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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

Bernadette Fiocca
Brenda West
diane specioso
27 E 13th St
Arnold Talentino
38 Van Hoesen Street
Cortland, NY
Maureen Dill
Advocates for Morris
3221 Butternut Creek Rd.
Morris, NY
Kathleen Wilcox
307 First St.
Ithaca, NY
Marion J K
24 Mill Street
Cooperstown, NY 13326
Daniel Spilman
87 Mountain View Road
Nassau, NEW YORK
Steven Foster
3906 Chatham Lane
Canandaigua, NY
Helen Cotton
317 Savage Farm Drive
Ithaca, NY
James Mills
51 Spring Lane
Mahopac , NY
Sheila Squier
110 Columbia Street
Ithaca, NY
Peter Bianco
190 Clinton Road
New Hartford, NY
Mary Beth OConnor
119 Middaugh Road
Brooktondale, NY
Helen Mandeville
60 Brooktondale Road
Ithaca, Ny
68 Stoney Creek Drive
Clifton Park, New York
Cynthia Campbell
304 Hone Rd
Cherry Valley , NY
Bruce Cameron
Board member
Earth Day Southern Tier
189 White Birch Lake
Windsor, NY
Nina Loney
320 Riverside Drive #10H
New York, NY
Matthew Lowe
432 N. Tioga St.
Ithaca, NY
Kathe Sandstrom
Membership Chair
Mid-Hudson Sierra Club
48 South Manheim
New Paltz, NY
Sarah Scholl
summer home in Sardinia, NY
30 Broadmoor Ct.
San Ramon, CA
Arthur Rorick
46 West End Avenue
Oneonta, New York
Sandy Rorick
46 West End Avenue
Oneonta, New York
Eileen McCorry
35 W.81 Street
New York, NY
Matthew Ryan
114 Dey St
Ithaca, N.Y.
Toby Stover
Founding Member
Rochester Defense Against Fracking
81 Clove Valley Road
High Falls, ny
manuel rodriguez
1559 betts hill rd
delhi, ny
Laurie Goodhart
Box 545
Cambridge, NY
Doris & Dr Harold Chorny
PO Box 44
Gardiner, NY
shyama orum
305 West 28 St. Apt 16E
New York, NY
Natalia Emlen
Citizen concerned for our Planet's future
Tax payer & Home Owner
119 Eastlake Rd
Ithaca, NY
Brian Greeson
71 Willis
South Wales, Ny
Ellen Knopf
77 Bleecker Street
New York, NY
Jacquelyn Clinton
1109 N. Cayuga Street
Ithaca, NY
Celia Barnes
Walton, NY
Joel Gagnon
2353 Spencer Road
West Danby, New York
Sarah Gagnon
2353 Spencer Road
West Danby, New York
Elizabeth path
25 elm ave
homer, NEW YORK
Lucienne Cruvellier
306 E Lincoln Street
Ithaca, NY
Janice Cragnolin
POB 313
Unadilla, NY
Francisca Vanasco
3681 County Highway 35
Middlefield, New York
Anne F. Kriz
Social Justice and Outreach Committee, Church of the Assumption, Fairport, NY
Farmington, New York
Jeanne Fudala
Citizens Coalition To Protect NY
1697 School St
Alpine, NY
Sheila Long
Transfiguration Monastery
701 State Route 79
Windsor, NY
Gordon Smith
265 merrill Creek Rd
Marathon, NY
Ayne Sheldon
234 NE 3rd Street #1001
Miami, FL
Bobbi Siegelbaum
640 West 239th St., #6E
Bronx, NY
Scott Sears
355 Pennsylvania Ave.
Trumansburg, NY
Elliott Adams
PO Box 195
Sharon Springs, NY