Broad Coalition Calls on Governor Cuomo to Launch Offshore Wind Power for New York

Released by: Environment New York

350 Brooklyn · Accabonac Protection Committee · ALIGN · Alliance for Climate Education · All Our Energy · Alliance for Clean Energy New York · Alliance for a Green Economy · American Lung Association in New York · Binghamton Regional Sustainability Coalition · Campaign for Renewable Energy · Catskill Mountainkeeper · Citizen Action NYC · Citizen Action of New York · Citizens Campaign for the Environment · Citizens’ Climate Lobby - Long Island East · Citizens Committee for New York City · Citizens for Local Power · Concerned Citizens of Montauk · DefendH2O · East End Climate Action Network · Environment America · Environment New York · Environmental Action · Environmental Advocates of New York · Environmental Defense Fund · Frack Action · Food & Water Watch · Fossil Free Tompkins · Gas Free Seneca · Green Resource Hub of the Finger Lakes · Hudson River Sloop Clearwater · Long Island Businesses for Responsible Energy, Inc. · Long Island Metro Business Association · Long Island Progressive Coalition · Mothers Out Front NY · National Wildlife Federation · Natural Resources Defense Council · New York Interfaith Power and Light · New York State Sustainable Business Council · New York Working Families · NYPIRG · North Fork Environmental Council · OCEANA · OLA of Eastern Long Island · Pace Energy and Climate Center · Physicians for Social Responsibility/New York · Quiet Skies Coalition · Renewable Energy Long Island · Rockaway Wildfire · Sane Energy Project · Save East Hampton · Seneca Lake Guardian · Sierra Club · Singlebrook · Southampton Town Sustainability Committee · Surfrider Foundation, Eastern Long Island Chapter · Sustainability Institute of Molloy College · Syracuse Peace Council · United For Action · Unitarian Universalist Women's Association - Metro NY District · United University Professions · Western New York Peace Center

June 29, 2016

Hon. Andrew M. Cuomo Governor of New York State Executive Chamber
New York State Capitol Albany, New York 12224

Dear Governor Cuomo,

On behalf of the local, state, and national organizations signed below – representing hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers – we urge you to make a strong commitment to a long-term, large-scale, megawatt-certain offshore wind power program for New York. New Yorkers know too well that climate change impacts our coastal and low-lying communities. To protect our health, wildlife, economy, and the quality of life of future generations, we must reduce pollution and launch a new clean energy chapter for New York.

We appreciate your commitment to tackling climate change by setting a 2030 goal for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent, producing 50 percent of the state’s electricity from renewable energy, and cutting energy consumption in buildings by 23 percent. While there is much more that must be done, these programs and policies – along with the Reforming the Energy Vision

process and development of the Clean Energy Fund – are great steps in the right direction that will help position New York as a national renewable energy leader. We urge you to finalize a “50 by 30” Clean Energy Standard without further delay and ensure that offshore wind power plays a major role in meeting these important climate and clean energy targets.

Recognizing that offshore wind power is critical for meeting New York’s 50% renewable energy goal, we applaud New York State Energy and Research Authority’s (NYSERDA) recent leadership on this massive clean energy opportunity. By announcing its intent to bid in the upcoming federal offshore wind lease auction, NYSERDA has signaled a strong interest in moving an offshore wind project forward. This is an important first step toward building the long-term, large-scale offshore wind program needed to maximize the potential for clean energy development off our shores.

New York has a world class wind resource far off our shores that can deliver clean, reliable power right where we need it. Offshore wind has tremendous potential to deliver utility-scale, locally- sourced renewable power to New York families and businesses. Offshore wind blows the strongest during times of peak demand – afternoons, winter cold snaps, and summer heat waves – and can diversify our energy mix with large amounts of valuable, clean power when we need it most. Reducing pollution throughout New York helps protect the most vulnerable among us, including children, the elderly, and low-income communities.

Countries around the world are already reaping the many economic and environmental benefits of offshore wind power. In Europe, this booming industry currently supports 75,000 long-term, quality jobs in both coastal and inland communities. This incredible economic development story can be replicated here in New York, creating thousands of jobs across a range of high tech, manufacturing, construction, and operations sectors. The U.S. is poised to benefit from more than 25 years of lessons learned across the Atlantic, including technology advancements that have lowered costs and enabled development in areas far offshore where stronger wind resources can deliver even greater environmental and economic benefits.

Recent progress by the federal Department of the Interior in advancing the offshore wind leasing process for New York underscores the need to take action now to seize this opportunity. With a large area already leased for offshore wind development far off the East End of Long Island, a newly designated area off the Rockaways on track for a lease auction this year, and a process currently underway to identify additional areas for development off of Long Island, now is the time for New York to make a firm commitment to offshore wind power that ensures the market certainty needed to drive projects forward in these areas.

We call on you to commit to the following actions to finally launch offshore wind power for New York:

  •  Commit within the Clean Energy Standard to a long-term, large-scale offshore wind program of at least 5,000 megawatts by 2025 that establishes the certainty, longevity, and scale needed to launch this new clean energy industry.
  •  Capitalize on near-term opportunities to advance offshore wind projects off Long Island and New York City.
  •  Ensure an efficient, transparent, and environmentally responsible offshore wind leasing process that protects wildlife.
  •  Invest in key research, initiatives, and infrastructure needed to spur offshore wind development.

    New York’s citizens are depending on you for bold leadership to ensure a clean energy future. New York has much to gain from harnessing our offshore wind power potential in a manner that protects wildlife and their habitats throughout every stage of development. We thank you for your consideration of this promising clean energy solution, and we look forward to working with you to develop a successful strategy to bring this transformational new power source online.

Sincerely,
Mimi Bluestone, Co-Coordinator

350 Brooklyn

George Povall

All Our Energy

Maayan Cohen, Deputy Director of Partnerships

Alliance for Climate Education

Anne Reynolds, Executive Director

Alliance for Clean Energy New York

Adam Flint, Program Manager

Binghamton Regional Sustainability Coalition

Jessica Roff

Catskill Mountainkeeper

Kristina Andreotta, Deputy Organizing Director

Citizen Action of New York

Don Matheson, Chapter Leader

Citizens’ Climate Lobby, Long Island East

Jen Metzger, Co-Director

Citizens for Local Power

Kevin McAllister, Founding President

DefendH2O

Rob Sargent, Energy Program Director

Environment America

Peter Iwanowicz, Executive Director

Environmental Advocates of New York

Marjorie Latham, Steering Committee Chair

Accabonac Protection Committee

Matt Ryan

ALIGN

Jessica Azulay

Alliance for a Green Economy

Michael Seilback, Vice President

American Lung Association in New York

Brian Eden, Vice-Chair

Campaign for Renewable Energy

Tony Schlein

Citizen Action NYC

Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director

Citizens Campaign for the Environment

Peter Kostmayer, CEO

Citizens Committee for New York City

Jeremy Samuelson, President

Concerned Citizens of Montauk

Scott Bluedorn, Co-Director

East End Climate Action Network

Heather Leibowitz, Director

Environment New York

Drew Hudson

Environmental Action

Rory Christensen, New York Director, Clean Energy

Environmental Defense Fund

Irene Weiser, Coordinator

Fossil Free Tompkins

Yvonne Taylor, Co-Founder and Vice President

Gas Free Seneca

Bob DeLuca, President

Group for the East End

Helene Forst, Chair

Long Island Businesses for Responsible Energy

Lisa Tyson, Director

Long Island Progressive Coalition

Curtis Fisher, Northeast Executive Director

National Wildlife Federation

Glenn Jacob

New York Interfaith Power and Light

Bill Lipton, Director

New York Working Families

Russ Haven, Legislative Counsel

NYPIRG

Isabel Sepulveda-de Scanlon, President

OLA of Eastern Long Island

Shannon Gearhart, MD, MPH, NY Chapter Board Member
Physicians for Social Responsibility/New York

Gordian Raacke, Executive Director

Renewable Energy Long Island

Patrick Robbins and Kim Fraczek, Co-Directors

Sane Energy Project

Yvonne Taylor, Co-Founder and Vice President

Seneca Lake Guardian

Elisa Miller-Out, CEO

Singlebrook

Alex Beauchamp, Northeast Region Director

Food & Water Watch

Julia Walsh, Campaign Director

Frack Action

Maribeth Rubenstein, Board Chair

Green Resource Hub of the Finger Lakes

Manna Jo Greene, Environmental Action Director

Hudson River Sloop Clearwater

Ernest Fazio, Chairman

Long Island Metro Business Association

Lisa Marshall

Mothers Out Front NY

Kit Kennedy, Energy and Transportation Program Director
Natural Resources Defense Council

Laura Ornstein, Coordinator

New York State Sustainable Business Council

William Toedter, President

North Fork Environmental Council

Claire Douglass, Climate and Energy Campaign Director
OCEANA

Karl R. Rábago, Executive Director

Pace Energy and Climate Center

Kathleen Cunningham, Chair

Quiet Skies Coalition

Alexis Smallwood

Rockaway Wildfire

Lynne Brown and Richard Janis, Co-Chairs

Save East Hampton

Lisa Dix, Senior New York Representative

Sierra Club

Dieter von Lehsten, Co-Chair

Southampton Town Sustainability Committee

Stephen Mahoney, Vice Chair

Surfrider Foundation, Eastern Long Island Chapter

Carol Baum

Syracuse Peace Council

Ling Tsou

United for Action

Charley Bowman, Environmental Justice Task Force

Western New York Peace Center

Neal Lewis

Sustainability Institute of Molloy College

Reena Kondo, President

Unitarian Universalist Women's Association - Metro NY District

Lynne Alderman

United University Professions

CC:

Jim Malatras, Director of State Operations, Office of the Governor
Richard Kauffman, Chairman of Energy and Finance for New York, Office of the Governor
John Rhodes, President and CEO, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority Audrey Zibelman, Chair, New York State Public Service Commission
Basil Seggos, Commissioner, Department of Environmental Conservation
Rosemary Powers, Deputy Director of State Operations for Programs, Office of the Governor Venetia Lannon, Deputy Secretary for the Environment, Office of the Governor
Kate Dineen, Assistant Secretary for the Environment, Office of the Governor
Jared Snyder, Deputy Commissioner, Department of Environmental Conservation
Lois New, Director, Office of Climate Change, Department of Environmental Conservation