For Immediate Release
New York, NY — Today, more than fifty New Yorkers rallied at Governor Cuomo’s Manhattan office in support of executive and legislative action to move New York off fossil fuels.
One week after the New York state panel recommended a moratorium on fossil fuel plants, advocates urged the passage of A6761A/S5939A, which would codify the panel’s recommendation in state law. If passed, the legislation would prohibit the development of any new major electric generating facility that would be powered in whole or part by any fossil fuel. Advocates also urged Governor Cuomo to heed the advice of his Climate Advisory Council and take immediate executive action to halt the permitting processes of current fossil fuel plants seeking expansion permits, including the Gowanus and Astoria plants in New York City and the Danskammer plant in Newburgh.
Assembly Member Mamdani, the sponsor of the bill in the State Assembly to end fossil fuel generated power plants in New York, joined activists in rallying against dirty and dangerous fossil fuel power plants.
“Everyday I see my neighbors in Astoria suffer from some of the worst air quality in the city and we have the asthma rates to show for it. We are sick and tired of investment in dirty fossil fuels when we can build clean energy today. That’s why I’m proud to introduce the Clean Futures Act, legislation that prevents new fossil fuel plants and puts us on the path to meet our climate goals — a first step towards a future with clean air,” said Assembly Member Zohran K. Mamdani.
New York activists spoke at a rally in front of Governor Cuomo’s Manhattan office on the mounting evidence of the urgent public health and environmental crises that a reliance on fossil fuels feeds. Speakers also called attention to the environmental injustices core to the community organizing that has evolved around fossil fuel power plant fights to date, including the growing evidence of the public health crises in communities that live near fracking wells across the border in Pennsylvania and that live near fracked gas power plants from Brooklyn to Queens, and upstate in the Hudson Valley. Laura Shindell, New York Organizer with Food & Water Watch, said:
“Fossil fuel power plants pollute our air and water, clog our lungs, and lock New York into a dirty energy future that spurs on the climate crisis. We stand with the communities that have been fighting the Danskammer, Gowanus and Astoria fracked gas plants for years, and urge immediate passage of A6761A/S5939A to end New York’s reliance on fossil fuels.”
“It’s time for all of New York — including labor and the energy companies — to embrace the fact that our future is in technologies like offshore wind and battery storage,” said Georgi Page, Organizer with 350Brooklyn. “So many lives will be lost and opportunities missed if we persist in this dangerous lie that fossil fuels are the only way, when numerous reports and studies have shown that they are not.”
“Now is the time for New York State legislators to stand up to polluters and their dangerous and unnecessary fossil fuel projects”, said Elaine O’Brien from Queens Climate Project. “The choice is clear: we end our dependence on fossil fuels and turn toward wind, solar and battery storage, or we do further damage to communities who have already suffered from gas burning plants and sink deeper into the climate crisis.”
“Astoria and other communities across the State with concentrations of power plants have long faced the health and environmental consequences of fossil fuel generation,” said Astoria resident and Sane Energy Project volunteer Nicolas Shearman. “New Yorkers work hard to protect and build their vibrant communities. We need 100% renewables and to pass climate laws like the Clean Futures Act, not build new plants that threaten our lungs and dump pollutants on the people and places we love and care for.”
Today’s events marked the conclusion of multiple days of community activism urging rapid passage of A6761A/S5939A in communities across the state.
For photos available for media use, please visit this Google Drive link.
Contact: Phoebe Galt, [email protected]