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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: 1196

Anne ProudFire
658 Seward St.
Rochester, NY
ed mues
434 greenville road
sundown, N.Y.
Gloria Osborne
7768 Straight Rd.
Springwater, NY
thomas warner
mr.
2513 brookvie road
castleton, new york
Dave Robinson
98 2nd Place #3R
Brooklyn, NY
Christopher Origer
self
26 Chadwick Road
Binghamton, New York
Martha Scoppa
32 Cold Spring Road
Liberty, NY
john miller
professor emeritus
cornell university
298 bald hill road
brooktondale, NY
carl burak
Assoc. Faculty
Santa Monica College
109 breeze ave.
Venice, CA
Karen Chimento
President
ClearView Psychotherapy
200 East Buffalo Street, Suite 302
Ithaca, New York
Julia Morgan
234 Rachel Carson Way
Ithaca, NY
Ellen and Oskar Schmidt
Marty Heresniak
*
79 Hudson Heights
Ithaca, New York
Susan Pixley
83 Huntington Meadow
Rochester, NY
Margaret keating
3970 County Rd 2
hECTOR, NY
Kevin O'Neill
23 Cayuga Road
Scarsdale, New York
Roger Jones
617 Engleville Rd
Sharon Springs, NY
Tony Martignetti
90 Park Terrace East
New York, NY
Lissa Farrell
3066 north swamp rd
Alpine, NY
Karen Sorensen
388 11th St.
Brooklyn, NY
Keitha Capouya
485 Meyerdierks Road
East Meredith, New York
William and Jeannette Rice
Rensselaerville, NY 12147, NY
Ann Kozak
219 Pennsylvania Ave
Hancock, NY
James-Henry Holland
65 Jay Street
Geneva, NY
Elisabeth Meyer
Associate Professor
Cornell Universtiy
41 Elm Street
Trumansburg, NY
Carl Rosenstock
Retired
Social Security Administration
270 1st St, 1A
Brooklyn, New York
Taffy Williams
President
NY4Whales
191 Westchester Venue
Tuckahoe, NY
Leaf Turner
Adjunct Associate Professor
Cornell University
85 Autumn Ridge Circle
Ithaca, New York
Susan McDonnell
co-founder
SAPE
19 Susan Lane
Cortlandt Manor, NY, 10567
Barbara Koslowski
Professor Emerita
Cornell University
18 Renwick Heights Road
Ithaca, NY
Michael Gorr
Co-ordinator
Southern Cayuga Anti-Fracking Alliance
8 Deer Run
Skaneateles, New York
Daniel Ripperton
323 Rachel Carson Trail
Ithaca, NY
Carolee Byrnes
Concerned Citizens of Otego
127 County Highway 5
Otego, New York
Leslie Strebel
117 Roat St
Ithaca, NY
Diane MacInnes
Member
Sanford-Oquaga Area Concerned Citizens (S-OACC)
739 Oquaga Lake Road
Deposit-Town of Sanford, NY
Clyde Duane Zaloudek
431 East 12 Street 1B
New York, NY
Simon Jaworski
Box 301 105 Prospect Rd
Centerport, NY
Hank Roberts
253 Coddingron rd
Ithaca, Ny
Elaine Shuster
Ms
61 Stewart Ave - Unit 311
Newburgh, NY
Martin Jorgensen
1692 Ellis Hollow Rd. Apt 2
Ithaca, New York
Gretchen Herrmann
433 Bostwick Road
Ithaca, New York
Karen Keating-Secular
6361 99th St.
Rego Park, NY
Wayles Browne
206 Eddy St.
Ithaca, NY
Eleanor Fox
515 East 118 St.
New York, NY
David Bullard
566 Clark Rd.
Gansevoort, New york
Roberta Favant
680 W 204 ST #6F
New York, NY
Marlene Barken
Associate Professor of Legal Studies
Ithaca College
125 Genung Circle
Ithaca, New York
Jayne Port
246 Smith Rd
Newfield, NY
Alice Ross
Ms
377skipperene rd
Narrowsburg, NY
Donald Hebbard
President
Compressor Free Franklin
558 Otego Road
Franklin, NY

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