After the closure of Indian Point was announced, studies showed there would be no impact on energy delivery in New York state if clean-energy production and energy efficiency rose. They have and continue to be, soon to be helped by a 1,000-megawatt clean-energy corridor from Montreal to New York City and a new 1,700-megawatt offshore wind farm.
So it comes as a surprise that there are plans to build a fracked-gas-burning power plant on the Hudson River at Newburgh, pending Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s approval. Conceived by the Wall Street private equity firm, Danskammer LLC, the plant will be fired up around the clock for 30 years and needlessly threaten our health, our economy and our planet.
Dark plumes will extend from the west bank of the Hudson River. Those plumes will continuously pollute our air with sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, ground-level ozone (smog), radon and particulate matter. This toxic mix will increase rates of various cancers, chronic bronchitis, asthma, emphysema and other life-threatening illnesses.
Danskammer would pose a risk to the beleaguered Hudson River. Up to 1 million gallons of diesel and 30,000 gallons of ammonia would be stored at the plant, which would sit in a flood-prone area. A deadly leak or spill would become another ecological anxiety for our region.
Not unexpectedly, this private equity firm is selling the plant as a clean energy project and natural gas as a “bridge fuel.” We don’t have to buy these lies any longer. The greenhouse-gas footprint of burning fracked gas is worse than coal because its fugitive methane traps more heat in our atmosphere.
Along with two other new fracked gas plants (CPV and Cricket Valley) and one of the dirtiest waste incinerators in the nation, the Hudson Valley is becoming a pollution capital — an inverse of the vision many of us share for our region.
The governor just signed the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act into law. Approving the Danskammer fracked gas plant would be inconsistent with what is now the nation’s strongest climate-change law. Please write to Cuomo and tell him that the Hudson Valley and the Earth can’t afford another fracked-gas power plant.
Dan Aymar-Blair, Beacon
Aymar-Blair is a candidate for the Ward 4 seat on the Beacon City Council.