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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

Peter Allen
82 Hunting Green Lane
Kents Store, VA
Steve Anagnostos
378 Thomas rd.
Ithaca, Ny,14850
Matthew Ryan
259 Boiceville Road
Brooktondale, N.Y.
Robert Darling
PO Box 172
Keuka Park, NY
Gina Lord
2250 N Triphammer Rd. Unit E5
Ithaca, NY
Catherine Wagner
1665 Ellis Hollow Road
Ithaca, NY
Sharon Heller
332 Butternut Dr
Newfield, New York
Ann McLaughlin
892 Butternut Ridge Rd.
Canton, New York
Joey Gates
Solar Systems Unlimited
POB 13
Mecklenburg, NY
Karen Keating-Secular
6361 99th St.
Rego Park, NY
Noreen Canny
7 Ivanhoe Road
Binghamton, New York
Elsa Leviseur
122 Union Street
Hudson, NY
gary bradley
214 poston st
lynchburg, va1943
Sarah Peacock
149 Colonial Rd
Rochester, NY
Rachel Treichler
7988 Van Amburg Road
Hammondsport, NY
Holly Lambert Nolting
14185 W 50th Pl
Golden, CO
Dom Thomas
140 N. Aurora Dy.
Ithaca, New York
Donald Mintz
29 Whig Street
Trumansburg, NY
Kristin Lovelace-Ross
101 Privacy Lane
Trumansburg, NY
Richard Ross
101 Privacy Lane
Trumansburg, NY
Douglas Vitarius
Board Member
Sierra Club - Susquehanna Group
74 Audubon Ave.
Binghamton, New York
susan hansen
Hansen's Advisory Services, Inc
7067 east genesee st
fayetteville, NY
Barbara Warren
Executive Director
Citizens' Environmental Coalition
422 Oakland Valley Rd.
Cuddebackville, New York
Cheryl Thompson-Jones
PO Box 59
Trumansburg, NY
Michael Olszewski
620 Elm Street Ext
Ithaca, NY
Marie Vitucci
191 seven mike dr
Ithaca, Ny
Shannon Gearhart
Executive Board Member
Physicians for Social Responsibility/New York
7001 Ridge Blvd, Apt 5G
Brooklyn, NY
Myrna Sak
29 Luther Rd
Saratoga Springs, New York
Richard Walker
Tri state united
337 Greeves Rd
New Hampton, NY - New York
Bonnie Walker
337 Greeves Road
New Hampton, New York
Vanessa Kolk
2 Bridle Ct
Goshen, New York
David Cullen
511 Route 20
New Lebanon, New York
Melanie Turner
Concerned Citizens of Hudson Valley
5 Candlewood Drive
Goshen, New York
Jessica Gocke
Principal Broker
349 Sarah Wells Trail
Goshen, NY
Joyce Mosher
61 Wellington Rd.
Delmar, New York
Debra Flanagan
1011 University Avenue #30
Rochester, NY
dennis rich
31 main street
west seneca, ny
ron palmer
P. O. Box 89
S. Plymouth, New York
Gail Brunner
Health Inspector
180 Chicopee Rd
Damascus, Pa
katharine dawson
post office box 194
guilford, NY
Josephine Girardin
27 Reilly Street
West Islip, NY
Ann Wexler
220 Pearl St
Ithaca, NY
Carolyn Sas
114 Lewis Hollow Rd
Woodstock, NY
Mort Malkin
Peace Academy at Liberty
658 River Road
Milanville, PA
Susan Singh
4011 S Atlanta Pl
Tulsa, OK
Roger Brennan
11 Sloop Hill Rd
New Windsor , New York
Margaret Sikora
Director, JPIC
Franciscan Sisters of the Atonement
41 Old Highland TPKE
Garrison, NY
Tonya Bittner
Mothers Out Front
533 Ringwood Road
Freeville, New York
Lori Wood
43 barn rd #4
lake placid, new york
Joan Dornhoefer
24 Blake Lane
Middletown, NY