Gillibrand fighting to prevent closure of Fort Drum biomass plant

Published: Feb. 2, 2023 at 3:34 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 2, 2023 at 3:50 PM EST
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand will try to keep Fort Drum’s biomass plant from closing.

The New York Democrat told 7 News she is deeply concerned by the state’s decision to exclude biomass as renewable energy, which ends financial incentives for the plant to stay open.

The facility, run by ReEnergy, is set to close at the end of March because of the state’s exclusion.

ReEnergy generates 100 percent of Fort Drum’s power.

Gillibrand says to have Fort Drum entirely energy independent is one of the greatest aspects of the Army post during any type of national insecurity like a terrorist attack or world war.

Gillibrand recently spoke to Governor Hochul about changing the state’s opinion on biomass.

“I don’t think she’d been briefed on it and I don’t think she understood how important this is for Fort Drum and I think that the legislature also was not aware. I think they just made a judgment on biomass generally, but not specifically for what it does for the north country. So, I am going to push back very hard and I’m going to see if I can get this decision amended, or a waiver created, or some possibility of revisiting this issue because it’s a national security priority,” said Gillibrand.

Gillibrand also wants to fight for the 300 jobs affected. Some are at the plant and others are within the logging industry in the north country.