At first glance, it might make sense to support the rehabilitation of the Danskammer power plant in the Town of Newburgh.

According to the plans outlined by the plant owner, the new “Danskammer Energy Center” would include a natural gas-powered turbine and a steam turbine to replace the existing four steam turbine generators. Instead of operating as a “peaking facility” providing power to fill energy needs at times of high demand, often when extreme weather increases the use of air conditioning or heating, it would provide a more steady source with a capacity of 525 to 575 megawatts instead of the present 511.

There is a good regional case to be made for that extra generating capacity because it would help replace some of what will be lost when the 2,000-megawatt Indian Point nuclear power plant closes in April 2021.

There is an even stronger local case to be made if the new plant can provide more funding for the town and the Marlboro School District which lost a considerable amount of tax revenue when the old plant first closed and then reopened at a lowered capacity.

And there may even be an environmental case to be made. The plant owners already have stressed that they will be using an “air-cooled condensing” system to reduce the need to draw water from the Hudson River, a practice that in the past has had detrimental effects on fish.

At second glance, however, there are questions, some narrow, most very broad.

The narrow ones should be familiar to anyone who has been following the saga of the Competitive Power Ventures gas-powered generating plant in the Town of Wawayanda. It came with loads of promises both made and implied that it would not have a detrimental effect on the local environment, promises that many local residents and many local officials now feel were at best inaccurate, more likely misleading. While there are many efforts to keep the plant from becoming fully operational, efforts that deal with environmental, legal and political issues, they all fall under the same category:

We would not have let this plant be built if we had known all that we know now.

So that should be the first hurdle that the Danskammer project needs to clear, a thorough and believable investigation with assurances and, even more important, interim measures so that the project does not get to that almost-completed phase when it is even harder to stop.

Much more important is the second hurdle, the justification for building anything reliant on fossil fuels at a time when New York state is committed to reducing that source and relying instead on wind, solar and hydro.

It will be hard to imagine Gov. Cuomo promoting this project because it would make his vows to have most, if not all, power in the state coming from renewables in the next decades that much harder to reach.

That also should be the prime consideration for the Public Service Commission. If it is serious about this transformation to alternative energy sources, then it will be difficult to support any plan going in the other direction.