Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, Greenpeace Co-founder Dr. Patrick Moore and New York Building Congress President Richard Anderson were among the speakers at a Queens Chamber of Commerce breakfast forum at the Bulova Corporate Center on Friday, November 18.
The event, “A Cleaner, Greener, More Sustainable New York and Queens,” focused on what energy companies can do to cope with the ever-growing population – and the ever-growing need for more and more energy.
The Queens Chamber of Commerce, together with the New York Affordable Reliable Electricity Alliance (New York AREA), organized a panel of experts, advocates and government officials to discuss economic opportunities for the “City of Tomorrow.” The convention included the policy and politics surrounding New York’s energy and infrastructure outlook, economic development impacts, environmental issues, public safety and long term planning and sustainability.
“We’ve got to get serious about expanding, not retracting, the amount of energy we have in New York,” Giuliani, the keynote speaker, said in reference to calls to close the Indian Point nuclear plant. “If we want businesses to come to this city and if we want business to expand the number of people they employ in this city, we have to present to businesses a very realistic picture of goals. There are many things that demonstrate growth, but nothing more than energy.”
A report released by Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration estimates that the city will have one million more people by 2030. However, State Senator Michael Gianaris said that he wants to be very cautious about ringing the alarm bell on the need for greater energy supply.
Gianaris said that it is important that all of the fuel sources are looked at as possibilities and that a mix would be most beneficial. Giuliani said that the benefits of nuclear power are quite significant and that it is no more dangerous than other sources of electricity.
“People say nuclear power is dangerous. So is coal, so is oil. So is just plain old electricity. You put your hand on the third rail and you die,” he said. “[Nuclear power] is cleaner than most other forms of energy. It’s cheaper once it’s there and established, it’s extremely reliable and in the case of New York City, it’s very close to us. The closer it is, the more control we have over it, the more reliable it is.”