Environmentalists Call Governor Cuomo to go Green (USA)

Environmentalists and clean energy supporters are calling on Governor Cuomo to replace power from the Indian Point Energy Center with clean energy resources, including solar power, onshore wind, energy efficiency initiatives, and especially large-scale offshore wind power, if he is successful in his quest to close Indian Point.

In a letter endorsed by the Alliance for Clean Energy New York, American Lung Association in New York, Citizens Campaign for the Environment, Citizens’ Environmental Coalition, Environmental Advocates of New York, Harness the Hudson, Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, Morningside Heights/West Harlem Sanitation Coalition, National Wildlife Federation, NYC Environmental Justice Alliance, New York Interfaith Power & Light, New York League of Conservation Voters, New York Public Interest Research Group, Renewable Energy Long Island, Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign and the Vote Solar Initiative, advocates note that while closing Indian Point will reduce risks to public safety and protect surrounding ecosystems along the Hudson River, replacing that power generation with fossil fuels will simply shift public health and environmental threats to other areas of the state.

Offshore wind resources are the logical solution to the demand for large-scale clean energy installations in the New York City metropolitan area and could be online and operating by 2020 at the latest, with some certainly online by 2017-18. Wind energy is free of pollution, creates domestic jobs, and bolsters local economies.

 “We need Governor Cuomo’s leadership to ensure that closing Indian Point becomes an opportunity to advance the development of clean, renewable energy in New York State,” said Carol E. Murphy, executive director of the Alliance for Clean Energy New York. “The level of economic impact that offshore wind has to offer far exceeds that of conventional generation resources, and when combined with the environmental benefits of having an emissions-free resource, offshore wind is the best option for meeting New York City’s growing energy needs and replacing power from Indian Point should it close in the near future. Combining offshore wind energy with onshore wind energy, solar power and energy efficiency is a win-win for the economy and the environment of New York State.”

 “Relicensing Indian Point would be like playing Russian roulette with our future,” said Manna Jo Greene, environmental director of Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, Inc. “In this post-Fukushima world, transitioning to a green energy economy should be our most urgent national and statewide priority. We support Governor Cuomo’s commitment to find a way close the aging, leaking nuclear facility at Indian Point once and for all. We hope the Governor will appreciate the economic opportunity as well as the environmental and public safety benefits of aggressively putting renewable and energy efficiency infrastructure in place. Germany has rapidly closed its nuclear fleet by having done this. Let’s make the Hudson Valley the Germany of New York!”

 “The NYC Environmental Justice Alliance has long supported the closure of Indian Point – on the condition that new replacement power plants not be foisted on the same environmentally overburdened communities of color that have long borne the brunt of NYS’s polluting infrastructure,” said Eddie Bautista, executive director of the NYC Environmental Justice Alliance. “Offshore wind is a long missing piece to NYS’s energy puzzle – a missing piece that can decrease polluting power plant siting pressures in our communities. Thanks to Governor Cuomo’s visionary leadership, the new Article X power plant siting law has the potential to avoid additional pollution impacts in overburdened communities, but it is not a guarantee. We call on the Governor to apply that same visionary leadership to bringing offshore wind to NYS, and thus eliminate the last argument standing between New Yorkers and an Indian Point-free future.”

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Source: readmedia, October 07, 2011

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