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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

Sharon Lawless
East Meredith, NY
Richard Averett
231 Somborn Rd.
Otego, NY
Lani Bullock
64 CR 132
Hankins, NY
Peter Mechalke
27 Bradley Street
Trumansburg, New York
Jeffrey Barken
Chief Editor
845 Riverside Drive Apt #58
New York City, NY
norwell therien
middletown , ny
9174 Co. Hwy 16
Treadwell, NY
Wendy Wakula
377 Hunts Corner Road
Marathon, NY
Barbara Chasin
129 Rachel Carson Way
Ithaca, NY
Alicia Pagano
12562 County Hifhway 23
Unadilla, NY
Judith Bristol
185 Goodwin Drive
Ithaca, NY
Sara Hess
Campaign for Renewable Energy
124 Westfield Drive
Ithaca, New York
Jacquelyn Clinton
1109 N. Cayuga Street
, NY
Julie Carpenter
598 Bostwick Road
Ithaca, NY
shirley kozlowski
115 west road
groton, , ny, 13073
Ann Bussiere
PO Box 126
Downsville, NY
Michael O'Brien
400 West 23 St.
New York City, NY
Ryan McHugh
127 Yellow Barn Rd
Freeville, NY
Julia Widdowson
339 n. Mabbettsville rd
Millbrook, Ny
Jean Locey
Cornell University
1735 Ellis Hollow Rd
Ithaca, NY
Carol Kaufman
3406 Jackson Rd.
Binghamton, NY
Ramsey Brous
42 Sparrow Crest
Ithaca, NY
Stop The Pipeline. STP
6 Sewanois Ave
LINCOLN Park, New Jersey
Eileen Driscoll
125 Valley View
Ithaca, Ny
Paul Packer
49 Bell Circle
Port Jefferson, NY
Marvin Mastrangelo
3204 Briarcliff Avenue
Vestal, NY
Ross M. Horowitz
820 W King Road
Ithaca, New York
Tony Henderson
225 Rachel Carson Way
Ithaca, NY
Frank Gage
WNY Drilling Defense
87 Erb St.
Buffalo, NY
Jo Salas
New Paltz Climate Action Coalition
137 Hasbrouck Road
New Paltz, NY
John Neumeister
508 W 172 St
New York, NY
Marsha Lipshitz
428 East 77 Street, #4A
New York, NY 10075
Kaye Newbury
935 W. Water Street
Elmira, NY
Diane MacInnes
Sanford-Oquaga Area Concerned Citizens
739 Oquaga Lake Road
Deposit, New York
Michael Black
5139 elm rd.
Dundee, New York
Gale Lyons
1013 Lake Street
Elmira, NY
Gita Devi
2475 Altay Road
Rock Stream, NY
Arthur Scott
Marist College
6 Amdrea Dr
Poughkeepsie, NY
Linda Sager
Protect Orange County
389 Greeves Rd
New Hampton, NY
Roseann Marrero
121 Blueberry Drive
Deposit, New York
Joel Wysong
2675 Agard Road
Trumansburg, NY
Sue Heavenrich
115 Hubbard Hill Rd
Candor, NY
Maria Manna
Small business owner
Main st
Moravia, NY
john bromberg
pictures moved by strings
639 s.preston rd
lakewood, pa
John Jongen
Citizens Alliance for a Pristine Perinton (CAPP)
164 West Church Street
Fairport, New York
Jan Quarles
Back To Democracy
7342 Wyers Point Rd
Ovid, NY
Vicki fox
67 wodenethe Dr,
beacon, New York
Kristina Hazlitt
Sawmill Creek Vineyards
5587 State Route 414
Hector, NY
Claudia Levy
478 West Broadway #2s
New York, New York
Donald Mintz
Professor emeritus
Montclair State Univerity
29 Whig Street
Trumansburg, NY