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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

Gail Goldsmith
Sara Roosevelt Park
Susan Mead
human race
219 W Lincoln st.
Ithaca, NY
Tony Henderson
225 Rachel Carson Way
Ithaca, NY
Joel Chaffee
Cathy Farris
40 church rd
Mountaindale, New York
Carole Marner
Compressor Free Franklin, Stop the Constitution Pipeline
1245 Oak Hill Road
Franklin, NY
nancy Knipe
4342 Saint Clair Avenue
Studio City, CA
rachel soper
142 soutside dr.
oneonta, NY
Ted Zinski
9841 Mallory Rd.
Sauquoit, NY - New York
Ellen Weininger
White Plains, New York
cynthia carestio
Frack Free Genesee
84 North Main
Canandaigua, New York
Sera Smolen
59 Lois Lane
Ithaca, NY
Bruce Dunn
188 bell hill rd
morris, New York
Peter Specker
611 N Aurora St
Ithaca, NY
Steve Ellsworth
Board member
Sustainable McDonough
850 Hammerle Rd.
Oxford, NY
James Hodges
117 Rachel Carson Way
Ithaca, NY
Nedra Harvey
R-CAUSE (Rochesterians Concerned About Unsafe Shalegas Extraction)
275 Berkeley St.
Rochester, New York
Herbert Witzen
1710 Second Ave 4N
Manhattan, New York
Jonathan Titus
15 Maple Ave.
Fredonia, NY
Elizabeth Schaffer
24 Clover Park Drive, Apt 3
Rochester, NY
Dwain Wilder
289 Rich's Dugway
Rochester, New York
Susan Sullivan
7878 State Route 52
Narrowsburg, NY
Elizabeth Watts
16 Starks Place
Lynbrook, NY
Alicia Pagano
12562 county highway 23 box 313
unadilla, ny
Lise Bouvet
Ithaca, NY
suzy winkler
PO Box 91
Brlington Flats, New York
judith barker
309 washington street
ithaca, new york
Kristin Lovelace-Ross
56 Waterburg Rd
Trumansburg, NY
Valerie Dudley
232 Frisbee Road
East Meredith, New York
Eileen Murphy
208 pottery lane
Cooperstown, Ny
gwen & milt Schaffer & Mesirow
11 little brooklyn rd.
Warwick, NEW YORK
Erin Edwards
1857 County Route 10
Ancram, New York
Lydian Green
8202 Rte 96
Interlaken, NY 14847
Terry Cuddy
133 S. Hoopes Ave.
Auburn, NY
Karen Kaufmann
110 Northway Rd.
Ithaca, NY
Megan Marks
4635 East Valley Rd.
Andover, NY
Francis LaLuna
4217 Oakhurst Circle East
Sarasota, FL
Gilbert Levine
71 Brooktondale Rd.
Ithaca, New York
Jerry Ravnitzky
124 Hill Street
Mahopac, New York
Chris White
123 Rachel Carson Way
Ithaca, NY
Peter Cramer
13 James St
Auburn, NY
David DeVivo
15 New England Dr.
Rochester, New York
Christine Macpherson
Complete It Cuomo
1202 Burden Lake Road
Averill Park, NY
Cynthia Beach
394 Van Tassel Rd
Franklin, New York
elaine jurumbo
205 e 78 st
new york, new york
Bonnie Logan
3199 Grenell Road
Middle Grove, NY
Julie Mundt
607 Broad St.
Endicott, NY
Bernie O'Doherty
607 Broad St.
Endicott, NY
susan deane
126 Hooker Avenue
Poughkeepsie, NY
Peter Mundt
P.O. Box 549
Brant Rock, MA