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.

The Danskammer electric power plant in Newburgh (Photo by Tom Konrad)

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.

Behind The Story

Type: Opinion

Opinion: Advocates for ideas and draws conclusions based on the author/producer’s interpretation of facts and data.

This piece is by a contributor to The Current who is not on staff. Typically this is because it is a letter to the editor or a guest column.

2 replies on “Letter: Danskammer Poses Threat”

  1. TDI plans to start construction of a 1,000-megawatt power line in 2020. It will take about three-and-a-half years, so opera-tions could commence in 2024. The 1,700-megawatt wind farms are expected to be operational by 2024. Indian Point will cease operations in 2021, removing more than 2,000 megawatts. My guess is New York State is scrambling to find replace-ment power for 2021 through 2024 and considering the success rates of large projects.

  2. I noticed in several spots a jump in the installed capacity, or plans for this, of air conditioning units over the last four weeks or so. This perhaps after three days in a row in early July of heat indices approaching 110 degrees F – part of a heat wave that affected close to two-thirds of the country. Increasing air conditioning demands should not be surprising given these higher temperatures. What may be surprising is the jump in higher temperatures, both here in the US as well on continental Europe – also India. The increased air pollution, from among other sources people running their car engines to get cooler, makes the local environment even less healthy.

    Given the rapid melting of the Greenland ice – and much of the ice on the Arctic Sea – the northeast of North America together with the British Isles and continental Europe is losing the long-standing temperature moderating effect from this “ice box”.

    Much of the new building construction in Beacon is clad in brick façade – one-quarter of normal thickness – albeit over a layer of energy efficient films. I doubt this will be adequate protection against the new climate pattern. People everywhere will find out soon enough more of what this means when they see their next air conditioning bills.

    It would help if these new, large residential buildings had tall shade trees (perhaps populars or birches?) to the south and to the west, but generally no such provision has been made.

    It may be that the hottest days of this year are yet to come, in August or September.

    One idea for anyone without adequate air conditioning, or who cannot get to any place cool enough – fill up your bathtub in the morning with cold water. Drain and refill the tub before it warms up to room temperature. There is water this year, so far.

    Another, get some battery powered fans, in case in a heat wave grid power fails generally. It would not be the first time.

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