Campaign to Stop Lansing Power Plant Launches in Albany
For Immediate Release: August 14, 2018
ALBANY, NY — Activists and local residents came to the capital today to announce the launch of the No Fracked Gas Cayuga campaign, which aims to stop the proposed conversion of the coal-burning Cayuga Power Plant in Lansing to burn fracked gas.
The campaign is led by local residents and supported by statewide groups like Food & Water Watch, Mothers Out Front, and Sane Energy Project.
Speakers at the noontime rally and press conference included the noted author and biologist Sandra Steingraber, and anti-fracking activist filmmaker Josh Fox.
The groups are opposed to the coal to gas conversion of this inefficient power plant, citing the harmful methane emissions and increased local truck traffic, which would pose a serious danger on nearby rural roads.
“Trucks carrying natural gas to the Cayuga power plant would pass through densely populated parts of our community, past our local schools, medical facilities, and childcare facilities. In addition, the roads and intersections closest to the Cayuga plant have some of the highest vehicle crash rates in the Town of Lansing. As both a geographer, and a resident of Lansing, I find the plans to supply gas to the plant via these ‘virtual pipelines’ dangerous and wholly unacceptable,” said Karen Edelstein, Northeast Coordinator of the FracTracker Alliance.
“Fires, floods, droughts, and rising seas. The climate is changing faster than we are. We can still catch up but not if we play a shell game with fossil fuels,” said filmmaker and anti-fracking activist Josh Fox. “Governor Cuomo, you can’t ban fracking in New York just to haul fracked gas to New York power plants from my home state of Pennsylvania. You can’t swap out coal and swap in methane. If you are a true climate leader, then close down this climate-killing relic and usher in renewables. The time is now.”
While supporters of the plan argue that the coal-to-gas conversion will be a net positive, the campaign points out this is incorrect. As biologist and New Yorkers Against Fracking co-founder Sandra Steingraber, PhD, said, “The science clearly shows that methane leakage makes fracked gas as damaging to the climate as coal. Finger Lakes residents know this science. We helped lead the anti-fracking movement. We helped stop gas storage at Seneca Lake. We’re mobilized for climate action and will not accept backwards steps from a governor who has promised no more fracked gas power plants and forward motion on renewables.”
Members of the campaign point out that additional fossil fuel infrastructure is unnecessary, and undermines Governor Cuomo’s own climate and clean energy goals.
“Governor Cuomo has promised to end production of coal-fired electricity in New York by December 31, 2020. However, his proposed regulations don’t go far enough—allowing obsolete, inefficient coal plants to convert to burning fracked gas instead,” said Irene Weiser, Councilmember in the Town of Caroline and coordinator of Fossil Free Tompkins. “We reject this bait-and switch from one climate-changing fossil fuel to another. It’s time to close this dangerous, uneconomic, fossil-fuel dinosaur and move forward with renewable energy and storage.”
“Governor Cuomo told us his administration would not approve any more gas power plants. If he meant what he said, he must oppose the Cayuga fracked gas plant,” said Alex Beauchamp, Northeast Region Director at Food & Water Watch. “Cuomo wants to be a national leader on climate and clean energy. But he can’t claim that mantle and green-light more dirty fossil fuel plants.”
“Governor Cuomo, you have heard all the science and all the facts. Please listen to the mothers who have to look their children in the eye each day and explain to them why the planet is burning.” said Lisa Marshall of Mothers Out Front. “I’m here today representing thousands of New York mothers asking you to shut off the gas for the sake of all children! We implore you to kickstart an energy revolution in New York that will lead us to swift, just and complete transition off of fossil fuels. You can start in Tompkins County with the Cayuga Power Plant.”