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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

Gerald Gerrard
Gerrards' Prancing Pony Pfarm
RR Box 119 North Main St. Rd.
Black River, NY
Eric Mundt
100 Imperial Circle
Rochester, NY
William Wakefield
P. O. Box 393
DeRuyter, New York
Patricia Donohue
Citizen Action
21 Exchange St., Apt #4E
Bnghamton, New York
Mary Donch
45 May Street #6A
New Rochelle, NY
Elizabeth Panus
60 Summit Ave.
Buffalo, NY
Richard Johnsen
343 Raymond Fish Rd.
Hartwick, NY
John Tavares
2192 Mecklenburg Road
Ithaca, NY
Corinna Lewis
36 German Cross Rd
Ithaca, NY
Penny Beebe
PO Box 102
Freeville, NY 13068
Joan Kollgaard
2 Olen Houck Street
West Oneonta, NY
Mary T Burns
9174 County Highway 16
Treadwell, New York 13846
Gail Musante
official signer and manager of googlegroup
Sanford-Oquaga Concerned Citizens (S-OACC)
199 Front Street
Deposit, New York
Therese Wilson
P.O.Box 113
Aurora, NY
Karen K Smith
68 Mary St.
Ithaca, NY
Jeffrey Juran
800 South Plain Street Apt. 806
Ithaca, New York
Rachel Marco-Havens
Earth Guardians NY
P.O. Box 242
Woodstock, NY
Cary Fassler
398 state rt. 69
Williamstown (Amboy), New York
Nancy Sharpe
216 6th St
Liverpool, NY
Joanne Corey
209 Lewis St
Vestal, NY
brenda lee
16 quarry dr
wappingers falls, ny
Roxie Newberry
18 Broadview Road
Woodstock, NY
Ingrid Guiter
1430 County Highway 8
New York, NY
Beat Keerl
ark art works
265 Clark Road
Cragsmoor, NY
Ann Miller
241 Merrill Rd
Homer, New York
anne Lazarus
524 East 20th St. 2G
New York, NY
George Stadnik
24-66 44th Street
Astoria, NY
J E Delman
Red Hook, NY
Marilyn Anderson
34 Nicholson St.
Rochester, NY
Gerrit Crouse
American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS)
38 4th Avenue, Apt 2-N
Nyack, NY
nathaniel posner
1432 county highway 8
otego, NY
shirley tripp
204 First st
ithaca, ny
Irene Mazer
140 West 79th St
Cynthia Estes-Smith
501 Enfield Center Road East
Ithaca, NY
Joan Tubridy
People not Pipelines
996 Monroe Road
Delhi, NY
Michelle Sutton
499 State Route 299 Lot 33
Highland, New York
Lisa Montanus
105 Cardinal Court
Woodstock, Alabama
Carolyn Clark Pierson
Professional Tutor
5262 County Highway 14
Treadwell, New York
Jessica Evett-Miller
300 Bald Hill Road
Brooktondale, NY
Patricia Kernan
538 Providence Street
Albany, NY
Rose Mackiewicz
registered Democrat
1773 Teedlebrook Roadd
Jefferson, New York
Heriberto Rodriguez
533 County Highway 18
Mount Upton, New York
F. Robert Wesley
212 Hill Road
Ithaca, NY
Diane Stein
40 Harrison St., Apt. 15A
New York, NY
Janice Burton
3058 Slaterville Rd
Brooktondale, NY
Walter Ditman
35-36 80th St.
Jackson Heights, New York
Bob Eklund
Regional Organizer
Solutions Grassroots Project
268 Meyers Mill Road
Mount Vision, New York
Eugene Marner
1245 Oak Hill Road
Franklin, NY
Barbara Clifford
374 Prospect Street
Montrose, Pennsylvania
Karin Suskin
129 Kline Rd
Ithaca, NY