manages Solar Sebastopol under the guidance of the City of Sebastopol. Membership is open to anyone who wants to help reach our goal.

Whats in it for you?

A custom-designed solar energy system and highest quality installation, lower utility bills, enhanced property value, greater energy self-reliance, reduced CO2 emissions, reduced fossil fuel dependency, a part in achieving our community-wide goal, role modeling local energy control, and oh yes, helping to save Planet Earth!

Make this your year to go solar!

Your home or business installation can help us reach our 1 Megawatt goal.

Financial Incentives

Right now you can qualify for rebates of $2.60 per kW on the cost of your solar system as well as a generous 30\% federal tax credit. Rebates are decreasing, so act now!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

More from "Solar Solutions" by David Eisenbud...
(Westchester Environment 9/02)
[fcwc.org/WEArchive/091002/solar_ny.htm]

Rooftop solar arrays sited on top of commercial and government buildings help deliver valuable peak power through the use of emission-free and reliable solar electric systems. Considering how many buildings we have across New York State, you begin to see that our miles upon square miles of rooftops are an underutilized asset. According to Dr. Richard Perez, Research Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at SUNY -Albany, if you covered a mere 0.75\% of New York's total area with PV's, you would generate enough power over the year to meet the state's energy needs. Moreover, buildings, parking lots and roadways already cover almost 3\% of New York's total land mass!

Climate Perfect

Contrary to what many believe, New York's weather is very good for solar power since most of the "juice" is generated during the peak power season - from May through September. These are the most expensive months in New York to operate centrally located fossil fuel or nuclear power plants.

Also, solar power is generated and fed directly into the building during the peak daytime hours when electricity use and power demand is highest. In other words, PV's on buildings put power where and when it is needed most.

Solar Makes $en$e

Solar technology is increasingly practical and affordable. Prices have fallen by 90\% over the last 20 years, with wholesale module prices well below $3.50 per watt. Global demand for PV modules is growing 30\% to 50\% per year and there's been a significant increase in the number of large-scale PV systems that are connected to the grid. To meet the growing demand, PV module makers have boosted production capacities that integrate automated processes and secure further cost reductions through economies of scale. These developments are enabling solar PV to compete directly with traditional sources of electricity with decreasing incentives. Accomplishing this level playing field is a long sought after goal for the industry.

Solar electric systems belong on New York's' building rooftops because the technology makes economic sense. The power grid across New York has hit generating and transmission capacity limits that threaten its long-term ability to serve the future needs of New York's economy. New power plants and transmission lines are too costly and difficult to permit and site, and often require disruptions of natural features and settled communities.

Older, dirtier coal-fired plants, nuclear plants pose environmental threats to the population and will burden New York ratepayers with large, ongoing maintenance and decommissioning costs. Additionally, renewable resources such as solar power help ensure our energy independence and security by reducing our reliance on foreign fossil fuels and provide opportunities for distributed energy on site which require no transmission and create no targets.

The technology is available today to provide commercial scale photovoltaic (PV) installations to generate solar power on our buildings at attractive prices in amounts sufficient to alleviate the current stress and higher costs of running the existing power grid at full capacity on peak power days.

Today's solar power arrays provide AT LEAST 30 years of clean and reliable power with little maintenance required and come with a 25-year warranty on power output. Installation of the solar system is fast and easy, working in parallel with the grid as a supplement to utility power."

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

From gov.ca.gov/index.php/press-release/3588/...

08/21/2006

Schwarzenegger Signs Legislation to Complete Million Solar Roofs Plan

Concluding a two-year effort to help make California the nations leader in solar energy, Gov. Schwarzenegger signed SB 1 by Senator Kevin Murray (D-Los Angeles), putting the finishing touches on the Governors Million Solar Roofs Plan.

When I ran for governor, I vowed to make the environment the centerpiece of my administration and turn back the clock on pollution, said Gov. Schwarzenegger. My Million Solar Roofs Plan will provide 3,000 megawatts of additional clean energy and reduce the output of greenhouse gasses by 3 million tons which is like taking one million cars off the road. I want to thank Sen. Kevin Murray for his hard work in helping me make California the leader on solar power again.

Last year, the Governor asked the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to implement his Million Solar Roofs plan. Dubbed the California Solar Initiative by the CPUC, the plan will lead to one million solar roofs in California by 2018.

Specifically, SB 1 implements the portions of the Million Solar Roofs plan that the CPUC does not have the authority to mandate, including:

Expanding the Program: The current implementation of the Million Solar Roofs plan only applies to customers of Pacific Gas and Electric, Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas and Electric. SB 1 expands the program to customers of the municipal-owned utilities such as SMUD and LADWP.

Crediting Consumers for Excess Power Produced: Consumers who install solar panels on their homes and businesses can sell excess energy back to power companies for credit on their monthly bills. This credit is a key incentive for consumers to install solar panels. Currently, the cap on the number of customers who can use this option is .5 percent. SB 1 raises this to 2.5 percent. Raising the ceiling will provide part of the needed financial incentive to bring more solar power on to the grid.

Making Solar Power a Standard Item on New Homes: SB 1 would require a developer of more than 50 new single family homes offer the option of a solar energy system to all customers beginning January 1, 2011. One million solar roofs will greatly increase the states rooftop solar energy capacity, providing the output equivalent of five modern electric power plants. This programs 3,000 megawatt goal, taken together with other aggressive solar initiatives such as requiring utilities to acquire 20 percent of the power used within the state from renewable sources, will make California once again a world leader in solar power.

Since taking office, the Governor has made it a priority to develop a self-sustaining solar industry for California. In 2004, he introduced the Million Solar Roofs Initiative, which included $2.9 billion in incentives to homeowners and building owners who install solar electric systems. Attached is a fact sheet detailing the Governors environmental record.

Sign The Petition

Sign with Facebook
OR

If you already have an account please sign in, otherwise register an account for free then sign the petition filling the fields below.
Email and the password will be your account data, you will be able to sign other petitions after logging in.

Privacy in the search engines? You can use a nickname:

Attention, the email address you supply must be valid in order to validate the signature, otherwise it will be deleted.

I confirm registration and I agree to Usage and Limitations of Services

I confirm that I have read the Privacy Policy

I agree to the Personal Data Processing

Shoutbox

Who signed this petition saw these petitions too:

Sign The Petition

Sign with Facebook
OR

If you already have an account please sign in

Comment

I confirm registration and I agree to Usage and Limitations of Services

I confirm that I have read the Privacy Policy

I agree to the Personal Data Processing

Goal
0 / 50

Latest Signatures

No one has signed this petition yet

Information

Bridgette FaulknerBy:
SportIn:
Petition target:
Dutchess County Residents

Tags

No tags

Share

Invite friends from your address book

Embed Codes

direct link

link for html

link for forum without title

link for forum with title

Widgets