GOSHEN, NY — May 25, 2020 — Friends: With pioneering environmental scientist Dr.James Hanson, film-maker Josh Fox, Dr. Anthony Ingraffea, a distinguished professor from Cornell who has long studied and written on the impacts of dependency on fracked natural gas, I have joined with other environmental advocates in this call for a moratorium on the use of CPV and Cricket Valley, an even larger new fossil fuel plant in Dover [Dutchess County]. Our full statement is attached.
We have appealed to both the Chair of the Assembly Environment Committee, the Honorable Steve Englebright, as well as the Task Force empowered to make recommendations for implementation of the 2019 climate legislation which makes NY the most aggressive state in committing to substantially reduce dependence on fossil fuels. Other sectors of the economy, including transportation, must also alter traditional ways of doing business and comply with more stringent emissions standards lest New York’s law will be aspirational alone.
For me, three critical issues compel the moratorium: first, the SEQRA reviews for both these huge facilities were done about 10 years before they started operating. During those ten years, huge changes in our understanding of their impacts have occurred. We now understand the pernicious impact of methane discharges, a subject barely mentioned in their Final Environmental Impact Statements. New studies must update the externalities associated with these plants. Second, new peer-reviewed studies have shown that particulate matter released by these plants magnifies and intensifies the deleterious health effects of COVID 19 virus. Counties with these plants have escalated levels of mortality associated with the virus, which attacks respiratory systems. Third, we need to embrace a new paradigm in which we recognize the constraints imposed by climate and work within, not without, those constraints. More is not always better! We now better understand those constraints and must shape public policy to live within them.
Please do what you can to support this moratorium as its attainment is critical to better protecting the health and welfare of our people.