The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of New York State
NY State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224

September 19, 2017

Subject: Empire State Plaza new power generation facility

Dear Governor Cuomo:

It has come to our attention that a 16 megawatt microgrid and co-generation power plant has been proposed for the Empire State Plaza. We call on the Department of Environmental Conservation to spearhead a full Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed project. We also urge you to issue a Request for Proposals for an alternative that
is powered by renewables. The state should work with members of this coalition who are leaders in the community.

We applaud your efforts to look for solutions in this time of climate crisis and extreme weather events exacerbated by greenhouse gas emissions. State action to uphold the Paris global climate agreement would be a welcomed relief compared to recent national policies. Additionally, we appreciate the bold statement in your 2017 State of the State
address that “New York must double down by investing in the fight against dirty fossil fuels and fracked gas from neighboring states.”

This is why we, the undersigned coalition, urge you to pursue a project that powers the Empire State Plaza with renewable energy, rather than fossil fuels. New York State exhibited global leadership on December 17, 2014, when you banned high-volume hydraulic fracturing. However, this 16 megawatt power plant, as currently proposed, would run on natural gas extracted through fracking, a practice you explicitly banned. In fact, it would make the Empire State Plaza more dependent on fracked gas for electricity than today. New York can and should do better.

Furthermore, the proposed power plant would be sited in Sheridan Hollow, a neighborhood with a history of adverse health impacts from the ANSWERS plant in the 1990’s and other industrial activities. As proposed, it would subject this environmental justice community to air pollution from two 11,000 horsepower gas-fired turbines for years to come. Again, New York can and should do better.

This is a project for which renewable energy and efficiency retrofitting must be considered in detail. Building a new fossil fuel power plant that we would be saddled with for decades undermines your own renewable energy goals for the state.

Thank you for hearing our concerns. The undersigned organizations welcome the opportunity to work with your office to make Albany a national showcase for resilient, renewable, and responsible energy. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at sheridanhollow@gmail.com with any questions or for further discussion.

Cc: Richard Kauffman, Chair, New York State Energy Research Development Authority
Cc: Alicia Barton, President and CEO, New York State Energy and Research Development Authority
Cc: Basil Seggos, Commissioner, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

Hon. Dorcey Applyrs
Albany Common Council Member
Hon. Doug Bullock
Albany County Legislator
Hon. Frank Commisso Jr.
Albany Common Council Member
Hon. Samuel I. Fein
Albany County Legislator
Hon. Leah Golby
Albany Common Council Member
350.org Plattsburgh
Albany Common Council Member Elect Joyce Love
Albany NAACP
All Our Energy
Alliance for a Green Economy
Arbor Hill Development Corporation
Binghamton Regional Sustainability Coalition
Bronx Climate Justice North
Campaign for Renewable Energy
Capital District Against Fracking
Catskill Mountainkeeper
Citizen Action of New York
Citizen Action of New York – Capital District Chapter
Citizens for Local Power
Citizens’ Environmental Coalition
Climate Change Awareness & Action
Climate Justice
Climate Justice Committee of CNY Solidarity Coalition
Coalition Against the Rockaway Pipeline
Complete It Cuomo
Concerned Burlington Neighbors
Concerned Families of Westchester
Hon. Kelly Kimbrough,
Albany Common Council Member
Hon. Judd Krasher
Albany Common Council Member
Hon. Kerin Rigney
Councilor, Town of DeWitt
Hon. Merton D. Simpson
Albany County Legislator
Hon. Joel Tyner
Dutchess County Legislator
Croton Climate Initiative
Delaware Riverkeeper Network
Dutchess County Progressive Action Alliance
ECHO Action NH: #FossilFree603
Elmirans and Friends Against Fracking
Environmental Club (John Jay College)
Environmental Education Fund
Environmental Justice Task Force of WNY Peace
Environmental Task Force of First Unitarian Church
Food & Water Watch
Fossil Free Tompkins
Frack Free Genesee
FrackBusters NY
Friends (Quakers) in Unity with Nature (FUN)
Gas Free Seneca
Green Education and Legal Fund
Green Party of New York State
Green Sanctuary Committee of the First Unitarian
Universalist Society of Albany
Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, Inc.
Indian Point Safe Energy Coalition
Interfaith Impact of NYS
Long Island Progressive Coalition
Mohawk Valley Keeper
Mothers Out Front – Elmira Chapter
New York Climate Action Group
New York Interfaith Power & Light
New York State Nurses Association
NH Pipeline Resistance & Roaring Brook
Affinity Group
North American Climate,Conservation
and Environment
Northeast Organic Farming Association of New
Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, NY
Nuclear Information and Resource Service
NY Buddhist Climate Action Network
NY Friends of Clean Air and Water
NYC Friends of Clearwater
NYS Labor-Religion Coalition
Occupy Bergen County
Orange Residents Against Pilgrim Pipelines
Otsego 2000, Inc.
Otsego Neighbors
Our Revolution Cayuga County
PAUSE – People of Albany United for Safe Energy
People for a Healthy Environment, Inc.
People, Not Pipelines
People’s Climate Movement- Capital Region
Pepacton Institute LLC
Popular Resistance
Principled Progressives of Orange County
Protect Orange County
Protecting Our Waters
PUSH Buffalo
RAFT – Residents Allied for the Future of Tioga