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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

Claudia Levy
478 West Broadway #2s
New York, NY
Joseph Wilson
75 Hunt Hill
Ithaca, NY
Shirley Rice
3467 South Hill Road
Burdett, NY
Victoria Leanza
102 Bucks Ranch Road
Coeymans HOllow, NY
jOHN Keevert
First Unitarian Church Environmental Climate Task Force
101 Coniston Dr
Rochester, NY
Shirley Southwick
, NY
Nancy Miller
Dryden Resource Awareness Coaltion
501 Midline Rd
Freeville, NY
Geraldine Aird
41 Ely Drive
Fayetteville, New York
Robert Spiegel
Executive Director
Edison Wetlands Association
206 Tyler Road
Edison, New Jersey
Pramilla Malick
Protect Orange County
264 Jacobs Road
westtown, New York
Gerri Wiley
19 Lake St.
Owego, New York
Davies Nagel
Town of York Impact Research Group
3558 main
Piffard, NY
Marybeth Carlberg
783 Franklin St
Skaneateles, NY
Marie McRae
Dryden Resource Awareness Coalition
710 Irish Settlement Rd
Freeville, NY
Carol Clarke
91 German Cross Road
Ithaca, NY
Clark Shaughnessy
474 Burden Lake Road
Nassau, New York
Marian Rose
Present emeritus
9 Old Corner Road
Bedford, NY
Dryden Resources Awareness Coalition
Greg Wooster
9 Townline Rd
Ithaca, NY
Maria Studer
127 Springtime Lane West
Levittown, NY
James Cella
24061 depew avenue
Douglaston, New York
Diana Pryntz
3441 Irish Settlement Rd
Belmont, NY
Herbert & Carolyn Tinney
7633 Thunder Mountain Trail (Town of Springwater)
Wayland, NY
Kim Benson
3702 Saddleback Road
Canandaigua, New York
eli pepper
22 park trail
croton, new york
Colleen Callan
Producer/Investigative Reporter
59-39 174th Street
Fresh Meadows, NY
Matthew McCarty
1420 Ellis Hollow Rd
Ithaca, NEW YORK
John and Martha Stoltenberg
N8362 State Highway 67, P.O. Box 596
Elkhart Lake, Wiscoinsin
Martha Ferger
PO Box 8
Dryden, NY
Patricia Ehlers
1001 Jerome ave
Bronx, New York
Jonathan Case
PO Box 63
Fillmore, NY
Deborah Cipolla-Dennis
964 West Dryden Road
Freeville, NY
John Back
7 Harder Road
Barryville, NY
Elaine Hardman
State Route 19
Wellsville, New York
Andrea Porter
2674 St Paul Blvd
Rochester, New York
Mrgaret Jefferds
6 Erie St
Almond, NY
frank baldwin
Physicians for Social Responsibility
149 pine tree road, ithaca
ithaca, NY
Catherine Wagner
1665 Ellis Hollow Road
Ithaca, NY
Deborah Jones
3166 Perry City Rd.
Trumansburg, New York
Deborah Banks
2541 Garfield Drive
Sparks, Nevada
Meg Krywe
8351 Bush Rd.
Arkport, NY
Susan Steepy
4 Live Oak Ct
Penfield, NY
Frederick Sinclair
Concerned Citizens of Allegany County
5475 County Road 12 Box 834
Alfred, NY
roberta wallitt
coddington rd
ithaca, New York
Jennifer Clark
3734 eminence road
Long eddy, Ny
Brewster J. Chase
252 Etna Rd
Ithaca, N.Y
Ronald Krieg
614 S Plain St
Ithaca, NY
Liz Field
Ithaca, NY
Lucinda Knaus
Melne Thomas
112 Crystal Beach Blvd
Moriches, NY