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Coalition Letter Which Requests That Governor Cuomo Adopt a Statewide Moratorium on Fossil Fuel Project Approvals

July 7, 2016

Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of New York
The Capitol
Albany, NY 12224

Dear Governor Cuomo:

We, the undersigned, write respectfully to request that you impose a statewide moratorium on granting permits, Water Quality Certifications or other regulatory approvals for transmission pipelines, power generating plants, compressor stations and fossil fuel infrastructure projects that are environmental hazards and would perpetuate New York's dependence on burning natural gas, coal and oil for energy generation.

These facilities have caused very serious personal and environmental hazards, including explosions, fires, toxic discharges, property damage and loss of life that state authorities have neither been able to prevent nor clean up according to Department of Environmental Conservation data as well as a Pipeline Safety Oversight Audit of the Public Service Commission released by the Office of the New York State Comptroller in March 2016. This problem must be resolved before more fossil fuel infrastructure is authorized.

There also can be no question that on-going consumption of large amounts of fossil fuels causes immense pollution problems in New York and contributes to global climate change. With the establishment of the Paris Climate Agreement in December 2015 and your administration’s own emissions goal of producing 50% of our electricity with renewable resources by 2030, we urge you to take comprehensive action to minimize New York's reliance on fossil fuels without further delay.

According to the New York Independent System Operator’s Power Trends 2016 report, 57% of New York energy generating capacity involves natural gas and natural gas with oil back-up. This type of power generation is proposed to rise to 70% due to a glut of cheap natural gas. Coal generates another three percent of New York's electricity.

In short, fossil fuel generates most of our state's power and is very likely to provide even more unless strong action is taken. Your State Energy Plan documents that wind and solar produces only 2.4% and 0.4% of New York's electricity, respectively. It also shows that 22.5% of New York's energy generation is from hydropower, which makes up 88% of statewide renewable energy, all produced by 50-year-old hydroelectric plants.

Despite New York's best efforts, new sustainable energy generation remains very low due to high costs and technical hurdles. As a result, it will be extremely challenging, in our view, to achieve our state’s climate goals of 50% renewable energy by 2030 if New York State continues to permit fossil fuel projects that would pollute the environment for decades to come, such as the Spectra and Algonquin Incremental Markets (AIM) pipelines and the Competitive Power Ventures (CPV), Danskammer and Cricket Valley power plants.

We note and applaud your administration's decision to deny the Section 401 Water Quality Certification required for the Constitution Pipeline to be built. With the denial of that 124-mile transmission pipeline, and your blocking of the Port Ambrose offshore Liquified Natural Gas project, and, of course, your DEC’s prohibition on hydro-fracking, we see promising first steps toward moving New York away from continued fossil fuel infrastructure build-out.

The proposed moratorium is critical in transitioning New York to a less polluting energy future. Our state must halt fossil fuel infrastructure development so coal, natural gas and oil consumption can be minimized by implementing energy efficiency efforts that are both economically viable and technically feasible.

In your 2016 Agenda, Built to Lead, you wisely proposed:

"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."

We believe this sensible policy must be implemented across New York because it would slash fossil fuel consumption, protect the environment and save money for homeowners and renters, institutions and businesses.

We believe, however, that New York can, and should, do much more in this crucial area than what has been proposed, which is to improve the "energy efficiency of 500,000 homes and 20,000 businesses by 2020..." That would only address six percent of New York's more than eight million housing units in five years.

Since all forms of energy production cause pollution and incur heavy costs, the less energy New Yorkers use, the better. We propose to cut statewide energy consumption by at least one-third through comprehensive insulation, weatherizing and retrofitting efforts unprecedented in America.

Tens of thousands of rewarding jobs could be generated using tried and true, low-cost techniques paid for by energy savings, such as blown cellulose insulation made from recycled paper. This could bolster our economy at a time of great need like the "energy conservation" programs that your father, Governor Mario Cuomo, and the Legislature championed years ago.

This is an ideal time for New York to implement this kind of large-scale demand-side energy conservation. Statewide electricity demand is expected to be "flat" for the coming decade and New York reportedly has ample energy back-up capacity according to Power Trends 2015. Moreover, our plan would not conflict with any sustainable energy alternative initiatives.

We are open to your suggestions and welcome an opportunity to discuss our proposal in detail with you and your staff.

Thank you very much for your consideration.

Very respectfully yours,

Total Signatory Count: 1447

Nathan Richardson
Head Engineer/COO
REP Studio
REP Studio
Ithaca, New York
Elizabeth Panus
60 Summit Ave.
Buffalo, NY
Corinne Frantz
1 Strawberry Lane
Ithaca, NY
Joel Gagnon
2353 Spencer Road
West Danby, New York
Kathy Herrera
116 Utica St.
Ithaca, NY
John Merriman
4801 Butler Dr
Cortland, NY - NEW YORK
Dwain Wilder
Newsletter Editor
We Are Seneca Lake
289 Rich's Dugway
Rochester, New York
Karen Butler
317 County Highway 40
Worcester, NY
Doug Couchon, PhD
109 Foster Avenue
Elmira, NY
Robyn Bem
3 Ringwood Court West
Ithaca, NY
Har Kai
Musical Director
The Kansas City Sound
50 Mohonk Rd
High Falls, NY
Diane Stein
40 Harrison St., Apt. 15A
New York, NY
Susan Straight
5539 Bower Rd
Trumansburg, NY
Gene Polito
45 Shady Rest Dr
Sag Harbor, NY
James Little
Member of
Western Broome Environmental Stakeholder Coalition
522 Winston Drive
Endwell, New York
Noreen Stevenson
16 Elm Street
Chester, NY
Kat Adams
236 East 13th Street
New York, NY
Gerri Wiley
Residents Allied for the Futhre of Tioga (RAFT)
19 Lake St.
Owego, New York
Katherine Burns
Shaleshock CNY
5115 Otisco Rd
Tully, NY
William Messner
4249 Angela Way
Canandaigua, NY
Susan Deane-Miller
126 hooker
Poughkeepsie , New York
Joan-Marie Bauman
106 Rupp Road
Monticello, NY
Mark Kuebel
Mark Kuebel, L.Ac.
402 W. 148th St #42
New York, New York
Devin Henry
2 Pine St
Alfred, New York
Clyde Duane Zaloudek
ilse funk
Otsego 2000
238 Mill Rd
Cherry Valley, New York
Dan Page
200 Central Park South
New York , NY
David Kalb
171 Groton Rd
Freeville, NY
Edward Price
31 Walters Ave
Cold Spring Harbor , NY
Melissa Jackson
1028 coddington Road
Ithaca, Ny
Joy Weber
1155 Vankirk Rd
Newfield, NY
Josiah Parker
123 N. Quarry St
Ithaca, NY
Margaret F keating
3970 County Rd 2
hECTOR, New York
M.Sharon Gambocorto
7626-7 Highbridge Rd.
Manlius, NY
John McClelland
Spring Meadows Farm
139 School St..
Millerton, PA
Nancy Sharpe
216 6th St
Liverpool, New York
A. Lindsay Groves
Principal Cellist
P.O.Box 930
Skaneateles, NY
Davies Nagel
York Concerned Citizens/York Landowners Association
3558 main
Piffard, NY
Laura Neiman
60 Seaman Ave 5g
New York , New York
Daniel McCormack
Marist College - professor
13 Beehive Rd.
Accord, New York
Mary Ann McDonough
Protect Orange County & TriStates for Safe Energy
65 Highland Avenue
Otisville, ny
Irene Huhner
250 W 94th St, apt 12J
New York, NY
36 Hargrave St
Cheryl DeVine
TriStates Unite for Safe Energy & Sustainable Warwick
26 Onderdonk Rd.
Warwick, NY
Helen Burlingham
Regional Action Group for The Environment
6320 Soper Rd.
Perry, NY 14530
Mitchell Lavine
Dryden Resource Awareness Coalition
719 Ringwood Rd
Ithaca, NY
Gerald Wolfe
474 Snyder Hill Rd.
Ithaca, NY
Barbara Lattanzi
29 High Street
Alfred, New York
Anna Engdahl
894 County Road 94
Hankins, NY
AL Hemberger
16 Garden Street
Cold Spring, NY