Hurdles Facing Offshore Wind Farms

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  • Pope’s Blessing for Gay Couples Isn’t Enough
  • The Problem With the ‘Bidenomics’ Brand
  • The Financial Complexities of Employing Caregivers

Credit…Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

To the Editor:

Re “Projects for Offshore Wind Stall as Supply and Funding Sputter” (front page, Dec. 12):

Offshore wind projects need to be reconsidered in both scale and financing.

The Times accurately identifies the causes for delays and cancellations of ambitious offshore wind projects in the Northeast Atlantic. But the success of the recent launch of the South Fork Wind project may underscore another reason so many of the huge projects have been stymied.

The South Fork Wind project, 35 miles off the coast of Montauk, N.Y., when fully operational, will produce electricity to fuel 70,000 homes on eastern Long Island and will offset tons of carbon emissions each year.

The scale of the project — 12 turbines — is appropriate to its siting in an area close to densely populated neighborhoods and in waters trafficked by commercial fishing and recreational boating activities.

By contrast, the huge projects now being stymied by delays and cancellations would site hundreds of turbines in an even busier Atlantic corridor. These projects should be scaled back to a more appropriate size and, if costs remain prohibitively high, should be subsidized by federal and state governments.

Climate change and the urgent need to reduce carbon emissions justify public financial support, which has long been extended to the fossil fuel industry.

Judith Hope
East Hampton, N.Y.
The writer is the founder of Win With Wind, a nonprofit local citizens group.

To the Editor:

This article illuminates the mountain of hurdles faced by the offshore wind industry and, importantly, the response by developers and state legislators.

The focus on course correcting is spot-on. We cannot and should not lessen our resolve to develop offshore wind as a solution to the growing instability of our climate. You need only look at the stark ocean events happening faster than expected — marine heat waves, bleaching coral reefs, disappearing species — to see the need for renewables.

Yet, a reset for offshore wind should not come without a renewed commitment to responsible development that considers the environment and people. If offshore wind is to be successful, beyond overcoming the financial hurdles, it must avoid, minimize and mitigate negative impacts to our marine ecosystems, Native American tribes and the fishing industry.

Through early and robust engagement with these affected communities and investments in marine mitigation technology and strategies, we can avoid more stumbling blocks in the future, and ensure that offshore wind is able to do what it needs to in the long run:protect us, the ocean and marine species from the worst effects of climate change.

Emily Woglom
The writer is executive vice president of Ocean Conservancy.

To the Editor:

Re “New York Turns On Wind Farm in Atlantic” (news article, Dec. 6):

As New York’s first offshore wind turbine begins delivering electricity to homes, New York State has cemented itself as a nationwide leader in clean energy. New Yorkers deserve to take a moment to celebrate this achievement.

South Fork Wind will be the largest offshore wind farm in North America. And, it’s just the first of eight planned offshore wind projects in New York State.

New York has navigated many obstacles to bring its residents the reliable, local energy of offshore wind, and with it, good-paying jobs and cleaner air. New Yorkers know that the climate crisis is already on our doorstep, so we are leading the charge to switch to clean energy, propelled by the innovation of offshore wind. Let’s remain steadfast in our commitment to being the nation’s offshore wind leader.

Julie Tighe
New York
The writer is president of the New York League of Conservation Voters.

Pope’s Blessing for Gay Couples Isn’t Enough

Credit…Guglielmo Mangiapane/Reuters

To the Editor:

Re “Same-Sex Pairs Can Be Blessed, Francis Affirms” (front page, Dec. 19):

I’m not a practicing Catholic, but I have always admired Pope Francis and his efforts to move his church toward a more timely way of thinking. His actions are unprecedented and must be acknowledged and appreciated.

But, as a 69-year-old gay man, I don’t need a priest’s blessing in the dark of night, out of sight, in a ceremony that must not even remotely resemble a wedding.

My partner and I were together for 20 years. We were supportive and devoted to each other that entire time, including during his 12-year battle with five bouts of cancer, which he lost at the age of 52. (And which, by the way, was not God’s retribution for our lifestyle. My dear mother, a devout Catholic, died of the same cancer at almost the same age.)

What my partner and I would have welcomed is an acknowledgment that our relationship was as valid as any heterosexual marriage.

Thank you, Pope Francis. May you reach your goal of having your church acknowledge all God’s people equally.

Charlie Scatamacchia
Ossining, N.Y.

The Problem With the ‘Bidenomics’ Brand

To the Editor:

Re “Democratic Governors Offer Campaign Tips for a Struggling Biden” (news article, Dec. 5):

I would add this to the list of advice: Stop using the term “Bidenomics.” Polls clearly show that Americans are disturbed by inflation, high interest rates and their personal struggles to just get by.

“Bidenomics” may be well intentioned but ties President Biden personally to voters’ economic woes, making him a target for ridicule. Mr. Biden must get out there to tout his successes, acknowledge the disconnect between strong macroeconomic numbers and people’s perceptions, and lay out his vision for making their lives better over the next four years. He will have to channel his inner Harry Truman to avoid defeat and the disaster of another Trump presidency.

Mark McIntyre
Los Angeles

The Financial Complexities of Employing Caregivers

Credit…Desiree Rios/The New York Times

To the Editor:

Re “Desperate Families Seek Affordable Home Care” (“Dying Broke” series, front page, Dec. 6):

This article about how difficult it is for families to find affordable home care will ring true to many readers. However, it should have also mentioned the problems families have in complying with tax and regulatory responsibilities if they hire aides directly (as is common) rather than through an agency.

As employers, they must keep accurate payment records, prepare W-2 statements, pay the employer share of employment taxes, and often file and fund quarterly state tax reports. Simply finding out about the requirements is challenging.

In my own case, I learned about one financial requirement only after a year of employing a caregiver — and I had been a C.P.A. with decades of experience with family financial matters!

Some simple changes would help. First and foremost, every state should prepare and publicize a guide to regulatory and tax responsibilities when the family employs aides instead of using an agency. Second, allow annual reporting rather than quarterly reporting. Third, allow families to submit paper reports rather than making online submission mandatory. Finally (though I could go on), eliminate quarterly withholding requirements.

Bob Lyke

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