Stop Cricket Valley from Starting Up, Polluting Our Air, and Poisoning Our Planet!
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Sign this petition if you agree with Dutchess County Legislators Joel Tyner, Francena Amparo, Hannah Black, Kari Rieser, and Craig Brendli that Governor Andrew Cuomo, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos, and Dutchess County elected officials at all levels of government should work together quickly to stop the construction and operation of the proposed toxic, 1100-megawatt, frack-gas Cricket Valley power plant-- and instead create green jobs in solar, wind, geothermal, and other clean sources of energy towards a fossil-free-fuel future.
Click here for August 14, 2017 joint letter from Tyner, Amparo, Black, Rieser, and Brendli to shut down both Cricket Valley in Dover and CPV in Orange County: http://conta.cc/2uWIqjK
From that Aug. 14th letter: "Dutchess County property taxes go up when air pollution issues are exacerbated for some/all of the 35,000 Dutchess County residents with asthma, bronchitis, or emphysema who may be on Medicaid-- that is a simple fact.
It is also a simple fact that, as far as emissions from the frack-gas Cricket Valley power plant in Dover are concerned, we're talking at least: Over 200 tons of nitrogen oxides. Over 100 tons of particulate matter. Over 60 tons of volatile organic compounds. Over a dozen tons of sulfuric acid mist. Over 50 tons of sulfur dioxide. Over 10 tons of hazardous air pollutants. Over a ton of formaldehyde. 4 million tons of carbon dioxide (even more from the gas pipelines feeding it); bare minimums are cited here.
That is the pollution that will come out of the emission stacks of Cricket Valley every year right into the air we breathe every year unless we stop it (the 650-megawatt CPV plant in Orange County has two gas-fired turbines and a steam generator; Cricket Valley will have three gas-fired turbines and a steam generator if we don't stop it).
It doesn't have to be this way-- there is an alternative-- a clean-energy future through wind, water, and sunlight. As a 2013 Cornell/Stanford report found, extrapolating for our county, right here in Dutchess our county could create literally 67,000 new green construction jobs each year, 800 new green jobs each year, saving $537 million annually and the lives of 59 Dutchess residents each year.
Dutchess County and New York State would do well, instead to follow the amazing example of GOP San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, who, working together with the San Diego Chamber of Commerce, just agreed to make the entire city fossil-fuel-free by 2035-- to create green jobs, save on energy/electricity, clean local air, and cut carbon emissions (along with 1400 other mayors across our country this year working with Sierra Club's Ready for 100 campaign).
Governor Mario Cuomo knew Shoreham nuclear power plant was fully constructed and shut it down anyway in 1984 before it went fully online because of the massive, justified outcry against it and public health concerns.
It's time to kill both Cricket Valley and CPV-- there are better ways to create jobs-- far more of them, in fact-- without killing all of us."
As Protect Orange County notes: "The combination of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), nitrous oxides (NOx), and particulate matter (PM) will create ground level ozone, the main constituent of smog. Ground level ozone has been linked with respiratory diseases, cancer, stroke, and premature death. VOCs on their own are carcinogens and have been linked to neurological and developmental issues, liver and kidney damage, and brain damage."
Must-read from Dennis Higgins and Ellen Cantarow: "New York's Fracking Ban Was Supposed To Be A Precedent-- But Governor Cuomo Is Going Back On His Word": http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/41547-new-york-s-fracking-ban-was-supposed-to-set-a-precedent-but-gov-cuomo-is-going-back-on-his-word
Dennis Higgins on point: "If completed, the 1100 Megawatt Cricket Valley Energy Center in Dover, NY will be the largest new FRACKED GAS power plant in the northeast, 70% bigger than CPV. It would emit 4 MILLION tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) every year from combustion. And along with those emissions, from gas well to power plant, comes a trail of METHANE-a greenhouse gas 86 time more potent than CO2. A t 5% leakage, Cricket Valley would be responsible for a whopping 10 MILLION tons of carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e) annually. That would sabotage Governor Cuomo's plan for fighting climate change, and betray Climate Smart Communities in Dutchess and Ulster counties that have been recognized for their emission-cutting efforts. New Yorkers would pay the price with severe storms, environmental devastation, higher insurance premiums, and lost jobs. The plant also promises to spew tons of particulate matter, nitrogen-oxides, volatile organic compounds, and formaldehyde into the air every year--putting our community at greater risk for cardio-respiratory disease, neurological problems, birth defects and cancer. We would be stuck with the pollution for decades and the climate consequences for millennia. Find out how we can fight this imminent threat to our future."
Fact: TEPCO comprises half of JERA-- "largest equity investor" in Cricket Valley):
"JERA was established on April 30, 2015 based on the comprehensive alliance entered into between Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) & Chubu Electric Power Company (CEPCO)" (this was even reported recently in The Millbrook Independent)
Fact: TEPCO found negligent in court this March re: 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster:
Fact: TEPCO dumping 777,000 tons of tritium-tainted (Fukushima) water into Pacific:
Fact: Bechtel, who got contract to construct Cricket Valley, has proven to be careless/irresponsible re: Big Dig fatality in Boston recently.
Fact: Jurgen Wekerle (of the Executive Committee of the Atlantic Chapter of the Sierra Club) has pointed out that even the NYS Public Service Commission decided a few years ago that Cricket Valley's potential energy production is NOT needed here in our state-- due to the current energy glut.
Note-- Kim Fraczek of http://www.SaneEnergyProject.org confirmed recently-- in order for Cricket Valley to really and truly start up, it still needs at least one last state permit from NYSDEC for a lateral pipeline to connect to the Iroquois pipeline (yes that's right fellow Town of Clinton residents-- the one here in our town!).
We need GREEN jobs-- http://www.GELFNY.org/ ; http://www.TheSolutionsProject.org/ ;
http://www.newsday.com/news/region-state/to-long-islanders-mario-cuomo-defined-opposition-to-shoreham-nuclear-plant-1.9766661 -- recall-- back in 1984 tho it had been 100-percent fully constructed, then-Gov. Mario Cuomo actually shut down Shoreham nuclear power plant on Long Island due to public/activist pressure-- we CAN stop Cricket Valley from starting up; we CAN stop CPV from starting up!
Can't be emphasized enough-- we need to push more loudly than ever for GOOD-PAYING, CLEAN, GREEN JOBS for our union brothers and sisters in the building trades and all of us through a fossil-free future here in NYS-- recall: fact of matter is that back in 2013 Cornell/Stanford study proved that 100-percent fossil-fuel-free future possible for NYS by 2030-- creating 4.5 million new green construction jobs in the process, 58,000 new permanent green jobs, saving literally $36 billion annually in energy/electricity costs, and 4000 lives/yr. in NYS.
Call Cuomo and state legislators on this-- at 877-255-9417-- it ain't over til it's over folks!
Joel Tyner, Dutchess County Legislator, Clinton/Rhinebeck, 324 Browns Pond Road, Staatsburg, NY 12580 845-464-2245/876-2488
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From: Kim Fraczek <email@example.com>
Subject: Cricket Valley
Date: Jul 18, 2017 5:13 PM
* What is Cricket Valley?
An 1100 MW fracked gas fired power plant in Dover, NY. This is slated to be the largest gas fired power plant in the Northeast US.
* Why is this project dangerous?
Emission from gas fired power plants have been known to cause disease in reproductive, endocrine, and respiratory systems.
* Why haven't I heard about this project?
The company did a poor job of outreach to engage local residents in fear of opposition. They claim the process has been on-going for nine years, yet, why is there such little information available?
* Will this project lower my bill?
Doubtful. The larger plan of the natural/fracked gas industry is to export and escalate the global price of gas. Cricket Valley locks us into a future gas dependence.
* Didn't Governor Cuomo issue a mandate to lower methane emissions?
He did, yet he continues to approve methane/natural/fracked gas infrastructure at record rates. He needs to hear from NY voters that we want a future build on community-owned renewable energy.
Learn more about the expansion of fracking infrastructure at http://www.YouAreHereMap.org/
It is 1100MW, one of the biggest in the east. This pdf identifies Iroquois as Cricket Valley supply (pg 9) http://www.northeastgas.org/pdf/r_perless_2017.pdf It is all tied in to Dominion's New Market.
This-- like CPV-- falls under state jurisdiction and can theoretically be stopped if Cuomo wanted to stop it. There is a wetland near there...
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Fact: Regarding the project, it would be a 1100MW fracked-gas power plant, which would make it one of the largest in the state. By comparison, the CPV power plant that you have heard about already is 650MW. The Cricket Valley power plant would generate electricity using three large GE turbines. The facility is in a non-attainment area which requires it to purchase pollution credits from elsewhere in exchange for increasing the levels of hazardous pollutants to which people in Dover and surrounding communities would be exposed, including Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC's), which are carcinogenic.
The climate impact of the project would be huge, about 3.4 MILLION metric tons of CO2 emissions each year. However the life-cycle impacts of methane leakage associated with the production, processing, and transmission of natural gas must also be considered. When that is factored in, the total impact is between 6 MILLION and 16 MILLION tons of CO2 equivalent (known as CO2e) emissions annually. Construction of this pipeline would prevent New York from meeting its greenhouse gas reduction goals. Obviously emissions don't go down if we burn more fossil fuels. They go up.
Calculations have been prepared regarding the greenhouse gas impacts of Cricket Valley. Based on data we were able to obtain from the Iroquois Pipeline, we were also able to determine that this facility would be operating at a capacity factor of about 0.87. That is a lot for a gas-fired power plant, indicating that it would also be running nearly all of the time, serving as a base-load generator (instead of as a "peaker" plant that operates only occasionally during peak load).
We also know that the power plant would be supplied by the Iroquois Pipeline, which brings fracked gas into New York from fracking fields in Pennsylvania and Canada. (Regardless of its origin, almost all natural gas used today in New York is "fracked"--meaning obtained through the extraction process of High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing--which New York State ironically banned within its own borders a couple of years ago.) Gas from the Marcellus Shale formation of Pennsylvania would reach the power plant by way of the Dominion Pipeline which is currently building an interconnect to the Iroquois as part of Dominion's "New Market Project". We have also recently learned of a future expansion of the Dominion Pipeline called "New Market II" which would increase flow to the Iroquois even more. If the Iroquois Pipeline is reversed, as has been proposed previously, the power plant could also receive Marcellus gas from the Spectra Pipeline network.
Fact: The gas for Cricket Valley will come from Dominion's Iroquois via Dominion's New Market pipeline. We have so far failed to stop the New Market pipleine, and now New Market II is lined up with an additional 200,000 dk/day for a total of 312K dk/day.
Fact: Because Dominion did not present an accurate application the DEC never reviewed all the wetland encroachments. These went to FERC instead as variance requests which FERC then approved. Besides side-stepping state authority under CWA, this effectively voids SPPP based on the original application.
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New York's Fracking Ban Was Supposed to Set a Precedent -- but Governor Cuomo Is Going Back on His Word
Wednesday, August 09, 2017 By Ellen Cantarow and Dennis Higgins, Truthout |
New York banned high-volume hydraulic fracturing (fracking) two years ago, in a victory for persistent anti-fracking activists and a potential precedent for other states. Now, however, the state is poised to begin operating a power plant that will make fracking infrastructure fully operational throughout the state, completely undermining the ban. The $900 million power plant planned by Competitive Power Ventures (CPV) in Orange County, New York, requires permits for only two short pipelines before it may begin operating. CPV will be among the largest of New York's nearly 500 gas- and oil-fired power plants. Like more than half of currently proposed electricity generation in the state, this power plant will burn fracked gas from Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale.
Opponents charge that the plant is not needed and serves only to further push a warming world to the tipping point of climate-change catastrophe.
On October 8, 2015, speaking with former Vice President Al Gore, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said he would cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent in the next 13 years, but climate scientists and engineers tell us CPV will emit 7 million tons of carbon-dioxide-equivalent pollution annually and add a full 10 percent from power generation to the state's current greenhouse gas inventory.
Natural gas produces less carbon dioxide to generate electricity than coal, but the methane leaked from gas wells, pipelines and compressor stations make fracked gas worse than coal for accelerating climate change.
When operating, the CPV plant, together with another power plant being developed by Cricket Valley Energy in Dover, New York, will provide 1750 megawatts to offset closure of the Indian Point nuclear power plant. Cornell University engineering professor Anthony Ingraffea lamented to Truthout, "New York had no plan 10 years ago for how to replace the nukes, and we still do not have a plan that replaces the nukes, shuts down all the gas fired plants, and keeps us from freezing in the dark. We need a comprehensive plan that decreases demand for, and supply of, fossil energy and increases the demand for, and supply of, renewable energy, for all sectors, so there are no surprises [like Cricket Valley and CPV] in the future."
The Fight Against the CPV Power Plant
Anti-fracking activists in New York have been tenacious, and the fight against CPV is no exception. In December 2015, trying to slow construction on the CPV plant, demonstrators blocked the drive to the site. Arrested for trespass, they called themselves the Wawayanda Six. Pleading guilty and choosing jail time rather than paying a fine, actor and activist James Cromwell called on New Yorkers to put themselves on the line for their principles and for the planet.
This past April the Wawayanda Six went on trial. There, Ingraffea and climate scientist Robert Howarth, also of Cornell University, testified that the project would produce millions of tons of carbon dioxide from burnt gas and leak millions of tons of methane, exacerbating global warming.
CPV is projected to burn about 130,000 dekatherms per day, which is almost 130 million cubic feet of gas. Since an average Marcellus well produces roughly four billion cubic feet of gas over its lifetime, this means that over forty years of operation CPV will require the fracking of nearly 500 gas wells. CPV will be the buyer, encouraging further toxic extraction, more leaking methane from gas wells to power plant, and tons more fracking waste requiring disposal -- despite the fracking ban.
Pramilla Malick, the chair of Protect Orange County, summarized the CPV project's impacts for Truthout: "It is not only massive itself but necessitates a vast network of infrastructure that creates an even greater impact footprint, spanning from Pennsylvania to New York and requiring hundreds of fracked wells and more pipelines."
New York State's Department of Environmental Conservation is now considering projects that Millennium Pipeline Company has proposed separately, a "segmented" approach that cloaks greenhouse gas impacts. Both the Eastern System Upgrade and the Valley Lateral pipelines are needed to fire up CPV. Residents whose townships have partnered with the Department of Environmental Conservation to form "climate smart communities" have protested what they see as betrayal by the department: The massive pollution load from this new gas infrastructure will be felt first in townships that have worked with the Department of Environmental Conservation to cut their emissions and switch to renewables.
Meanwhile, New Yorkers are beginning to suspect that Governor Cuomo's seemingly ambitious plans for greenhouse gas reduction may be a lot of hot air. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, a national agency with wide jurisdiction over gas industry projects, approves almost all transmission-line requests, including permits for the Millennium Valley Lateral and the Eastern System Upgrade, both of which CPV will need to supply its gas. State regulatory agencies may halt ventures approved by the federal commission by denying final permits. But New York's Department of Environmental Conservation has rubber-stamped all but a couple of projects in recent memory, often despite heated public outcry and civil protests.
Activists who are planning a rally against the CPV plant in Albany, New York, for August 10, say that to meet the state's greenhouse gas reduction commitments, the Department of Environmental Conservation should be rejecting every piece of proposed fossil fuel infrastructure. In fact, Gov. Cuomo himself proposed a plan to root out the sources of state methane leakage. But advocates argue that this effort, too, seems disingenuous, as studies have measured more methane leaking in Manhattan alone than the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority estimates statewide.
Damages to Public Health and the Environment
The toll on public health, the environment and the planet comes from burnt gas yielding carbon dioxide and from methane leaking at rates found to be anywhere between 5 percent and 12 percent from Pennsylvania well-heads to delivery. Thus, with 2.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide from combustion and 4.5 million metric tons of carbon-dioxide equivalent emissions (using a conservative leakage rate of 5.8 percent), the total carbon dioxide emissions load is over seven million metric tons per year.
The EPA puts the social costs of carbon dioxide at $36/ton. At that rate, CPV will cost society a quarter of a billion dollars per year. This is a genuine toll -- in floods and droughts, in sicknesses, and deaths -- which the Department of Health, Department of Public Service, the Department of Environmental Conservation, and the Office of the State Comptroller don't seem to want to acknowledge. New York and the entire planet will pay the cost of this project in rising ocean levels and super storms.
Even these estimates don't tell the whole story. "Economists have found that the models typically used to measure the economic cost of climate change (and in turn, the social cost of carbon) do not take into account a number of significant costs," Jannette Barth, a specialist on the economic impacts of shale gas development, told Truthout. These costs include treatment for cancer and respiratory illnesses from toxic emissions, and for diseases related to accelerated climate change. There are also business costs from flood damage, and costs to communities, individuals and farms when aquifers dry up.
Barth says recent peer-reviewed research indicates that the full fiscal costs of extreme weather events have not been measured properly, and that the real costs of climate change are growing substantially with time. But none of the agencies in New York's alphabet soup of regulators wants to discuss the social costs incurred by carbon dioxide and methane emissions when natural gas projects are proposed.
New York's Empty Promises in the Fight Against Fracking
While Cuomo's defiance of Trump's anti-environment agenda has made the news, there has been little coverage of the disconnect between what the governor pledges to do and what his administration actually does. In his 2017 State of the State message Cuomo told New Yorkers we need to "double down" on our efforts to stem the import of fracked gas from neighboring states. Yet New York has increased its demand for shale gas every year since banning high volume hydro-fracking.
Cuomo's Reforming the Energy Vision program encourages gas-centric microgrids and conversion of oil to gas for heating. If the state were serious about meeting its goal of 50 percent renewable electricity generation by 2030, we would see a visible surge of wind and solar construction underway across New York. That's not happening.
Instead, federal prosecutors and the media have showed that deception and betrayal are the real midwives of the CPV project. In September 2016 federal charges were announced against aides of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, among them Joseph Percoco and Todd R. Howe. According to a 79-page criminal complaint, Percoco and Howe sought personal gain by helping companies receive "hundreds of millions of dollars in state contracts and other official state benefits." Percoco, Gov. Cuomo's former executive deputy secretary, was accused of soliciting and taking more than $315,000 in bribes from Competitive Power Ventures, which was then trying to get approval for the power plant, and from another company seeking to build projects in the Syracuse region. The two companies were clients of Howe, who arranged the bribes.
The Cuomo administration is not the only entity whose actions don't match its words when it comes to addressing New York's emissions. Eager to maintain ties to the administration and consequently reluctant to challenge Cuomo's rhetoric, many "big green" non-governmental organizations have become part of the problem. Even while touting their anti-fracking stance, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Sierra Club have engaged in a campaign to shut down coal in New York that credits Cuomo for leading the way. These campaigns have provided cover for fossil fuel companies and government to promote "natural gas" as a solution. Meanwhile, cheap gas has all but shuttered coal-fired power plants in the state.
Times Union and Politico tracked donors who had given Cuomo over $100,000; among them is NRDC Board of Trustees Chair Dan Tishman. Tishman owns AECOM, which prepared air permits for the Minisink Compressor Station and more recently surveyed for the Millennium Valley Lateral Project. Pramilla Malick suggests this conflict of interest accounts for the fact that the NRDC has refused to oppose the Valley Lateral pipeline or CPV. Until 2013, Malick says, the NRDC's endorsement was on CPV's website.
This project is a climate boondoggle -- it just pours greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
Climate-change activist Bill McKibben, who leads the 350.org effort, minces no words: "This project is a climate boondoggle -- it just pours greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, as if the scientists had taught us nothing. Real leadership demands saying no, loudly."
Note for readers in the New York area: A final rally against the plant will be held Thursday, August 10, at 11 am, at the West Capitol Park in Albany, New York. For more information, see http://www.blog.protectorangecounty.org/
Copyright, Truthout. May not be reprinted without permission.
Dennis Higgins is a retired computer science professor from SUNY Oneonta who is home-schooling four children aged 9 to 15 on a small farm with beef cows, horses, chickens, goats and extensive vegetable gardens.
Ellen Cantarow, who for the past 40 years has written for publications that include The Village Voice, Mother Jones, Grand Street, Tom Dispatch and Truthout, lives with her husband, two young cats and various house plants in New York City.
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