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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

Elizabeth Poreba
14113 Route 22
New Lebanon, New York
Jeffrey Symeslatini
7036 Whitney Valley Rd.
Almond, NY
Franz Sugarman
7221 Halseyville Rd.
Trumansburg, NY
Anna Gibson
311 bailor Rd
Brooktondale, NY
Mary Thuma
120 Pleasant Meadows Road
Cooperstown, NY
Larry and Karen Stein
7426 State Route 17C
Endicott, NY
Anne Hutchinson
10 Bayberry Court
East Greenbush, New York
Kathy Koch
406 Bolton Rd
Burlington Flats, NY
B. Beth Cohen
1309 N. Cayuga St.
Ithaca, NY
Cheryl Kindt
Prospect Ave
Binghamton, NY
Gail DuBois
137 Palmer Rd.
Otego, New York
Veronica Sherman
24 Bobolink Lane P.O.Box 151
Salt Point, NY
Carolyn Fellman
15 Park St.
Moravia, New York
Susan Andrews
15 Park St.
Moravia, New York
Stephen Engleman
125 Valley View Rd
Ithaca, NY
Rebecca Casstevens
sole proprietor
BeanCounters Unlimites
22 Winding Way
Binghamton, New York
donna mundt
family nurse practitioner
po box 187
newark valley, NY
george mundt,jr
retired attorney
po box 187
newark valley, ny
Pam Gueldner
28 Brooktondale Road
Ithaca, New York
Alton Dunn
Laurens Central School
12 Susquehanna Ave.
Cooperstown, NY
Cathy McNulty
Stop the Constitution Pipeline
464 Vandervort Hill Rd
Unadilla, NY
Gene Binder
5900 Arlington Avenue
Bronx, New York
Mira Bowin
Environmental Affairs Chair, Trustee
John Burroughs Natural History Society
1125 Lucas Ave Ext
Huley, NY
Chaw Chang
Stick and Stone Farm
1605 Trumansburg Rd
Ithaca, NY
Wendy Jones
Suicide Prevention and Crisis Services
Ithaca, New York
cassandra brown
108 county highway 10
morris, newyork
murray bell
108 county highway 10
morris, newyork
Kirk Lawrence
563 Bayport Avenue
Bayport, NY
Gene Polito
45 Shady Rest Dr
Sag Harbor, NY
Staci Nugent
Cornell University
242 Floral Ave
Ithaca, NY
Courtney Williams
Vice President
201 Union Ave
Peekskill, NY
Robert Schiesser
TriLine Automation
4986 Apple Rd.
Dundee, New York
Stephen Keast
PO Box 105, Hurd Rd, Slaterville Springs, NY, 14881
Slaterville Springs, NY
Elaine Livingston
1403 Glenwood Rd
Vestal, NY
Nathan Richardson
Head Engineer
REP Studio
519 Willow Ave
Ithaca, NY
Emily R. Oprea
Mgr. Olmsted Camp
12820 Benton Road
Sardinia, NY
Laurel Rule
105 Champlain Ave
Westport, NY
cenie cafarelli
56 Rand Place
Pittsford, NY
Charleen Heidt
107 West Falls Street
Ithaca, NY
Robert Warfield
6 Etna Rd, Apt A
Ithaca, NY
Roseann Marrero
121 Blueberry
Deposit, New York
Jacqueline Wichman
516 South Plain Street
Ithaca, NY
Gillian Haines-Sharp
108 E Yates St
Ithaca, NY
Robert Sawchuk
18B Guilford Ct.
Ridge, NY
Neill Clenaghan
8 Acre View Dr
Northport, NY
Donald Mintz
Professor emeritus
Montclair State Univerity
29 Whig Street
Trumansburg, NY
Peg Weidemann
retired librarian
733 W 1st St
Elmira, NY
Collin Thomas
Capital District Against Fracking
135 2nd St.
Troy, New York
Joel Wysong
2675 Agard Road
Trumansburg, NY
Camille Doucet
30 Marsh Rd
Ithaca, NY