When cash is king, col­lege can’t be green

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - OPINION -

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

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