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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

hal smith
205-B Garrett Rd
Windsor, NY
Daniel Belliveau
95 Lafayette Ave
Geneva, New York
Sean R Carter
PO Box 134
Freeville, New York
Deborah Brandt
160 W. 73
Hazel Landa
26 Victoria Lane, Apt. I
Delmar, NY
Lyne Thermann
P.O. Box 193
Claryville, N.Y.
Herbert & Carolyn Tinney
(citizens & voters)
7633 Thunder Mountain Trail (Town of Springwater)
Wayland, NY 14572-9786
Scott Sears
355 Pennsylvania Ave.
Trumansburg, NY
Mary & Rev. Robert Reader
OCPeace and Justice
139 Old Minisink Trail
Goshen, NY
Janet Howe
Warwick Democratic Town Committee
614 County Route 1, Apt. 2
Pine Island, NY 10969
Karen Cook
8132 Creekview Drive
Bridgeport, NY
Jane Atkin
181 Westhaven Road
Ithaca, NY 14850
Carole Marner
Mary Lovelace
2504 State Route 79
Trumansburg, NY
Susan McDonnell
19 Susan Lane
Cortlandt Manor, NY, 10567
Nelson DuBois
127 Palmer Rd
Otego, ny
Sheryl Samuel
891 Berme Rd
High Falls, NY
Abbe Lyons
154 Westhaven Road
Ithaca, NY
frank carbone jr.
39 wintergreen ave.
newburgh, ny
jerome nosanchuk
964 cayuga heights road
ithaca, ny
Richard Ross
377 Skippetene Road
Narrowsburg , New York
Ted Zinski
9841 Mallory Rd.
Sauquoit, NY - New York
Stefan Czapsky
464 Vandervort Hill Rd
Unadilla, New York
Nicole Dillingham
Board President
Otsego 2000, Inc.
PO box 101
Springfield Center , New York
Julie Mundt
607 Broad St.
Endicott, NY
Bernie O'Doherty
607 Broad St.
Endicott, NY
Eric Mundt
100 Imperial Circle
Rochester, NY
F. Robert Wesley
212 Hill Road
Ithaca, NY
Paula Clair
162 Gallows Hill Road
Garrison , New York
Diane Deutsch
3995 State Rt 52
Youngsville, NY
nancy miller
Dryden Respurce Awareness Coalition, We Are Seneca lake
501 Midline Road
Freeville, NY
Dorothy Hartz
115 Nelson Rd.
Fremont Center, NY
Martin Jorgensen
1692 Ellis Hollow Rd. Apt 2
Ithaca, New York
525 West 238th Street
Bronx, NY
Arnold Talentino
38 Van Hoesen Street
Cortland, NY
Victoria Furio
Climate Justice
37 Highland Ave
Yonkers, NY
Delora Specker
9 East Miller Rd
Ithaca, New York
Barbara Bonham
13 Randall Heights
Middletown, New York
Keith Kinneberg
Orange Peace and Justice
1 Liberty Corners Rd.
Pine Island, New York
Brian Dalton
4197 Syracuse st.
Dearborn Heights, Michigan
Jerry Zimmerman
PO Box 368
Pine Island, NY
Richard Kellman
429 Arnold Road
Lisle, NY
Lori Solensten
152 Hall Rd
Maryland , NY
Gerald Gerrard
Gerrards' Prancing Pony Pfarm
RR Box 119 North Main St. Rd.
Black River, NY
shirley tripp
204 first st
ithaca, ny
Rhoda Mack
44 Jayne St
Florida , NY
Kristin Lovelace-Ross
56 Waterburg Road
Trumansburg, New York
Rebecca Schmoyer
515 County Route 17
Valatie, NY
Barb Fox
98 Landing Park
Rochester, NY
Ryan Clover-Owens
So Many Worlds
PO Box 174
Van Etten, New York