When cash is king, college can’t be green
Dear Editor: Corruption allegations surrounding Gov. Andrew Cuomo crony Joe Percoco, Todd Howe and SUNY Polytechnic President Alain Kalyoyeros and politics in the SUNY system are, unfortunately, business as usual.
Howe, who allegedly funneled bribes, was a lobbyist for the unneeded and unwanted CPV frack gas power plant in the picturesque black dirt area of Orange County. Check out Tri-States Unite for Safe Energy. They demand construction stop pending a full investigation and have vigils to stop CPV every Saturday.
SUNY has been political since day one. Governors appoint the Board of Trustees. In the 1970s, SUNY New Paltz boasted an environmental site with eight student-built solar-tempered houses, and an Innovative Studies Department which included several renewable energy courses. In 1979, The Advanced Solar Design and Grant Writing classes received funding from the Department of Energy to build a beautiful, passive-solar, earth-sheltered dorm. The Board of Trustees, headed by Gov. Nelson Rockefeller appointee Donald Blinken, sent a new president, Alice Chandler, to New Paltz, who promptly shut down the entire program and bulldozed the solar houses, except for the Department of Energy house, which languished unused until it was bulldozed in 2006. The Rockefellers earned their fortune in oil, and Blinken was on the board of Chase Manhattan Bank with direct interlocks to several oil giants.
“Capitol Connection” columnist Alan Chartock interviewed Chandler on WAMC on Sept. 9, 2013, for an hour without a peep about the episode.
Incredibly, the current SUNY New Paltz president, Donald Christian, is a paid board member of Central Hudson, which makes its money mainly from sale of fossil and nuclear-derived energy and whose profits are proportional to waste.
Little has changed to address the college’s $2 million annual dirty-energy budget that tax and tuition payers fund. New Paltz came nowhere near a list of the greenest campuses in the U.S. published by The Sierra Club.
Shouldn’t our state university be leading the way toward zero net energy?
Corruption hidden in plain sight.
Edmund Haffmans, Accord