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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

Greetings,

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.

Conclusion

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

William Mason
Sanctuary Woods
206 Miller Road
Mount Vision, New York
carol tansey
ms.
350, PAUSE
115 krumkill rd
albany, NY
Patricia Darcey-Walsh
woodland dr
conesus, NY
Zorika Henderson
7 Sunny Knoll
Ithaca, NY
Larry Snider
Mr.
Self
69 Burdette Drive
Cheektowaga, New York
Evelyn Cronise
7428 Red Tail Dr
Bloomfield, New York
Francena Amparo
County Legislator
Dutchess County Legislature
32 Scarborough Lane, Apt C
Wappingers Falls, New York
Epifanio Bevilacqua
964 Finch Rd
Franklin, New York
Laura Nowack
28 South Main Street
Earlville, NY
Paul Pennock
6314 Willow Way
Hector, NY
Ann Atwater
MRS.
1252 Brookview Sta.Rd.
Castleton, NY
Ann McLaughlin
892 Butternut Ridge Rd.
Canton, New York
Scott Teel
710 N. Cayuga St., Apt. 3
Ithaca, NY
Laurel Mastrogiovanni
217 Hessian Hills Rd
Croton on Hudson, NY
Seth Marks
5105 State Rt. 224
Odessa, NY
Beverly West
1214 Ellis Hollow Rd
Ithaca, NY
Audrey Newcomb
Editor
Sifting & Winnowing
10 Landing Road South
Rochester, NY
Theresa Jodz
1974
410 Thomas Road
Ithaca, NY
Beth Miller
8102 Crouse Road
Bath, New York
Daniel Logan
5555 Logan Lane
Canandaigua, NY
Kristina Fedorov
6920 STATE HWY 7
Maryland, New York
Mary Boite
Environmental and community activist
Honeoye Frackabouts
5080 Purcell Rd.
Hemlock, NY
Erica Crytzer
8202 Route 96
Interlaken, NY
Judith Korff
Select...
2473 Bunker Hill Rd
Randolph, NY
Carol Skinner
37 Whig Street
Trumansburg, New York [NY]
mary cronk
32 jason drive
binghamton, new york
Barbara Harrison
Single Payer New York
143 Westview Lane
Ithaca, NY
Bonnie Seegmiller
po box m
downsville, ny
Julie Farrell
24 Myrtle St
Baldwinville, MA
Sita Sanders
10551 turnpike rd
East Meredith, Ny
Alicia Alexander
Organizer / Owner
GoGreenNY / Amazing Grace B&B
136 Hunt Hill Road
Ithaca, New York
Laura Neiman
60 Seaman Ave 5G
New York, New York
J Todd Hutchinson
Trumansburg, NY
Elsa Leviseur
122 Union Street
Hudson, New York
Karen Robinson
2534 Rt. 215
cortland, New York
Susan Straight
Toxic Targeting
5539 Bower Rd
Trumansburg, NY
Claudia Reese
3 Pheasant Lane
Ithaca, NY
Terry Van Meter
160 Meadow Stream Dr
Amherst, NY
Margot Brinn
600 B Hector St.
Ithaca, NY
marc messing
Mr.
PO Box 4046
Ithaca, New York
Robert Gosselink
205 Grandview Dr.
Cobleskill, NY
Weston Blelock
P.O.B. 1342
Woodstock, NY
Matthew Hogan
Mr
115 E 1st St
Corning, NY
Mitchell Lavine
Dryden Resource Awareness Coalition
719 Ringwood Rd
Ithaca, NY
Debra Flangan
1011 University Avenue #30
Rochester, NY
Joan-Marie Bauman
106 Rupp Road
Monticello, NY
Cornelia Wathen
24 Woodland Road
Stone Ridge, NY
Francis LaLuna
4217 Oakhurst Circle East
Sarasota, FL
Arlene Kossoff
375 West End Ave
NY, NY
Margaret McCasland
1893-A East Shore Drive
Lansing, NY

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