You are here

Coalition Letter Which Requests That Governor Cuomo End New York's Addiction to Fossil Fuels

Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
New York State Governor
The Capitol
Albany, NY 12224


We, the undersigned, write respectfully to request that you deny authorization for all proposed natural gas and oil pipelines, power plant conversions, new generating facilities and other infrastructure projects that would perpetuate New York's addiction to highly polluting fossil fuels for many decades to come.

We also request that you take urgent action to maximize energy efficiency across New York in order to minimize energy demand and strengthen our economy.

Your proposed 2016 agenda, Built to Lead, states, "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."

With all respect, wind, solar and geothermal renewable sources met 1.1% of New York's total primary energy requirement in 2013 according to a New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) report, entitled: Power Trends, New York State Energy Profiles, 1999-2013.

Including hydropower generated by plants that average 50 years old, New York's total primary consumption of energy from renewable resources is less than 10% according to NYSERDA.

The nation as a whole has achieved approximately the same meager renewable resources primary consumption rate according to NYSERDA.

See pages 45 and 13: Patterns and Trends - New York State Energy Profiles: 1999-2013

Given the urgent need to reduce reliance on polluting fossil fuels, we believe New York must cut coal, oil and natural gas burning without further delay.

In stark contrast, your administration recently authorized new fossil fuel projects that will perpetuate New York's addiction to oil and gas for many years to come.

These include the Spectra Energy Corp. New Jersey - New York Expansion Project natural gas pipeline, the Algonquin Incremental Market (AIM) natural gas pipeline and the Danskammer gas/oil-fired generating plant, to name only a few.

Section 401 Water Quality Certifications never should have been granted for these pipeline projects because your New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has a well-documented history of failing to prevent at least 114 pipeline explosions, fires, ruptures and toxic discharges, including many uncontrolled releases that were never cleaned up to state standards.

You also recently proposed to potentially convert more coal-fired power plants to burn natural gas. That could result in fossil fuel being burned long into the future.

According to Power Trends 2015, a report by the Independent System Operator, "projects using natural gas (gas-only and dual-fuel units capable of using either natural gas and/or oil) account for 56 percent of New York's generating capacity (emphasis added)."

"More than 70 percent of all proposed generating capacity in New York are natural gas or dual fuel power projects (emphasis added)."

See PDF page six: Power Trends 2015

It makes little sense to invest in expensive fossil fuel pipelines, power plants and infrastructure when far superior, less polluting alternatives are readily available.

For example, your Built to Lead proposed 2016 agenda includes a proposal to "Make 500,000 Homes and 20,000 Businesses More Energy Efficient By 2020:"

"The least expensive and most effective way to meet our state energy goals is simply to reduce the overall energy consumption of New York's homes, businesses, and institutions by making them more efficient. Increasing energy efficiency also lowers utility bills for customers and enables businesses to reduce their operating costs (emphasis added)."

This policy is extraordinarily sensible, beyond dispute and ready to be implemented across New York. Yet, your proposed 2016 budget includes zero funding to weatherize, retrofit and increase the energy efficiency of New York's more than eight million housing units in any meaningful way.

See page 79: Built to Lead - 2016 State of the State

What We Request That You Do in 2016

Against that background, we respectfully request that you require your administration to:

1) kill all proposed natural gas pipelines and infrastructure projects that would increase fossil fuel consumption by denying Section 401 Water Quality Certifications required for their construction;

2) stop all coal-fired power plant conversions to natural gas and new fossil fuel power plants that would perpetuate our state's addiction to fossil fuel for decades to come;

3) maximize energy efficiency and minimize energy demand by funding unprecedented insulation, weatherizing, retrofitting and energy efficiency efforts;

4) prohibit all forms of shale fracking, notably "gelled" propane; and

5) halt highly polluting oil and gas production that has contaminated New York for nearly two centuries.


For many years, efforts to supplant fossil fuels with renewable energy alternatives have made paltry progress in New York and from coast to coast. Oil and gas production has recently skyrocketed to the highest levels in 40 years due to shale fracking. As a result, it will be harder than ever for states to curtail fossil fuel burning in favor of less polluting sustainable alternatives.

Given those challenges, we request that your administration implement the proposals outlined herein in order to make New York the first state in the nation to end its addiction to fossil fuels by rejecting an "all of the above" energy supply policy that condones consumption of new supplies of fracked natural gas and oil.

Denying authorization for all proposed oil and natural pipelines, power plant conversions, new generating facilities and infrastructure projects in New York would curtail future fossil fuel burning in our state.

Minimizing future energy demand through weatherization, retrofitting and energy efficiency would protect the environment and public health while generating potentially huge numbers of jobs. This proposal also would help accelerate New York's transition toward renewable alternatives.

Given that "flat" electricity demand is predicted for the next decade in New York, this is an ideal time to cut demand even further. Moreover, this proposal would not conflict with efforts to grow a "clean energy economy."

We trust that you will find our request self-explanatory, but please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or suggestions.

Thank you very much for your consideration and your public service.

Always very respectfully,

Total Signatory Count: 1195

Walter Hang
215 N. Cayuga St.
Ithaca, NY
John Dennis
environmental planner
Sustainable Development Associates
893 Cayuga Heights Road
Ithaca, NY
Minfong Ho
Nancy Pollak
125 Giles St.
Ithaca, NY
David Shalloway
Greater Philadelphia Professor in Biological Sciences
Cornell University
90 Lieb Rd
Spencer, NY
Kyllikki Inman
110 Halcyon Hill
Ithaca, NY
William Holder
1300 Echo Road
Vestal, NY
Natasha Suter
21 Brooktondale Rd.
Ithaca, New York
Paula Clair
162 Gallows Hill Road
Garrison, New York
Tommy Inman
110 Halcyon Hill
Ithaca, NY
Daniel Belliveau
95 Lafayette Ave
Geneva, New York
Caroline Martin
PO box 97
Downsville, NY
Laurel Hodgden
112 Halcyon Hill
Ithaca, NY
Nicholas Prychodko
PO Box 2138
Bridgehampton, New York
John Bowers
1496 Trumansburg Road
Ithaca, New York
Mark Kuebel
402 W. 148th St #42
New York, New York
Judith A Cartisano
7 Raymond Street
Rochester, NY
Nancy Lipshitz
321 Oquaga Lake Road
Deposit, NY
Celia Bowers
1406 Trumansburg Road
Ithaca, New York
John Burke
dadsolar, Inc.
74 Laurel Av
Sea Cliff, New York
Barbara Larcom
3107 Rueckert Avenue
Baltimore, MD
Frederick Bauman
106 Rupp Road
Monticello, NY
Patricia Osborne
1634 Jersey St
Alton, Illinois
Barbara Lattanzi
29 High Street
Alfred, NY
Robert Lederman
555 Bway
NY, New York
Kristina Turechek
392 Hathaway Road
Otego, NY
Theodore Burger
3370 Woodbridge Cir.
Bethlehem, PA
David Nevin
36 Hargrave St
Rochester, New York
Margaret Goodman
51 Broomall Lane
Glen Mills, PA
Anna Egdahl
894 County Rd 9 4
Hankins, NY
Lonnie Chu
179 Nichols Ave
Syracuse, NY
Jo Clayson
Sarah Raite
Hook Circle
Jamesville , NY
Anthony Del Plato
Project Manager/retired
Solar Seneca
3509 West Ave
Interlaken, New York
K.C. Ellis
KC ELLIS (graphic design)
2130 Long Creek Road
Apalachin, NY
Amanda Byrnes
127 Co. Hwy. 5
Otego, NY
Kathy Luz Herrera
116 Utica St
T. F.
New York, NY
Nancy Garver
106 Sheridan Park
Geneva, New York
Maria Luisa Tasayco
City College of New York
116 Pinehurst Ave H43
New York, NY
Steven Handwerker
Art Scott
Marist College
6 Andrea Dr
Poughkeepsie, NY
Ann Stickel
69315 County Road 384
South Haven, MI
Kryn Sochacki
518 Front St
Union Beach, NJ
Amy Whitney
920 Snyder hill
Ithaca, Ny
Douglass Turner
37 S. Main Street
Alfred, NY
Noreen Stevenson
16 Elm Street
Chester, NY
Conor Gaffney
12667 Dewey st.
Los Angeles , Ca
Neil Freson
26 Bitternell Lane
Henrietta, NY
Karen Butler
317 County Highway 40
Worcester, NY