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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

Tracy Basile
74 revolutionary road
ossining, ny
Robert Aceto
336 Forest Home Drive
Ithaca, NY
Abbe Lyons
154 Westhaven Road
Ithaca, NY
Cathleen Cummings
77 Beam Hill Rd.
Dryden, NY
kate ryan
Stop the Pipeline
87 sal bren rd
delhi, ny
Elaine Sperbeck
Main street first
618 E. Monroe street
Little Falls, New York
Robert Goellner
Stop The Pipeline ( STP )
6 Sewanois Ave
Lincoln Park, N,J,
Rose Mary Hooper
5 Mechanic St.
Naples, NY
Julie Wityk
560 West 218th Street
New York, New York
Kenneth Scallon
369 Malden Bridge rd.
Nassau , NY
Sarah White
Middlefield Neighbors
1251 State Highway 166
Cooperstown, NY
David Fanion
151 Apple creek rd
Cooperstown, NY
Holly Fanion
151 Apple creek rd
Cooperstown, NY
Laurene Gilbert
656 Five Mile Dr
Ithaca, NY
Raymon Elozua
PO Box 129
Mountaindale, NY
Dave Elder
2005 Owego Road
Vestal, NY
Justin Ehrlich
142 Giles St
Ithaca, NY
Karl Klein
4648 N Tower Rd.
Cincinnatus, NY
Terry Michel
1849 Honoco Rd., P.O.Box 225
Aurora, NY
Judith Hyman
Enfield Neighbors for Safe Air and Water
632 Bostwick Road
Ithaca, NY
John Merriman
4801 Butler Dr
Cortland, NY - NEW YORK
Jeni DeMarco
9296 Scipio Road
Nunda, NY
Linda Uhll
65 Hickory Rd
Ithaca, NY
Pamela Washburn
42 Elm Street
Cooperstown, NY
David Gould
574 West End Ave.
New York, NY
Karin Yomboro
412 Dutchtown Rd
Dolgeville , NY
olivia Vent
194 East Miller Road
Ithaca, New York
Sandra Chelnov
11352 Blanchard Road
Holland, NY
R. Dunleavey
Executive Board Member, Secretary
Catskill Heritage Alliance
Kelly Road
Arkville, NY
Goline Doremus
Executive Board Member
Catskill Heritage Alliance
Kelly Road
Arkville, NY
Paul Robillard
Executive Director
World Water Watch
5405 NW Deerfield Way
Portland, OR
Pat Halpen
3071 Shay Road
Naples, NY
Nancy Beers
4542 Clark Rd.
Campbell, NY
Suzanne McMannis
Earthwalk Farm
P.O. Box 4174
Ithaca, NY
Tim Wolcott
13 marlayne dr
Johnson city, New York
John Given
118 Lieb Rd.
South New Berlin, New York
David Sibley
2 Dove Drive
Ithaca, NY
William Barnett
40 Genung Circle
Ithaca, New York
Anna Engdahl
894 County Rd 9 4
Hankins, NY
Sharlee Moore
501 S. Spring St. #742
Los Angeles, CA
Frankie DeMarco
241 Sixth Ave., #11c
New York, NY
William Turechek
392 Hathaway Rd.
Otego, New York
Peter Herman
503 Rhodes Road
Apalachin, NY - NEW YORK
Sheryl Samuel
891 Berme Rd
High Falls, NY
Judith Pierpont
Founding Member
Dryden Resource Awareness Coalition (DRAC)
111 Pleasant Hollow Road
Freeville, NY
Mary Lee Martens
Board. President
Moving in Comgregations, Axting in Hope (MICAH)
4356 Cosmos Hill Rd
Cortland, NY
Oksana Fuller
3971 County Road 16
Canandaigua, NY
Kathleen Chase
250 red hours hill rd
Cooperstowm, NY
Genevieve DeClerck
713 W. Dryden Rd
Freeville, NY
James W. Hamilton
Sixmile Creek Water Quality Monitor
Town of Ithaca Conservation Board
1603 Slaterville Rd.
Ithaca, NY