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Sempolinski Discusses Energy, Solar Projects

U.S. Rep. Joe Sempolinski said he isn’t opposed to solar projects in Western New York or elsewhere, as long as local community leaders have the final say.

Sempolinski made his comments on solar projects during a phone conference Tuesday with media members from the 23rd Congressional District, which he has represented since winning the seat this summer.

Before addressing solar projects, Sempolinski said he spoke on the House floor regarding President Joe Biden’s energy policy, which he calls a failure.

“As we all know, our area gets very cold in the winter, so this becomes a matter of life or death for those of limited means. It is past time the president opens our domestic oil and gas leases and stops the burdensome regulations that are an assault on U.S. energy development. The safety and security of our nation depends on it,” he said Tuesday.

While on the House floor Monday, Sempolinski noted how over the last year, the cost for energy has skyrocketed.

“In the last 12 months, over a third of American households have sacrificed basic necessities so they could pay an energy bill,” he said. “Unfortunately, this will only worsen as The Energy Information Administration projects that families will spend a 25-year high for their energy this winter. As Americans deal with the burden of higher energy prices and out-of-control inflation, the so-called Inflation ReductionAct added more restrictions on federal oil and gas leasing.

“For the good of the American people and the safety of our nation, we must act now. Open our domestic oil and gas leases and stop the burdensome regulations that are an assault on U.S. energy development. I represent one of the most beautiful areas of America, but one that gets very cold in the winter. This is a life or death issue for those of limited means in the district I represent.”

During the media call, Sempolinski was asked if he supports solar projects to generate electricity, as more than two dozen have either been proposed or been approved in Chautauqua County.

“My position on solar projects in particular is I’m very much in favor of local control. Sometimes they can be in an area where the local folks don’t want it, and sometimes it can be in an area where the local folks want it,” he said.

Sempolinski added that when it comes to energy, he holds an “all of the above” position.

“The first and foremost thing that we need to do is make sure that the United States of America is not dependent upon foreign sources of energy. That is a national security risk of the highest order,” he said.

Sempolinski said he supports accessing oil and natural gas in the United States and making sure technology is growing and developing.

“The only thing we have to be careful of is sometimes there is a push for the government to pick winners and losers on technology and they will heavily subsidize one technology and not another technology for political reasons,” he added.

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