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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

Christine Viola
Gloria Loehle
111 Utica St
Ithaca, NY
Joseph Montuori
Kirk Lake Watershed Association
75 Lakeside Rd
Mahopac, NY
Holly Payne
398 Ellis Hollow Creek Rd
Ithaca, New York
Gary L. Hodges
920 Snyder Hill Road
Ithaca, NY
Abigail McHugh-Grifa
Leadership Team Co-Coordinator
Rochester People's Climate Coalition
Rochester, NY
Erica Hart
93 William Brown Rd.
Hankins, NY
Michael Gorr
Southern Cayuga Anti-Fracking Alliance
8 Deer Run
Skaneateles , New York
Nancy Sears
15 Hill St
Middletown, NY
Elaine Sperbeck
Main street first
618 E.Monroe st
Little Falls, New York
Sita Sanders
402 Second Ave
Mosier, OR
Kenneth Stokem
1001 Maple Hill Road
Castleton on Hudson, NY
Helen Cotton
317 Savage Farm Drive
Ithaca, NY
Robert Warfield
6 Etna Rd, Apt A
Ithaca, ny
Jeni DeMarco
9296 Scipio Road
Nnunda, NY
William Wakefield
P O Box 393
DeRuyter, New York
Sharon Osika-Michales
4411 Vinegar Hill Rd.
Skaneateles, NY
Roger Jones
617 Engleville Rd
Sharon Springs, NY
Lucas MacDonald
1117 teeter rd
ithaca, ny
Gretchen Schulz
human beings
158 Weston Road
Rochester, New York
Lynn Ellen Marsh
Advocates for Cherry Valley
155 Beaver Street
Cherry Valley, New York
susan gateley
lake shore env action
12025 Delling Rd
wolcott, ny
Rebeca Elgie
409 Linn St
Ithaca, NY
Sharlee Moore
501 S. Spring St. #742
Los Angeles, California
Robert Lidsky
622 Ridge Rd
622 Ridge Rd
Andes, New York
Carol Manuel
95 Ridgemont Drive
Rochester, NY
Bill Kuebel
Rochester, NY
Janet Gonzalez
49 Cedar Place
Yonkers, NY
Peter Allen
82 Hunting Green Lane
Kent's Store, VA
Hubert (Hugh) Kimball
8223 Dexter Parkway
Baldwinsville, NY 13027
Penny J. Beebe
P.O. Box 102
Freeville, New York 13068
Sharon Johnson
258 Van Brunt St #3
Brooklyn, NY
Anthony Straka
26 Honey Lane
Wappingers Falls, New HYork
Susan Jacques
No more fracturing, pipelines, compression stations and anything related to the natural gas industry please!
116 Haven Lane
Schoharie , NY
Bridget wilson
po box 4224
Ithaca, N.Y
Marge Maloney
284 main st
Tonawanda, New York
Karyn Sochacki
518 Front St
Union Beach, NJ
Daniel Ripperton
323 Rachel Carson Trail
Ithaca, NY
Geri Giannelli
150-58 jewel ave
Kew gardens hills, My z
Patricia Dubin
2002 Ellis Hollow Road
Ithaca, New York
Peter Hudiburg
Plymouth Friends for Clean Water
P.O. Box 61
South Plymouth, NY
Elaine Shuster
61 Stewart Ave - Unit 311
Newburgh, NY
Frankie DeMarco
241 Sixth Ave., #11C
New York, NY
david hirsch
327 tupper rd
spencer, ny
Heide Stuebel-Horowitz
820 W King Rd
Ithaca, NY
Anthony Del Plato
3509 West Ave
Interlaken, New York
steven kanpp
143 Linn St
Ithaca, NY
Allegra Schecter
ROAR Against Fracking
211 Adair Rd
Cherry Valley, New York
Nancy Kasper
Earth Eden Sanctuary
9393 York Settlement Rd
North Rose, NY
Mary Hausauer
540 W 47th St Apt 18
New York, NY