Reframing Cuomo for Post Readers

In response to “Thanks to Cuomo, ConEd may have to stop taking new customers” published on October 7, 2018, the Post Editorial Board missed the mark when criticizing Governor Cuomo for blocking new fracked gas pipelines.

Instead, the frame your readers need to hear is that not only does Governor Cuomo’s current fracked gas energy policies increase infrastructure slated to benefit Wall St. investors over New Yorkers, but more gas risks putting New York City underwater. The fossil fuel industry’s influence on Albany is putting New Yorkers’ finance, health and safety in danger.

Governor Cuomo is actually making sure that our neighboring counties get an abundance of fracked gas infrastructure, like the CPV fracked gas power plant slated to power NYC -- made possible by the scandal of his top aide who was recently convicted with a 6 year prison sentence for accepting bribes in order to see it built.

New York City residents must lead by teaming up with our city officials to tell Cuomo we don’t want his fracked gas scandals on our dime, rather become energy independent and address this crucial time in our history by building the renewable economy that is desperately needed.

Even the fossil fuel industry is shifting its business model to renewable investments, so why is Cuomo keeping us in the 20th century and dependent on corporate power?

In light of the new IPCC report that says we only have 12 years before we lock in irreversible catastrophic climate change events, the Post Editorial Board should have identified that Governor Cuomo has approved a multitude of fracked gas infrastructure, not actually blocked it.

The projects that he has blocked became high-profile projects tied to strong grassroots campaigning, which would have jeopardized his persona as an environmentalist if approved, while largest lesser-known projects, like CPV, in areas with less political clout, were pushed through complete with a corruption scandal in the mainstream media.

While your Editorial Board points out that his DEC halted the Constitution Pipeline, Governor Cuomo is also blocking nearly $1 billion in community solar projects across the state. So this isn’t really about Governor Cuomo blocking gas, but being beholden to a market led by his corporate donors. Environmentalists, labor and all New York residents have a real opportunity here to align on our messaging that we want a New York that is prosperous for our futures, and that future is community owned renewable energy.

The fact that Governor Cuomo banned fracking in New York in 2014 and has blocked a few fracked gas projects in critical political moments is one thing, but overall, your readers should know that he has created policy that overwhelmingly supports fracked gas infrastructure in the state. Cuomo’s policy makes us dependent on a destructive fossil fuel economy, and the corporate utilities like Con Ed and National Grid, are very willing to support this faux tension to keep their corporate control in place right along Governor Cuomo.

When other nations lead the way to a renewable economy making way for clean jobs that support healthy, safe and energy-secure communities, ConEd should be demanding that Cuomo funds the required shift to renewable generation to keep them in business, not spending billion on fracked gas infrastructure.

The Williams NESE fracked gas pipeline that the Post Editorial Board advocates for in their editorial would endanger families in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and trench up toxins for 23 miles under New York Harbor to an existing, controversial pipeline off the coast of the Rockaways.

Governor Cuomo’s DEC temporarily denied Williams a water quality permit instead of rejecting the permit out right, giving the company more time to get their permit application in order, thereby playing New Yorkers again that he is a climate hero rather than a corporate conspirator.

Aside from aforementioned CPV power plant,  Governor Cuomo’s administration also approved another plant, double the size in  Dutchess County, as well as expansions of the Millennium, Dominion and Spectra/Enbridge Algonquin fracked gas pipelines in order to lock us and the utilities into 50 years of a fuel that will put us all under water.

Not only is Cuomo’s frack your neighbor for gas policy immoral, it goes against climate science, and endangers those of us who pay his salary to protect the future of our families, our businesses, and our overall health and safety.

Fracked gas is mainly composed of methane, a potent a greenhouse gas that heats our atmosphere 86-100 times faster than carbon, which is why we are seeing so many devastating storms around the planet.

Your readers should also be aware of the alarming leakage rates of methane from the point of extraction through transportation route of pipelines, to the time of consumption for heat or energy or broken down into by-products like ethane for plastic production.

Dr  Robert Howarth, a biogeochemist and ecosystem scientist from Cornell University, estimates that leakage rates are between a whopping  5 -12%.

The fossil fuel industry lied about climate change for decades and now they are lying when they say fracked gas is better for the climate than coal. The IPCC report is clear we need to be drastically changing our society and phasing out fossil fuels, including fracked gas, now.

New York City can’t afford to spend the next few decades heated and powered by fracked gas.

If Governor Cuomo is the climate leader, and Governor of the people he says he is, he will stop the Williams NESE pipeline, create a renewable jobs economy, and shut down the CPV fracked gas power plant that will soon be powering NYC. That's the only conclusion the Post Editorial Board can come to in light of the IPCC report and the climate science on fracked gas.