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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

brenda lee
16 quarry dr
wappingers falls, ny
Julie Parisi
36 Purdy Hollow Road
Woodstock, NY
Gloria Foster
NY citizen
3906 Chatham Ln
Canandaigua, NY
Taffy Williams
Founding Director
191 Westchester Avenue
Tuckahoe, NY
Bonnie Seegmiller
PO Box M
Downsville, NY
Franz Sugarman
7221 Halseyville Rd.
Trumansburg , NY
Karen Chimento
200 East Buffalo Street Suite 302
Ithaca, New York
Pamela Mackesey
323 Pleasant St.
Ithaca,, New York
Richard Walker
Kathleen Bowers
751 Basket Road
Long Eddy, NY
Elizabeth MacFarland
568 Hervey Sunside Road
Cornwallville, New York
Robert Sawchuk
18B Guilford Ct.
Ridge, NY
Maria Studer
127 Springtime Lane West
Levittown, New York
rachel soper
142 soutside dr.
oneonta, NY
Paul Baumann
101 Oak Street
Brooklyn, New York
Patricia Donohue
Citizen Action
21 Exchange St., Apt#4E
Binghamton, New York, 13901
James Hamilton
Sixmile Creek Water Quality Monitor Volunteers, Town of Ithaca Conservation Board
1603 Slaterville Rd.
Ithaca, New York
Laurie Roe
108 West Buffalo Street
Ithaca, NY
Nancy Medsker
67 Marsh Rd.
Ithaca, New York
Molly Diesing
711 Mitchell Street
Ithaca, NY
Steven Handwerker
Pam Jenkins
4023 Collegeview Dr
Cortland, New York
William Holder
1300 Echo Road
Vestal, New York
Roy Bartoo
103 Woodview Ln.
Morris, NY
Wright Salisbury
9531 East Lake Rd.
Hammonsdsport, NY
donna mundt
family nurse practitioner
po box 187
newark valley, NY
Epifanio Bevilacqua
964 Finch Rd
Franklin, New York
george mundt, jr
retired attorney
po box 187
newark valley, ny
Marilyn Schambach
713 Oak Hill
Afton, New York
Barbara Kubiak
44 Willets Ave.
Belmont, NY
David Shalloway
Greater Philadelphia Professor in Biological Sciences
Cornell University
90 Lieb Rd
Spencer, NY
Patricia & Peter Ladley
PHE, Inc.
17 Penny Lane
Ithaca, NY
Judy Freilicher
P.O. Box 93
DeRuyter, New York
Nedra Harvey
R-CAUSE (Rochesterians Concerned About Unsafe Shalegas Extraction)
275 Berkeley St.
Rochester, New York
Tish Pearlman
141 Westhaven Rd
Ithaca, NY
timothy dunlap
5376 Peach Orchard Road,
Hector, N.Y.
Alice Ross
377 Skipperene rd
Narrowsburg , New York
Edward Seus
KLA, BPA, Town of Jerusalem ZBA
6549 W. Bluff Dr.
Keuka Park, NY - New York
Richard Stringham
1497 Preston Hill Road
Hamilton, NY
Jill Tripp
469 Thomas Rd.
Ithaca, NY
Joan Tubridy
People not Pipelines
996 Monroe Road
Delhi, NY
Peter Gamba
4613 belknap hill road
Branchport, NY
Patricia Dinges
232 Hibernia Road, P.O. Box 240
Salt Point, NY
Robert Schwab
124 Gale Place
Bronx, NY
Mary Graham
4021 McIntyre Rd
Trumansburg, NY
Stuart Anderson
Concerned Citizens of Otego
238 Main Street
Otego, NY
michelle scott
founding member
Mason Pipeline Committee
632 Sand Pit Rd
Mason, NH
Mary Thorpe
1220 Langford Creek Road
van Etten, NY
Milene Morfei
PO Box 384
Aurora, NY