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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

Debra Wilson
Comfort Minitsry
383 Nowlan Rd
Binghamton, New York
E. Timothy O'Hare
1260 Chase Court
Binghamton , NY
Darlene Kocik
9 Grant Street
Binghamton, New York
Becky Smith
20 Newman Ave
Binghamton, New York
Maureen Singer
No Fenton Compressor
6 Fenton Ave
Binghamton , NY
Dean Chapman
Town of Fenton/CV Warriors Families Against that Compressor i
106 Kattelville Road
Birthday , New York
Jennifer Leadbeater
797 Chenango Street
Binghamton , New York
John Leadbeater
797 Chenango Street
Binghamton , New York
Jacqueline Burke
8 Kirkwood Avenue
Binghamton , New York
Velida Ford
762 State St.
Binghamton , New York
Sarah Kolb
30 Ritchie rd
Binghamton , Ny
Emily Wood
744 Chenango Street
Binghamton , NY
Joela Andersen
41 Pleasant Hill Rd
Port Crane, NY
Mary Aimoniotis
21 Hillcrest Ave
Binghamton, Ny
Christian Maire
21 Hillcrest Ave
Binghamton, Ny
Jeri-Anne McKeon
689 Chenango Street
Binghamton, NY
Wendy Rogers
6169 State Route 79
Chenango Forks, NY
joyce gioia
1219 mead rd
binghamton, NY
Thomas Reyer
211 Gray Rd.
Ithaca, NY
Lena Greenberg
1789 Bedford Avenue 3l
Brooklyn, NY
Leigh Brown
1789 Bedford Avenue 3L
Brooklyn, NY
Nancy Norton
Stone Quarry House
26 Quarry Road
Ithaca, NY
Robin Burlingham
216 West Northview Rd.
Ithaca, new york
Peter Madison
7 Sleator Drive
Ossining, NY
L. Glasner
27 W. 96 St.
Bruce MacInnes
739 Oquaga Lake Road
Deposit, NY
Clarissa Farrell
3066 swamp rd
Alpine, NY
William Wakefield
P O Box 393
DeRuyter, New York
Wanda Zinski
9841 Mallory Road
Sauquoit, New York. 13456
Marceline Rechter
10 Stewart Pl. #9GW
White Plains, NY
Debra Myers
135 Water St. A104, 27
Bath, NY
Mary McKeon
270 Searles Rd
Margaretville, NY
Starke Donnally
141 Clarke Street
Syracuse, NY
Fuona Cleugh
1204 chenango st
Binghamton, Ny
Jonathan Plotkin
711 N Tioga St
Ithaca , NY
Julien V. Koschmann
Cornell University
705 Ringwood Road
Ithaca, NY
d.s. kiefer
tomplins county legislature
629 highland rd
ithaca, ny
Martina Leonard
P. O. Box 181
Garrison , NY
Richard Johnsen
343 Raymond Fish Rd.
Hartwick, NY
Elizabeth Yokum
7 Point View Terrace
Plattsburgh , NY
Ronald Edward Ruland
Veterans for Peace, Retired Educator
202 Elm Street
Cobleskill, NY
Joseph Quirk
147 Avenue A #2R
New York, New York
maria barry
91 east main st
trumansburg, ny
James Sherpa
302 Giles St
Ithaca, NY
William Granche
Mr. William J. Granche
24 Lincoln St
Ridgway, PA
MJ Baggetta
PO Box 212
E. Schodack, NY
Michael Frys
Sierra Club
Conklin Rd
Conklin, NY
Kathy Dewart
333 ellis hollow creek rd.
Ithaca, NY 14850
Nancy Delmerico
81 Grandview Ave
Dobbs Ferry, NY