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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 Flanery
1137 Hedgewood Lane
Niskayuna, NY
Karen Smith
3995 County Road 2
Burdett, NY
The Rev. Nancy Lane,
186 Bower RD
Elmira, NY
james sherpa
302 giles st
ithaca, ny
Jennifer Cleland
333 Spencer Rd
Ithaca, NY
Holly Payne
398 Ellis Hollow Ck
Ithaca, NY
Julien Koschmann
Professor of History
Cornell University
705 Ringwood Road
Ithaca, NY
Jane Couch
Landscape Architect
Compressor Free Franklin
4774 East Handsome Brook Road
Franklin, NY
Barb Drake
10748 Evanston Avenue North
Seattle, WA
Cynthia McGahee
232 Frisbee Road
East Meredith, NY
Charlotte Schotanus
369 Port Road
Binghamton, NY
kay kin
1134 stonebarn rd
cleveland, ny
Vicki fox
67 wodenethe Dr,
beacon, New York
Daniel Pagano
170 Second Ave
Jane Bonacci
Snell Rd.
Geneva, NY
Susan Titus
250 Culver Road
Ithaca, New york
Sharon Osika-Michales
4411 Vinegar Hill Rd.
Skaneateles, NY
Lynne Bursic
PO Box 574 5796 Windborne Way
Trumansburg, N.Y.
Wayne Stinson
Angry Grandfathers of NY
108 Southmeadow Dr
Summit, NY
Katharine B. Wolpe
Executive Committee Member
Village Independent Democrats
107 East 10th St., Apt. 1C
New York City, NY
linda A. DeStefano
5031 Onondaga Rd.
Syracuse, NY
Dennis Turechek
392 Hathaway Rd.
otego, New York
Annette Zaner
75 Bank Street, Apt. 6F
New York, New York
1561 PENNA. AVE.
Candace Mingins
141 Albree Hill Road
Van Etten, NY
Richard Ross
377 Skipperene Road
Narrowsburg, New York
Katherine Hawkins
PO Box 201
Summit, New York
Florence and John Carnahan
5626 State Highway 51
Burlington Flats, NY
harold kugelmass
pobox 264
interlaken, ny
John Carnahan
5626 State Highway 51
Burlington Flats, NY
Marsha Lipshitz
428 East 77 Street, Apt 4A
New York, NY
Robert Zaslow
188 West Lake Blvd.
Mahopac, New York
Barbara ruether
, new York
Mia Mazer
New York, NY
Peter Martin
7 Taylor Road
Claryville, NY
Carol J. Painter, Ph.D.
141 Westhaven Rd.
Ithaca, NY
Kelly Branigan
Founding member
Middlefield Neighbors
467 Springfield Hill Rd.
Cooperstown, NY
Ronald Culver
240 Manning Blvd
Albany, NY
Stuart Anderson
Community organizer
Concerned Citizens Of Otego
238 Main Street
Otego, NY
Karin Greenfield-Sanders
West Shore Drive
Putnam Valley, NY
Mary Smith
Communications Coordinator
Church Women United in New York State
2001 S Clinton Ave
Rochester, NY
Kara Emmons
30 E Mayer Drive
Suffern, New York
Theresa & Thomas Emmons
30 E Mayer Drive
Suffern, New York
Edward Mitchell
Sole Proprietor
Bronx River Bicycle Works
27 Mount Vernon Avenue
Mount Vernon, New York
Jennifer & Nick Parsons
618 Vendola Drive
San Rafael, CA
Gale Lyons
1013 Lake Street
Elmira, NY
nancy sheehan
peacemakers of schoharie county
110 parkway dr
cobleskill, new york
Andrea Rankin
437 McLean Rd
Cortland , NY
Stephen Singer
445 Ferguson Rd
Freeville, NY
Penny Baron
445 Ferguson Rd
Freeville, NY