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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

Debbie Biltonen
3336 Podunk Rd
Trumansburg, NY
Ruth Hardinger
Board Member
Damascus Citizens for Sustainability
20 N Moore St #1E
New York, NY
Henrietta Wise
Olive Environmental
208 Krumville Road
Olivebridge, New York
Anne Haas
1957 County Rd. 3
Olivebridge, NY
Verne M. Bell
116 Stewart AVe. Ext. #54
Newburgh, NY
Patricia White
7409 Logan Rd
Canandaigua , NY
rose mary hooper
5 mechanic st
napls, ny
Kathy Mooe
156 Spisak Rd.
Afton, NY
Diana Krautter
48 Wintergreen Avenue
Newburgh, NY
Nancy Butler-Ross
263 Wittenberg Road
Bearsville, NY
elizabeth salon
Family Nurse Practitioner
Integrative Health
251 culver rd
ithaca, ny
Donna Favicchio
Frances Bonner
3 Country Way #122
Troy, NY
Jane Lewis
313 NYS Rt 41A
Cortland, NY
Steven Schwager
Professor Emeritus of Statistics
Cornell University
117 Pine Tree Road
Ithaca, New York
David Bruner
Founding member
Kingston Transition
50 Hudson St
Kingston, NY
Judy Burrill
357 Decker Hill Rd.
Newfield, NY
William Mathews
8 Wintergreen Way
Rochester, NY
Suzanne J Schermerhorn
103 2nd Ave
Gloversville, NY
Marilyn Klaiber
72 Algonquin Road
Clifton Park, New York
Matthew F. Carney III
201 Walnut Street
Corning, New York
Paul Lebonitte
1539 Route 213 - C
High Falls, NY
Ruth Landstrom
103 Lake Region Blvd
Monroe, NY
Anthony Nemi
Niagara County Legislature
175 Hawley Street
Lockport, New York
Dave Elder
2005 Owego Road
Vestal, NY
anne Lazarus
524 East 20th St. 2G
New York, NY
Geo Kidd
14012 Eternity Rd.
Germantown, MD
Alice Artzt
180 Claremont Ave
Earl Hicks
145 East Miller Road
Ithaca, New York (NY)
Craig Higgins
8 genung rd
Ithaca, Ny
Jane Kristersson
2781 Clarks Corners Road
Marathon, NY
Nathan Richardson
Head Engineer COO
Rep Studio
519 Willow Ave
Ithaca, NY
Anne ProudFire
658 Seward St.
Rochester, NY
Kathleen Domokos
P.o. Box 308
Rosendale, Ny
708b plymouth drive
lakewood, nj
Linda Lenhardt
PO Box 338
Marietta, NY
Michael Twomey
Ithaca College
16 John St.
Ithaca, New York
Joseph Cortese
Social Studies Teacher
Homer Central High School
15 Glyndon Avenue
Cortland, NY
Sharon Osika-Michales
4411 Vinegar Hill Rd.
Skaneateles, NY
David Brown
Amphibious Films, LLC
72 Michigan Hollow Road
Spencer, New York
Gina Santonas
211 Cornelia St
Brooklyn, NY
Donna Gataletto
110 Hallmore Dr
Camillus, NY
Theresa Jodz
410 Thomas Road
Ithaca, NY
JennJorge Nelson
We have no more time to make mistakes!!
Every organization that cares about our Earth
Box 69
Lake Hill, Ny
Susan Pixley
43 Neuchatel Lane
Fairport, NY
Judith Abrams
1679 Taughannock Blvd
Trumansburg, NY
Ciele Gladstein
22 Sunrise Dr. Apt.22
Newfield , N.Y.
Edward Mitchell
Sole Proprietor
Bronx River Bicycle Works
27 Mount Vernon Avenue
Mount Vernon, New York
Kathleen Gorr
8 Deer Run
Skaneateles , New York
Iana Boyd
561 Peak Road
Stone Ridge, NY