Tague Slams Rapid Act for Robbing Upstate Farmland of Acres for Use

Assemblyman Chris Tague (R,C-Schoharie) vigorously debated against the Renewable Action Through Project Interconnection and Deployment (RAPID) Act, a measure introduced years ago and reinforced through the state’s yearly budgets since 2019 that claims to streamline environmental reviews and permit handouts for the development of renewable energy generation and solar and electric transmission facilities. What has happened is upstate, fertile land that could be prioritized for farming is being overtaken by facilities used to develop renewable energy primarily directed downstate. Tague, a longtime advocate of the family farmers of New York, believes this measure continues to drive farmers out of business.

“If farmers don’t have land to work on, we’re left without the product they produce, plain and simple,” Tague said. “Crops could grow on the land being overrun by solar farms. Animals could graze the grass if it weren’t overrun by renewable energy plants. And farmers could continue to work in this state if they weren’t considered a lesser priority than renewable energy for residents in New York City to enjoy.”

“This state continues to strangle the one industry we all rely on. Not only that, but the programs they implement in place of agriculture do not benefit the people that lose access to the very land being taken over by these new energy farms – there’s no financial benefit to the host communities, or to the local taxpayers. I hope and pray my legislative colleagues understand this mantra soon—No Farms, No Food—because if they don’t, my great fear is that we would be left without an agriculture industry to employ and feed people in New York,” Tague concluded.