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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

Beatrice Birch
67 Edgewood Ave.
Larchmont, NY6131
Ken Ellis
Penn Valley Pipes and Tobacco Co.
2130 Long Creek Road
Apalachin, NY
Rita Bergen
West end Ave.
New York, NY
Deborah Kahkejian
398 State Route 69
Williamstown, NY
John McClelland
Spring Meadows Farm
139 School St..
Millerton, PA
Doug Couchon
109 Foster Avenue
Elmira, NY
Pamela Stanley
Albert Einstein College Medicine
380 Riverside Drive
New York, NY
Jean Hricik
445 Smith-Kingsman Rd.
McDonough, New York
Joel Tyner
County Legislator
Real Majority Project
324 Browns Pond Road
Staatsburg , New York
Mary McKeon
270 Searles Rd
Margaretville, NY
Mike Millow
1316 Caton Rd
Corning, NY
annie campbell
33 Cayuga St.
trumansburg, New York
Lars Peterson
PO Box 13
King Ferry, NY
William Sharfman
Dr. William L. Sharfman
50 Riverside Drive
New York, NY
Lewis Ward
246 Smith Rd.
Newfield, NY
Elisa Evett
298 Bald Hill Rd.
Brooktondale, New York
Robert Gillespie
2888 E, Sherman Hollow road
Penn Yan, New Yrk
Josephine Girardin
27 Reilly Street
West Islip, NY
Barbara Chasin
129 Rachel Carson Way
Ithaca, NY
Rosemarie Stepanik
13 Fiora Drive
Fairport, New York
Carl Klein
156 Indian Church Rd
Buffalo, NY
Cherry Rahn
16 Jay St
Geneva, NY
shirley kozlowski
groton, , ny, 13073
Miriam Rice
4396 Krum's Corners Rd.
Trumansburg, NY
Gerald Wolfe
474 Snyder Hill Rd.
Ithaca, NY
Louis Linder
21 Pine Road
Briarcliff Manor, NY
Anthony Straka
26 Honey Lane
Wappingers Falls, New York
David Taylor-Schott
Santa Barbara, California
Paul Rice
4396 Krum's Corners Rd.
Trumansburg, NY
Mildred Gittinger
1197 South Country Club Drive
Niskayuna, NY
William Crum
2150 Wallace Ave Apt 5D
the Bronx, New York
Bill King
130 Westhaven Rd
Ithaca, New York
Leslie Gold
40 Downing St.
Margo Alexander
5585 Searsburg Rd.
Trumansburg, NY
Ken Deschere
202 South Hill Terrace
Ithaca, NY
Bill Metzger
Owner, New York taxpayer and business owner
Brewing News Publications
571 S Park Ave
Buffalo, New York
hilda wilcox
6 Pine Blvd
Cooperstown, NY
Dan Page
200 Central Park South
New York , New York
Chris Saia
12 McGuinness Blvd. South
Brooklyn, NY
Yvonne Rothenberg
Citizens Climate Lobby
5211 Hook Circle
Jamesville, NY
Lee Bhatacharji
685 Kelly Road
Arkville, NY
barbara striley
2088 rte 26 16b
endicott, New York
Christopher Furst
215 N Cayuga St #344
Ithaca, NY
Nancy Istock
41 Horizon Drive
Ithaca, New York
Bridget Reynolds
6936 Twin Valley Trrace
Almond, Ny
Judith Johnson
po box 624
Croton on Hudson, New York
Katherine Denison
Denison Creative
289 Richs Dugway
Rochester , NY
Tara Sumner
Vice President
Advocates for Springfield
PO Box 302
Springfield Center, NY
Mary Graham
4021 McIntyre Rd
Trumansburg, NY