About Gwendolyn Craig

Gwen is an award-winning journalist covering environmental policy for the Explorer since January 2020. She also takes photos and videos for the Explorer's magazine and website. She is a current member of the Legislative Correspondents Association of New York. Gwen has worked at various news outlets since 2015. Prior to moving to upstate New York, she worked for a D.C. Metro-area public relations firm, producing digital content for clients including the World Health Organization, the Low Income Investment Fund and Rights and Resources Initiative. She has a master's degree in journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. She has bachelor's degrees in English and journalism, with a concentration in ecology and evolutionary biology, from the University of Connecticut. Gwen is also a part-time figure skating coach. Contact her at (518) 524-2902 or gwen@adirondackexplorer.org. Sign up for Gwen’s newsletter here.

Reader Interactions


  1. Greg says

    I have an all electric house — two solar systems (13kw total), heat pump HVAC, heat pump hot water heater, EV car, good insulation and more.

    Solar is so poor from clouds, short days and low angle in the winter that we generate about two days worth of electricity over the ENTIRE MONTH of January. December and February are better, but not by much. And that’s cleaning off the panels regularly from snow. The low angle requires having numerous trees cut to the south to prevent shading.

    Everyone wants to think heat pumps are the solution, but on the coldest of days — when you need heat the most — they are marginally better than resistance heat strips. Long term stored energy is needed — fossil fuels, wood, etc — if you want to be off grid or some resilience in the event of a power outage.

    • Melissa Hart says

      Thanks for sharing, Greg! Just curious to know if your house is in the Adirondacks? And do you live in it year-round?

  2. Boreas says

    NY taxpayers need to decide what they want the Park to be. It is a simple fact that trees and forests are not particularly compatible with wind and solar generation, and electric transmission lines. It doesn’t make much sense to tout the forests as carbon sequestration sources while at the same time opening up forests for transmission lines and solar farms.

    My personal thought is to keep the Park as forested as possible and keep open-space projects in areas of the state where there is more available open space and patchy forests where transmission lines can be routed with minimal impact.

    If the state wants the Park to be populated in forested, remote areas, fossil fuels are about the only way to realistically accomplish that. I live in a hamlet along Lake Champlain that has been inhabited for over 200 years. A natural gas pipeline has never arrived, and our unreliable electrical grid is so regularly compromised by trees falling that more of us every year invest in whole-house generators. Of course, these run on some type of fossil fuel – typically propane. So it seems to me like fossil fuels will maintain a strong foothold in remote areas until we figure out a modern way to transmit electric power to those areas. That is a LONG way off!!

  3. Paul says

    It doesn’t matter that they are not banning propane. Under this plan something like that would eventually become so expensive only folks like the Adirondack League Club members could afford it. Once you get rid of the vast majority of the gas appliance market it will all go away. That is the point. Many Adirondack homes will need multiple heat pump or geo thermal set ups – only wealthy people can afford this. They never think of regular people when they do things like this. Good for those of us with money and means that can make it work. Poor people always get the shaft. Most of them can’t afford even a car with todays prices. Certainly not an electric one. The only alternative for many lower income adirondackers will be electric baseboard heat. Their bills are going way up, especially when they ban wood burning which you know is being discussed and coming soon.

  4. JIM CARMAN says

    Since when does government and in particular our current governor and administration think anything through prior to enacting anything? To put any solar on my property I would have to drop at least a dozen trees. And then due to solar angles required said system would be completely insufficient to meet my needs. Geothermal still requires electrical power which is not only unavailable but even if it were is unreliable. I heat with wood and there are already rumblings about restrictions on doing so. Change for the sake of improvement is fine. Change without forethought and without addressing consequences is asinine. But that word pretty much sums up our political situation.

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