Albany Times Union editorial urges “No” to NIMBYism

In a forceful editorial, the Albany Times Union (10/8) urges towns to avoid succumbing to NIMBY (“Not in my backyard”) concerns in the context of renewable energy project siting:

It’s hard to imagine any more dismaying and self-defeating words and sentiments than the old standby of opposition to innovation, experimentation or progress summed up by “not in my backyard.”

Hard, but not impossible. Listen, for instance, to the howls of protest in rural Albany County to the mere possibility of a wind energy project. They add up to a more specific, and more troubling, form of NIMBY. Call it NGEINMBY, for “No green energy in my backyard.” An even more pointed slogan for this attitude might be FDOFFIMBY – “further dependence on fossil fuels in my backyard.”…

The crux of the matter appears to this blogger to be that there is a conflict between state renewable energy goals and the local practice of renewable energy siting. That is, towns  largely have been left on their own to address siting issues, despite state policies (such as the Renewable Portfolio Standard or RPS and a recent expansion of net-metering) that encourage if not mandate the inclusion of more renewables in the state’s energy mix. Potential pitfalls in this structure may be illustrated by the Attorney General’s investigation into allegedly improper relationships or goings on between wind developers and towns.

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