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Conservation and energy

   A greenish hue to Sunday's Buffalo News editorial page.

   The lead editorial, "Preserve more wilderness," congratulates Congress for adding more than 2 million federally owned acres to wilderness inventory, the highest level of protection in our law. And it calls for more such land to be so designated, specifically the 54,000 acres identified by experts in the Allegheny National Forest in western Pennsylvania.

  Vast swaths of the Western United States are owned by the federal government, a legacy of the days when they were territories governed directly from Washington. Thus it has been easier for large areas in those states to win wilderness protection. But back East, where greater urbanization puts even more pressure on fragile landscapes, even federally owned land hasn’t received the level of protection it deserves. More wilderness set aside in the ANF would help remedy that problem.

   The second piece, "Use power wisely," expresses hope that a small part of the federal stimulus package President Obama is about to sign is allocated to improving the nation's antiquated, and fossil-Powergrid fuel-dependent, power grid.

   Reformatting our grid to draw more and more of its power from the four ancient elements — earth (geothermal), air (wind), water (hydro) and fire (solar) — will require some big up-front investments. But in the long run, with significantly less dependence on petroleum, coal and natural gas, electric consumers should save money and allow time for another transition to take place without shorting anyone on the power they need.

- Allegheny National Forest official Web site.
Friends of Allegheny Wilderness.
- The Wilderness Society.
The Sacramento Bee also supports the wilderness bill.  
President Obama remarks on passage of stimulus package.
- The New York Independent System Operator, the state's independent wheeler of electric power.
The New York Renewable Energy Task Force report.

-- George Pyle/Editorial Writer



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