Elected Officials Call on Cuomo to Stop Astoria Fracked Gas Power Plant

Legislators gathered with advocates to deliver an elected official sign-on letter to Governor Cuomo in opposition to the plant’s construction


Climate and Energy

For Immediate Release

Astoria, NY — Today, city and state legislators and advocates from the No Astoria Plant Coalition gathered at the proposed fracked gas plant site in Astoria to announce the delivery of an elected officials sign on letter opposing the plant’s construction. Speakers called on Governor Cuomo and the Department of Environmental Conservation to reject the dirty fracked gas plant.

Approval of a fracked gas power plant in Astoria would worsen public health conditions in Queens and entrench fossil fuels in New York’s energy grid, against New York’s own Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) emissions reductions guidelines. From Danskammer to Gowanus and Astoria, power plant projects are seeking state approval for fracked gas plant expansion, despite CLCPA standards which necessitate the imminent closure of most existing fracked gas plants.

“My colleagues and I have come together to call on our State government to halt the NRG Astoria Repowering Project. Though its name suggests an upgrade for the Western Queens energy grid, we see the project for what it truly is: an attempt to jam through yet another dirty fossil-fuel burning power plant,” said Council Member Constantinides. “The facts are clear. The project relies on an environmental review that occurred well over ten years ago. They allege that their project will be better than the status quo, but transitioning from bad to only slightly better is not the criteria we should be using when permitting long-term energy infrastructure that will power our homes for the next 20 to 50 years. The threat of climate change is too real and too imminent for any further delay in a full transition to a 100% green grid.” 

“Earlier this year, Governor Cuomo committed to moving New York off dirty fossil fuels. Today, we are proud to stand with elected officials in holding him to that promise,” said Food & Water Watch New York Organizer Laura Shindell. “A fracked gas plant in Astoria would only bring further public health consequences to Queens residents — we need less pollution in our communities, not more.”

“Queens doesn’t want this plant. New York City doesn’t want this plant. The people of New York State don’t want this plant,” said Sierra Club Senior Organizing Representative Shay O’Reilly. “It’s great to see our elected officials champion their constituents’ broad opposition to new fossil fuel plants, and it’s time for Governor Cuomo to do the same by denying NRG’s application for a new power plant in Astoria.” 

“When communities and decision-makers get together and fight, we win. There is power in numbers. As an Astoria resident, I’m proud we have growing numbers urging Governor Cuomo to reject this terrible polluting plant. We shouldn’t stay locked on the dirty energy of yesterday.” said Maria Beri, Astoria Resident, member of New York Communities for Change.

“Community members in Astoria that have been poisoned by fossil fuel pollution for decades need healing, not a new dirty fracked gas power plant,” said Lee Ziesche, Community Engagement Coordinator with Sane Energy Project. “Governor Cuomo must listen to the growing opposition to this project and our city and state climate laws, and stop this polluting plant from ever being built.” 

“The way to a livable future is not by replacing one dirty power plant with another,” said Megan Ahearn, Program Director for NYPIRG. “Students working with NYPIRG at Queens College and Queensborough Community College are glad to see local elected officials standing up with us against NRG’s Astoria power plant proposal. We urge Governor Cuomo to deny its application.”
The livestream of the event can be found here.

Contact: Phoebe Galt, Food & Water Watch [email protected]