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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

Adam Berenstain
1450 Mecklenburg Road
Ithaca, NY
Donna Denny
271 Gardnerville Road
New Hampton, NY
Neal Halloran
Banbury Cross Farm
265 Route 116
Cochecton, New York
Founder of
Milford Doers/Residents of Crumhorn Mtn
486 Burrillo Rd
Maryland , N Y
Karina Naumer
102 Clay Street
Brooklyn, NY
Barbara Schiesser
4986 Apple Road Ext.
Dundee, NY
James Burnette
64 St.Johns Place
Lackawanna, NY
Cait Darfler
32 Whig Street
Trumansburg, NY
Amy Harlib
212 West 22nd St. #2N
New York, NY
Susan Tarrow
321 Strawberry Hill Circle #3
Ithaca, NY
Elizabeth Schaffer
24 Clover Park Drive #3
Rochester, NY
Beverly West
1214 Ellis Hollow Rd
Ithaca, NY
Emily Ouckama
6649 Waterburg Road
Trumansburg, NY
Marian Rose
9 Old Corner Road
Bedford, NY
Rita Kuzma
Adjunct Professor
SUNY Brockport
6912 Byron-Holley Rd
Byron, New York
roseanne demaria
1790 otisco valley road
marietta, NY
Carolyn Kreisel
4348 Swamp College Rd
Trumansburg, New York
James W Prescott, Ph.D.
BioBehavioral Systems
1140-23 Savannah Rd
Lewes, DE
Mary Kaszyca
111 Tamarack Lane
Trumansburg, NY
Philip Matsu
922 County Road 94
Fremont Center, NY
David Stevenson
16 Elm Street
Chester, NY
Sara Brown
245 Eastman Hill Rd
Willseyville, NY
Lena Guyot
165 Goose St.
Fly Creek, NY
Nancy feinstein
13321 route 54
hammondsport, New York
Linda Uhll
Ithaca Area Collaborative Action
65 Hickory Road
Ithaca, NY
James Karpinski
3400 Halseyville Rd
Trumansburg, New York
Howard Pidduck
36 Porter Hill Rd
Ithaca, NY
Bernice Yarosh
1957 Slaterville Rd
Ithaca, NY
Pat Halpen
3071 Shay Road
Naples, NY
Jeffrey Symeslatini
7036 Whitney Valley Rd.
Almond, NY
Michael Mead
134 Apple Lane Dr.
Middletown, New ork
Aubrey Clark
Cooperative Grass Root Organization ( Co-Treasurer)
VeRSE ( Vestal Residents for Safe Energy)
774 Bunn Hill Rd
Vestal, NY
Beatrice Birch
End New York's fossil fuel addiction
67 Edgewood Ave.
Larchmont, NY
Karen Neuberg
2 Grace Court
Brooklyn, NY
Mark Peacock
149 Colonial Road
Rochester, NY
Laura Nowack
28 South Main Street
Earlville, NY
Sharon Gendreau
PO Box 22
Hemlock, NY
Julia Peacock
149 Colonial Rd.
Rochester, NY
PO Box 142
Claryville, NY
Elizabeth Peacock
Systems and Methods Analyst
University of Rochester Medical Center
149 Colonial Rd.
Rochester, NY 14609
Michele Lagana
79 Partridge Hill
Honeoye Falls, NY
Frederick P Sinclair
5475 County Road 12 Box 834
Alfred, NY
Adrienne Irons
1021 Chenango St
Binghamton , NY
Elizabeth Duhr-Ramirez
30 Fenton Ave
Binghamton , NY
Elizabeth DeAngelo
1232 Chenango Street
Binghamton , NY
Alicia Kruser
6 Hiawatha Trl
Binghamton , Ny
Phillip DeAngelo
1232 Chenango St
Binghamton , NY
Kurt Mohney
1171 Chenango St
binghamton, NY
Lisa Hamilton
35 Fenton Ave.
Binghamton , New York
Don and Sandy MacDuffee
34 Ritchie Rd
Binghamton, NY