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Governor Cuomo Still Has Not Denied the Section 401 Water Quality Certification for the Proposed Constitution Pipeline/Coal Power Plants Face Natural Gas Conversion Problems/Visiting Schlumberger in Horseheads

Please become a signatory to our IMPORTANT NEW: Coalition Letter Which Requests That Governor Cuomo End New York's Addiction to Fossil Fuels


Many thanks for all your generous notes, calls, donations and wonderful face-to-face encounters in praise of our successful hard work. It is an honor to be able to assist your powerful public interest efforts.

I am pleased to alert you that Governor Cuomo is facing intensifying pressures to DENY the Section 401 Water Quality Certification (WQC) required for the proposed Constitution Pipeline to be built. The WQC is the only government approval holding up the proposed 124-mile long pipeline project in New York.

I implore Fractivists to use this Quick Action Guide to inundate Governor Cuomo with calls to require his Department of Environmental Conservation to DENY the Section 401 WQC application due to the pipeline explosions, fires, ruptures and toxic discharges that we documented with DEC data.

Smile and dial. Make good substantive arguments. Tell the Governor what you want. Also use your advocacy skills to require elected officials and environmental groups to become coalition letter signatories. Be a force multiplier.

An approval could be granted ANY DAY, but if we succeed in requiring Governor Cuomo to DENY the WQC, the Constitution Pipeline would be killed dead in a landmark decision with epic national implications. As a result, the New Market and Northeast Energy Direct Pipelines would likely be stopped as well.

Each Day is an Eternity in Politics

Each and every day that we prevent the Governor from granting a Section 401 WQC for the Constitution Pipeline, it is less likely that tree-felling activities can be completed by a critical 3/31/16 deadline. Due to migratory bird considerations, no tree-felling activities may be conducted between 3/31/16 and 11/1/16.

If no WQC is granted for the Constitution Pipeline by 3/31/16, that would incur at least a seven-month delay in groundbreaking activities in New York.

Governor Cuomo can render a WQC decision until a 4/29/16 deadline. If he fails to exercise his authority, New York would lose its privilege and FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) would almost certainly provide the WQC because it has already provided conditional approval for the proposed pipeline.

If the Governor decides to grant the WQC for the proposed Constitution Pipeline, we would act immediately to consign him to seeming political hell for purportedly being a climate change leader while perpetuating New York's addiction to natural gas consumption for decades to come.

We would hound him relentlessly until at least next November before any pipeline tree-felling could begin. That would be a daunting prospect for a Governor whom we earlier "bird-dogged in every community where he showed his face."

If Governor Cuomo does not require DEC to take any action by 4/29/16, we would brutally criticize him for failing to safeguard New Yorkers from the numerous pipeline hazards that we documented with DEC's own data, including many uncontrolled toxic disasters that were never cleaned up to state standards.

Of course, if our Governor provides a favorable reply to our respectful request, we would shower him with appreciation.

For all these reasons, we are systematically driving Governor Cuomo toward a single exit strategy. He must DENY the Section 401 WQC for the Constitution Pipeline and end New York's addiction to fossil fuels by withholding approvals for all proposed fossil fuel projects in our state.

Our goal is to explode the myth that, "Since taking office, the Governor has created and pursued the most aggressive environmental and sustainability agenda of any state in the country to mitigate climate change."

Push harder than ever. Winning a Constitution Pipeline victory will require super heavy lifting, but we can do it. Stay focused. Each day is an eternity in politics.

Governor's Visit to Dunkirk, NY

Last Thursday, I alerted you to Governor Cuomo's visit to Dunkirk, NY. He is reportedly having an extremely hard time converting an outmoded coal power plant to natural gas in that community. This means New York could soon have one less massive fossil fuel pollution source.

As Plan B, Dunkirk is reportedly working hard to tap into a dedicated $19 million Mitigation Fund to reduce its dependence on power plant tax revenues. This demonstrates the viability of that strategy for other communities with aging fossil fuel facilities that should be closed.

It is nip and tuck. Fractivists should require the Governor to close the local coal-fired power plant and help Dunkirk transition to a fossil-fuel-free future economy.

See: Power company upset after Cuomo calls for probe and NRG: 85 percent cut

Shut the Coal-Fired Power Plant in Lansing, NY

A coal-fired power plant in Lansing, NY also has been proposed for conversion to natural gas. It should be shut so the community can tap into the Mitigation Fund before it is depleted.

I urge local Fractivists to require local officials in Tompkins County to implement this strategy without delay.

Governor Cuomo Must End New York's Addiction to Fossil Fuels Now

Governor Cuomo's Built to Lead proposed 2016 Agenda states, "Coal is one of the highest greenhouse gas emitting and environmentally harmful fuel sources for power generation."

While that may be true, it makes zero sense to convert coal power plants to burn natural gas for the next half-century. Yet that is precisely what the Governor proposes. His policy is ill-conceived and must be thwarted.

Governor Cuomo must dramatically reduce and eventually minimize fossil fuel consumption in New York. As a first step, he must kill all proposed fossil fuel pipelines, power plant conversions, new generating facilities and other infrastructure projects.

If that can be achieved, adoption of less polluting renewable energy and energy efficiency alternatives would accelerate.

With that goal in mind, please become a signatory to our Coalition Letter Which Requests That Governor Cuomo End New York's Addiction to Fossil Fuels

Irrefutable Evidence of Our Amazing Progress in New York's War Against Fossil Fuel Pollution

On a closing note, I had a truly amazing opportunity last week to rejoice in the fruits of our hard work during the nearly seven years of our campaign.

I wish you all could have been there with me as I drove by the huge $30 million Schlumberger gas fracking support operation built in Horseheads, NY just as our fledgling effort got underway.

The 90-acre facility was intended to provides services and materials to oil and gas producers within a 300-mile radius of New York and Pennsylvania.

As you can see from my pics, the facility is dead quiet now. There was not a single car in the giant parking lot. The site was filled with immense quantities of unused shale fracking equipment. The roads were empty except for me.

See: Visit to Marcellus Shale Fracking Support Facility, Horseheads, NY 2/10/16

Our highly coordinated work helped achieve what failed legal challenges and symbolic blockades could not. This facility is simply not needed at the moment because shale fracking has been halted over a huge area, including all of New York and a major portion of Pennsylvania's northeastern fracking territory.

If the Constitution Pipeline is built, other pipelines would follow and shale fracking would boom again in Northeastern Pennsylvania. New York could be next.

If the Constitution Pipeline is killed, we would score another incredible victory in America's war against fossil fuel pollution. As a result, Pennsylvania and New York would continue to be protected from further shale fracking harm for years to come.

That is what we are fighting for. Onward and upward. Go hard. No excuses. Losers walk.

Thanks so much for all your help.



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