Is Governor Cuomo a fracking hypocrite?

CPV fracked gas power plant - Madeline Shaw.png
CPV fracked gas power plant - Madeline Shaw.png

By Lee Ziesche, Sane Energy Core Member

Right now, as you read this, there’s an incredibly dangerous transition happening in the United States. And it has nothing to do with Donald Trump.

Well, it didn’t start with him at least.

In a disastrous move for the climate, instead of transitioning directly from coal-fired power plants as the main source of energy generation to 100% renewable energy, the United State is building a fracked gas ‘bridge’. This ‘bridge’ requires millions of fracked wells and building thousands of miles of pipelines and some 300+ fracked gas power plants.

This ‘bridge’ isn’t a short little thing either; it’s like the Seven Mile Bridge in the Florida, Keys (ironically enough it will probably put that bridge underwater) and will last 30 to 40 years.

And top Democrats like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have supported it. So have many Democratic governors like John Hickenlooper of Colorado and Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania.

And you guessed it, Andrew Cuomo of New York.

New York’s fracked gas hypocrisy

You might be wondering ‘Didn’t Governor Cuomo ban fracking in New York State?’

He sure did. In a rare move seen almost nowhere else in the country, he listened to the science and the people instead of the industry, and banned fracking because it wasn’t safe for New York.

Key words there- for New York. Governor Cuomo is okay though using gas that was fracked in neighboring Pennsylvania to power his state. He’s also okay sacrificing New York communities to pipelines and power plants that will transport and burn fracked gas.

Like Wawayanda, New York, where right now a massive 650-megawatt fracked gas power plant is being built. In addition to blanketing the local community with 700 tons of known carcinogens, neurotoxins, and endocrine disruptors a year, the CPV plant will cover our planet with 4.7 million tons of greenhouse gases per year.

Much of that comes from leaking methane, the main component of fracked gas.

Over a 20-year time frame (aka the few years we have left to have any remote chance of stopping the most catastrophic, irreversible effects of climate change) methane is 86–105 times more potent a greenhouse gas than carbon. If just 3% leaks throughout its lifecycle, fracked gas is worse than coal for our climate.

Dr. Robert Howarth of Cornell University estimates that over the total lifecycle of the fracked gas used at the CPV plant, from extraction to consumption, 10 -12% methane will leak.

The science is telling Governor Cuomo and any other Democrat or Republican who believes in climate change that they simply cannot support a fracked gas bridge fuel. It’s also incredibly immoral to say fracking isn’t safe for your people but it’s okay to use gas fracked in your neighbor’s backyard.

The CPV plant will require 100–150 fracking wells a year to supply the gas it needs, meaning families in Pennsylvania will be exposed to all the risks Governor Cuomo said were too great for the people of New York.

CPV fracked gas power plant in Wawayanda, NY
CPV fracked gas power plant in Wawayanda, NY

Cuomo’s last chance

Governor Cuomo still has a chance to prove he is a climate leader and stop the CPV fracked gas power plant. The company building it does not have all the necessary permits it needs to build the pipeline that will bring fracked gas to the plant.

The folks in Orange County that have been relentlessly fighting to stop the giant fracked gas plant in their community are asking that people call Governor Cuomo and tell him to deny CPV the 401 Water Quality permit for the Millennium Valley Lateral Pipeline. They’re also asking people to join them in Albany on August 10 where they will rally and call on Cuomo to be a real climate leader and stop CPV.

Call Cuomo: Call Governor Andrew Cuomo at 518–474–8390 and tell him real climate leaders don’t build fracked gas power plants. Ask him to pull the plug on CPV and reject the 401 Water Quality Permit for the Millennium Valley Lateral Pipeline that will delivery fracked gas to the plant.

Show up in Albany:

Rally in Albany - Tell Cuomo Deny 401 WQC and be a Climate Leader Thursday August 10th 11am -2pm

New York State Capitol — LEGISLATIVE OFFICE Bldg 933, Albany, New York 12210

Buses will take people from Middletown, N.Y. Midtown Manhattan, New Paltz NY, and White Plains NY. More info: