No New Fossil Fuel Infrastructure
S.5939 | A.6761
The New York Youth Climate Leaders adamantly support the Clean Futures Act. This act works to prevent the building of additional fossil fuel power plants. This act aligns New York with the climate goals of the Climate and Community Protection Act in helping our state’s power grid transition away from fossil fuels. An immediate shift away from fossil fuel energy and infrastructure is necessary amid the financial, environmental, and health risks fossil fuel infrastructure poses to New Yorkers.
Building new fossil fuel power generators directly hurts the health of New Yorkers. Fossil fuels in this bill - natural gases, coal, petroleum products - produce air pollutants including ozone, particulate matter, carbon dioxide, and nitrous oxide. These pollutants have been directly linked to high asthma rates, cardiovascular conditions, respiratory infections, birth defects, cancer, and premature death. For example, the city of Newburgh has an asthma rate five times the national average with the Town of Newburgh having the highest asthma rate in the state, all caused by proximity to the rarely operating Danskammer peaker plant.
It is morally inexcusable to disregard the detrimental effect fossil fuels have on communities and our environment. The majority of fossil fuel based power generating plants are located in the communities of Black, Indigenous, people of color, and other marginalized groups, causing disproportionate impacts compared to whiter or more affluent communities. It is also wrong to continue growing an industry that directly contributes to climate change, causing destruction with worsened natural disasters. By requiring plant developers to prove a reliability need and an inability to build green, renewable infrastructure New Yorkers will be better protected from the fossil fuel industry.
As an organization of youth across New York, we understand the imminent problems of climate change that will continue to progress if we do not stop building fossil fuel infrastructure. We understand the impending problems including rising global temperatures, rising sea levels, more frequent wars over resources, worsened air quality, more frequent and severe storms, droughts, and famines are what face us if we continue to expand our use of fossil fuels. The building of new fossil fuel power generators is regressive, noncompliant with the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. It is time to stop prolonging the life of a dying industry and put actions behind New York’s statements against climate change. We hope that legislators listen to the fear, anger, and hope of the youth and recognize the value and necessity of the Clean Futures Act. Passing S5939/A6761 and ending the creation of unnecessary fossil fuel power generating facilities is imperative in protecting the environment, public health, and communities across New York.
Our Fossil Fuel Infrastructure Fights:
Click here for a list of all the different fossil fuel infrastructure projects in New York State.
What: Proposal for a new 550 Megawatt fracked gas plant to replace a dying 64-year old facility. The current plant runs about 5 percent of the time, while the new plant would run almost constantly.
Where: Newburgh, NY. The site is highly prone to flooding and had to be shut down after Hurricane Sandy in 2011. If a similar storm was to hit the new plant, up to three million gallons of diesel fuels could spill into the Hudson River.
How we’re fighting it: We have until August 31st to submit as many public comments as possible to the Public Service Commission (PSC) stating opposition to the plant proposal. Governor Cuomo and the PSC have the authority to approve or deny a new Danskammer in 2022, so it is imperative that we show them the Hudson Valley does not want this plant.
See here for latest updates and action steps.
What: Proposal for a new 610 Megawatt fracked gas plant facility on top of the Gowanus River to replace the existing facility. The current facility operates at less than 5% of its capacity, but the new facility would operate significantly more frequently.
Where: On top of the Gowanus River (quite literally floating on the river). The immediate 2-mile region surrounding the plant includes Red Hook, Park Slope, Carroll Gardens, Gowanus, Greenwood Heights and Sunset Park would bear the brunt of the air pollution.
How we’re fighting it: Collecting signatures from elected officials against the plant, holding rallies to gather opposition to the proposal, and gathering people from around the city and surrounding area to join the fight.
Sign and share this petition from Food and Water Watch!