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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

Ed Berry
P O Box 621
Yonkers, N Y
Irene Huhner
250 W 94th st
New York, NY
Marcia G. Yerman
Joan Ross
36 Madison Avenue East
New Baltimore, NY
Devin Henry
2593 East River Road
Nichols, New York
Ilse Funk
238 Mill Rd
Cherry Valley, New York
Mary Lovelace
2504 State Route 79
Trumansburg, NY
Gwendolyn Morgan
620 Malcolm X B,vd. 2C
New York , NY
John Flowers
Retired Professor
Medgar Evers College, CUNY, Brooklyn NY
5404 State Rt. 414, PO Box 76
Hector, NY
Patricia Vendryes
Groton, NY
Margaret Wright
Robert Duckett
2283 Town line rd
Auburn, NY
Akhtar Ehtisham
553 Elsie Avenue
South Plainfield, NJ
Paul Tobin
Netop Ketop
215 Moonhaw Rd
West Shokan , NY
Beth Standish
PO Box 613
Geneseo, NY
Clara Mulligan
5325 Barber Road
Avon, NY
John Jongen
Organizer, Citizens' Alliance for a Pristine Perinton (CAPP)
Citizens'575 Alliance for a Pristine Perinton (CAPP)
164 West Church Street
Fairport, New York
Reverend Dr Ellen Sokolow
PO Box 274; 280 Case Hill Road
Franklin, NY
Amy Rosmarin
322 Mills Rd
North Salem, NY
Chelsea Zantay
SAVE Burden Lake
35 Blue Heron Drive
Averill Park, New York
Susan Kyser
113 Nelson Road
Ithaca, NY
Donald Gregorius
172 Van Dale Rd.
Woodstock, NY
Anthony Breuer
Compressor Free Franklin
9174 Co. Hwy 16
Treadwell, NY
jill wiener
po box 198
callicoon center, NY
David Mitchell
402 Esty Street
Ithaca, New York
John Kastner
50 Dorset st.
Rochester , New york
Gary Hodges
920 Snyder Hill Rd.
Ithaca, New York
Barbara Hough
52 Campwoods Grounds
Ossining, NY
William Glasner
7491 Modock Rd
Victor, NY
Paula Smith
123 Vera Circle
Ithaca, NY
Kathleen Sikelianos
637 Hoose Rd.
Cherry Valley, NY
Daniel Hill
Sacandaga Rd
Scotia, NY
David Ritchie
160 Crescent Pl
Ithaca, NY
Nancy Siegele
543 Elm St.
Ithaca, NY
michaeo frys
sierra club
conklin rd
conklin, ny
Lisa Sanfilippo
1108 N Cayuga St
Ithaca, NY
Madelyn Collins
131 Whitetail Run
Averill Park, NY
Anne Haas
1957 County Rd. 3
Olivebridge, NY
Carol Williams
Little Lakes Sustainability Network
6386 Cleary Rd.
Livonia, Ny
James Rauch
116 Westbourne Lane
Ithaca, NY
Diane Reutzel
1226 Simons Road
Castleton, New York
Rebecca Dunn
72 Evergreen Dr.
Portsmouth, RI
Marion Susie Kossack
208 Nelson Road
Ithaca, NY 14850-9441
Ruba Katrib
258 Halsey Street #2
Brooklyn, NY
Carol O'Brien
8415 Garlinghouse Rd
Naples, New York
vinny aliperti
4760 west lake road
geneva, NY
Althea Farrell
2071 County Highway 39
Worcester, NY
Harold Koster
7604 NY RT 79
Whitney Point, New York