Who would have thought that Gov. Cuomo would be campaigning for President Trump?

Five years ago, New York concluded a bitter battle on high-volume hydraulic fracturing after years of controversy. Much of that heated discussion centered on potentially adverse impacts related to natural resources, landowners and municipalities. The governor ultimately chose not to permit HVHF.

In striking contrast, Mr. Cuomo is attempting to force a budget amendment through the state government that should be a concern to every rural landowner. It would replace the existing Article 10 renewable energy permitting process for a heavily streamlined Article 23 process. It has significantly less opportunity for input from affected landowners, stakeholder groups and municipalities.

I’m not debating the conceptual benefits of renewable energy; however, I do question whether an interdisciplinary “cradle-to-grave” cost-benefit analysis would favor blanketing the landscape with the industrial wind and solar infrastructure at the scope and scale needed to meet the governor’s target of 100% renewable by 2040.

I recently moved from Chautauqua County, where this transformation is underway. Rural landowners and municipalities there are being forced to live in the shadows of massive industrial wind towers, with some of the same impacts as were debated regarding HVHF.

If passed on April 1, the Article 23 budget amendment will force huge changes on rural communities with minimal public input. Based on President Trump’s disdain for industrial renewable energy, I suspect Gov. Cuomo will have inadvertently given him a windfall of votes from rural New Yorkers.

Kim Sherwood