.

Since we no longer trust scientists, here’s a TV entertainment show on the nuclear waste problem . . .

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Can you hear me now?

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Utilities Put $3 Billion Access Northeast (Algonquin) Pipeline On Hold

 

Eversource and National Grid, the two biggest utilities in the state, are shelving a $3.2 billion natural gas pipeline project known as Access Northeast until they can find a way to pay for it.

Their partner in the project, pipeline operator Enbridge Inc., notified the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Thursday of the decision to withdraw the application for the project.The companies argue that the pipeline expansion is needed to bring cheaper natural gas to the region’s power plants, particularly on cold days, when demand rises. But they need more time to build political support for legislation that would allow the costs to be shouldered by electricity customers. [Ahhh . . . . the real story!!]

In August, the state Supreme Judicial Court struck down a plan put forward by the Baker administration to have electricity ratepayers pick up the tab for the pipeline expansion, ruling it wasn’t permissible under state law. As a result, other New England states put similar proposals on hold.

“Once we work through the legislative [support], we’ll be able to reengage the FERC filing process and be back on track,” said Brian McKerlie, a vice president at Enbridge.

Access Northeast is the second massive natural-gas project in New England to be shelved because of financing problems. Kinder Morgan suspended a major pipeline plan last year.

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For the full Boston Globe article click here

 

 

 

 

 

There Are Many Ways to Act Locally
This One’s About as Local as You Can Get!

Fig Leaves Are Out. What to Wear to Be Kind to the Planet?.

By TATIANA SCHLOSSBERGMAY 24, 2017

In the Garden of Eden, figuring out what to wear was easy and the fig leaves were environmentally friendly. Today, it’s much harder to find clothes that don’t have some kind of negative impact on the planet.Textile manufacturers use complicated chemical and industrial processes to make clothing materials, from cotton to synthetic fibers. And while the environmental consequences aren’t always clear, consumption is growing. Americans spent 14 percent more on clothing and footwear in 2016 — around $350 billion total — than they did in 2011

Synthetic fibers wind up in unexpected places.

Polyester, the most common fiber, is made from a plastic derived from crude oil.

Synthetic fibers — polyester, nylon and others — make up more than 60 percent of the global fiber market by some estimates. Most are made from oil, a nonrenewable resource. . . . .

Synthetic fibers shed plastic filaments — possibly from daily wear and tear, but also in the wash. If shed in the laundry, the filaments can make it into sewer systems and eventually into waterways. Even if these microplastics are trapped at filtration plants, they can end up in sludge produced by the facilities, which is often sent to farms to be used as fertilizer. From there, the fibers can make their way into other water systems, or into the digestive tracts of animals that graze on the fertilized plants. . . . .

Scientists have not been able to fully quantify the scale of the problem, but early research showed that plastic fibers are among the most abundant environmental debris in the world, according to Mark Browne, a senior research associate at the University of New South Wales, Sydney.

Cotton is natural, but not all natural.

Fabric made from 100 percent cotton, which accounts for about 3 percent of global water use. . . . .

Cotton’s share of the textile market is declining, but cotton production still uses just over 2 percent of the world’s arable land and accounts for about 3 percent of global water use, according to the United Nations.

Cotton also requires pesticides. According to the Department of Agriculture, 7 percent of all pesticides in the United States are used on cotton. Many of those chemicals seep into the ground or run off into surface water. Consumers can choose organic cotton grown without pesticides, but it uses more water and requires more land than conventional crops. Organic cotton can also be much more expensive and difficult to find.

Rayon is made from plants — and also chemicals.

Rayon, one of the first man-made fibers.

Rayon, one of the first man-made fibers, was developed from plant fibers as a substitute for silk in the 19th century. Most rayon today is produced as viscose rayon, which is treated with chemicals, including carbon disulfide. Chronic exposure to carbon disulfide can cause serious health problems for rayon workers, including Parkinson’s disease, premature heart attack and stroke . . . . .

Viscose rayon is often made from bamboo. In Indonesia and other areas, producers are cutting down old-growth forests to plant bamboo for rayon, said Frances Kozen, associate director of the Cornell Institute of Fashion and Fiber Innovation. Ms. Kozen warned that viscose rayon is often wrongly marketed as environmentally friendly because it is derived from bamboo. The Federal Trade Commission has required retailers to provide accurate labels.

If viscose rayon is produced mechanically from bamboo instead of chemically, which is sometimes known as “bamboo linen,” it has a relatively small environmental impact, but it is much more expensive. Another type of rayon fiber, known as lyocell or Tencel, is often made from bamboo but uses a different chemical that is thought to be less toxic, though studies are scarce . . . .

Wool might be less practical, but it’s probably more sustainable.

Wool would be the ecologically friendly choice, if not for sheep’s methane-emitting belches.

Producing wool requires sheep. And sheep, like other ruminants including cattle, produce methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, in their burps. One study suggested that 50 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions from the wool industry come from the sheep themselves.

Still, Ms. Kozen said she considered wool to be more ecologically sound than cotton, rayon or synthetic fibers, though she added that not everyone shares that view. [SEnRG notes that methane is 86 times as potent a greenhouse gas as carbon dioxide over a 20 year period!]

So what can you do?

SEnRG suggests doing what we do – shop at your local Thrift Store or tag sales. Wash clothes in cold water to save on energy and make them last longer. Save up (thrift store shopping helps) to buy items made from organic plant fibers (organic cotton or rayon) and swap clothing with friends to give your wardrobe a fresh look without adding chemicals, microfibers, or methane to our air, water, and food supply.
Oh yes – and skip the “nanoparticles” used in some “high-tech” clothing.  They are often microscopic computers that have not been tested for safety on you body or in our environment!

 

To read the full New York Times article click below:  

 

 

Come Hear What Our Local Officials and Their Guest Have to Say About Responsibly Decommissioning Indian Point

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Indian Point Task Force Meeting

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A Town of Cortlandt Community Unity Indian Point Task Force meeting will be held on Wednesday, April 26, 2017, at 7 pm in the main meeting room at Cortlandt Town Hall, 1 Heady Street, Cortlandt Manor, NY.
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The guest speaker will be Jennifer Stromsten who is the Program Director at Institute for Nuclear Host Communities, which was formed shortly after the closure of Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant in Vernon, VT, which was also owned by Entergy.
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The meeting will be chaired by Town of Cortlandt Supervisor Linda Puglisi, Hendrick Hudson Superintendent Joseph Hochreiter, and Buchanan Mayor Theresa Knickerbocker. Responsible decommissioning of the Indian Point nuclear plant is a high priority for all of our local officials.
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The meeting is opened to the public to observe.
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When: Wednesday, April 26, 2017, at 7 pm

Where: Cortlandt Town Hall, 1 Heady Street, Cortlandt Manor, NY
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And finally, Step 3 of the NRC’s magical plan
for getting rid of a nuclear reactor!

[Annotated by SEnRG in the Interest of “Truth in Decommissioning”]

 

3) License Termination Activities

The owner is required to submit a license termination plan within two years of the expected license termination. The plan addresses [in a cursory manner] each of the following: site characterization, remaining site dismantlement activities, plans for site remediation, detailed plans for final radiation surveys for release of the site, updated estimates of remaining decommissioning costs, and a supplement to the environmental report describing any new inforAfter Cleanupmation or significant environmental changes associated with the final cleanup.
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Most plans envision releasing the site to the public for unrestricted use, [Unrestricted? Let’s put a bomb factory there – or an active quarry. There’s a quarry next to the Indian Point site – and one right next to the Algonquin pipeline in Massachusetts.] meaning any residual radiation would be below NRC’s limits of 25 millirem annual exposure and there would be no further regulatory controls by the NRC. [How would they notice the difference? Almost no NRC controls while operating.]
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Any plan proposing release of a site for restricted use must describe the site’s end use, public consultation, institutional controls, and financial assurance needed to comply with the requirements for license termination for restricted release. [Harder and more expensive for the company to maintain safety controls than it is to just walk away?]
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The license termination report requires NRC approval [get out the rubber stamp . . . ] of a license amendment. Before approval can be given, an opportunity for hearing is published and a public meeting is held near the plant site. [ . . . and the ear plugs!]
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The NRC uses a standard review plan (NUREG-1700, “Standard Review Plan for Evaluating Nuclear Power Reactor License Termination Plans”) to ensure high quality and uniformity of the license termination plan reviews. [Uniformity in approval. Contamination? What contamination?]
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If the remaining dismantlement has been performed in accordance with the approved LTP and the NRC’s final survey demonstrates that the facility and site are suitable for release, the NRC issues a letter terminating the operating license [and letting the company walk free].
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Stay tuned. More “Adventures in Decommissioning” coming!
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Stop Proposal to Weaken Yorktown Wetlands Law

Yorktown Wetlands
Why should you care?

The proposed law is substantially weaker than the current law, with fewer protections for our critically important wetlands.

Wetlands protect our property from flooding and our roads from dangerous icing conditions; like sponges, wetlands soak up and retain runoff.

When nature retains stormwater, it’s free. When the town must install and maintain drainage systems, taxpayers pay.

Wetlands provide wildlife habitat for breeding, feeding and nesting, and help remove pollutants from our drinking water.

How is the proposed law weaker?

It protects fewer wetlands  —  only those exceeding 4,356 square feet, more than four times larger than what is protected by the current law.

It ignores a wetland’s function. Often, smaller wetlands are more important than larger ones.

It is not clear if Town-owned wetlands are covered. Some of our most important wetlands are on Town-owned land; the Town should be held to the same standard as private owners

You won’t be notified if your neighbor plans to fill a wetland to build a swimming pool or regrade property for a mini soccer field. Your only “notification” will be when you see the bulldozer on his property and the water starts running into your backyard.  By then, it will be too late.

How can you stop the proposed law?

Attend the public hearing on April 18th at 7:30 pm at Town Hall, 363 Underhill Avenue.

Speak up: Let your elected representatives know you want a stronger, not weaker, wetlands law.  Share personal stories about what happened to your property or in your neighborhood when nearby wetlands were filled in or damaged beyond repair.

Send an email or postcard/letter (363 Underhill Avenue, Yorktown Heights, NY 10598) to all Town Board members. Remind them that you want YOUR wetlands and quality of life protected. Supervisor Michael Grace; Councilman Tom Diana; Councilman Vishnu Patel; Councilman Ed Lachterman; Councilman Greg Bernard.

Sign the online petition opposing the proposed law here.

Share the petition on facebook, twitter and by email by using this link http://bit.ly/2ngELOV


Click here for a copy of the proposed law.
For more information, email saveyorktownwetlands@gmail.com

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Sign the Petition Now!

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U.S. Senator Charles Schumer is Concerned About Indian Point Safety

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Senator Schumer warned that “The Coast Guard plays a vital role protecting Indian Point against potential terror attack so any cuts – especially the large and unwarranted ones now being proposed by this administration – undermine our safety and should be rejected.” He was speaking on March 15th against a plan to cut 14% from the Coast Guard’s budget.
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Terrorists have considered Indian Point as a target in the past and the planes that destroyed the World Trade Center on 9/11 flew up the Hudson River, passing close to the plant. Since those attacks, the Coast Guard has been assigned a round-the-clock duty to keep any vessels from coming within 500 yards of the nuclear facility that’s only 25 miles north of New York City. Schumer went on to state, “We know from experience, from recent attacks that Homeland Security needs more support to keep us safe, not less, especially when the plan is to divert money to make the American taxpayer build a border wall that is absurdly expensive and that the experts tell us will do nothing to keep us safe from would be terrorists,”
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In the meantime . . .
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Rob Astorino wants to sue New York state over Indian Point shutdown

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Thomas C. Zambito
 
Published 2:45 p.m. ET April 5, 2017
For the full article click here
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Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino said Wednesday that he wants to sue the state of New York over the planned shutdown of the Indian Point nuclear power plant, accusing his longtime rival Gov. Andrew Cuomo of sidestepping public input . . .

*   *   *   *
“The law requires that a full environmental review needs to be done before an agreement is reached, not after,” Astorino said. “Whether you are for nuclear power or against it, there is no debate that the public had a right to know about the impact of closing Indian Point before the deal was reached by three men in a room. If our laws are to have any meaning at all, then the process has to be fair, open and reviewable.”

Astorino will need the backing of county legislators before moving ahead with litigation. Plans are to file a lawsuit in state Supreme Court in Westchester County by the first week of May.
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The lawsuit will look at whether the state bypassed the state Environmental Quality Review Act, which affords the public a full airing of a broad array of impacts before a proposal is approved, county officials say.

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[SEnRG VP Courtney Williams notes: Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino welcomed Spectra Energy with open arms, with their plan to put their massive AIM Pipeline underneath Indian Point. Now that Entergy has decided to close the plant, he’s demanding an environment impact statement and an examination of the economic costs.
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Why so concerned now? Because you want tax dollars? What will Westchester be worth if the pipeline ruptures and Indian Point goes up in flames County Executive?
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You could have fought Spectra to ensure safer conditions at the plant, demanded a risk assessment, but you didn’t. You welcomed them. Now that Entergy wants to close the plant, you want to force them to remain in operation? You can’t have it both ways!]

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01-09-17-indian-point

Astorino, with County Legislator John Testa, a Republican who represents Peekskill, Buchanan, and parts of Cortlandt nearby, made the announcement during an afternoon press conference with the reactors of Indian Point behind him

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It’s unclear whether any of the towns and villages will join as plaintiffs in the lawsuit. Marsha Gordon, the president of the Business Council of Westchester, expressed support for the lawsuit.
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Astorino said that in addition to economic impact, an environmental review would address just how much money will be needed to decommission Indian Point. The plant’s spent nuclear fuel rods are expected to be stored in dry casks at the plant for decades to come.

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But . . .
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Michael Kaplowitz, the Westchester Legislative Chairman, Says the Indian Point Suit Is ‘Dead in the Water’

“While I appreciate his focus on Indian Point and understand there’s work to be done, a majority of my colleagues agree that a lawsuit as suggested is not appropriate and will not be supported,” Kaplowitz told reporters at a press conference Thursday morning. “It’s dead on arrival. There is no path to nine votes.”
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Indian Point is closing by 2021 under a deal brokered by the plant’s owner, Entergy, with New York State and Riverkeeper, who had multiple lawsuits and other legal proceedings fighting the plant’s operation and Entergy’s application for renewal of its licenses. As a result, the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board closed the Indian Point relicensing hearing in March, after 10 years of fighting.
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Kaplowitz said he had talked to Astorino today, before the press conference, to tell him he had spoken to more than nine county legislators who did not support the idea of a lawsuit under SEQRA. Nine votes would be necessary to authorize the suit. There are three basic reasons lawmakers don’t agree with Astorino, Kaplowitz said: the cost/benefit ratio; the worthiness of the purpose; and the timing.
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*   *   *   *
As for suing, the state, [Kaplowitz] said, “it’s an attack on the very entity, the state through its agencies, that would be there for transitional help, and would be putting dollars and a plan behind assistance to the communities. To ask for help with the left hand and sue with the right creates a mixed message.” While he said he thought Astorino had acted in good faith, the legislative leader repeatedly called for an “adult” approach to the problem, which he warned is massive. “We’re trying not to get in the middle of a cat fight between the governor and Mr. Astorino,” he said.

And it looks like Astorino hasn’t been reading the polls – he’d never do anything that might lose him a vote . . .

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Open or closed? NYers take stance on Indian Point: poll

A majority of New Yorkers support a state agreement to close Indian Point by 2021, a poll Monday found. By a margin of 54 percent to 30 percent, voters across the state backed a Jan. 9 deal among the nuclear power plant’s owner, environmental groups and the state to shutter the controversial Buchanan facility within the next four years, a Siena College poll said..Support of the decision was similar across the state: It was 56 percent to 32 percent in the New York City suburbs and 50 percent to 34 percent upstate.

 

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Pipeline Vigil at Cuomo’s house in New Castle

‘Sitting on a time bomb’

Banners at Vigil

Nancy Vann, President of Safe Energy Rights Group (at left)

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NEW CASTLE – Holding signs calling for the state to “Treasure and Defend the Earth,” and to “Stop Algonquin Pipeline Expansion,” environmental activists gathered at the Bittersweet Lane home of Gov. Andrew Cuomo late Sunday for a prayer vigil they hoped would convince him to put a halt the to controversial natural gas pipeline that runs through the Indian Point nuclear facility.
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“We’re gathering in prayer, hoping that the governor has the strength and the morals to do the right thing,” said Paula Dalle Carboneri of Croton-on-Hudson, one of about 25 people who staged the peaceful vigil under the watchful eyes of a handful of New Castle and state police. “There’s no better time than now for him to be on the peoples’ side… Can you imagine a 42-inch gas pipeline exploding at Indian Point?”
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SVD at Vigil

Susan Van Dolsen , co-founder of Stop the Algonquin Pipeline Expansion (SAPE)

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Cuomo was not home — he remained in Albany, trying to reach a state budget agreement.
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ENERGY: Nun urges resident to lobby governor for smart energy choices

PROTESTS: Pipeline demonstrators found guilty of disorderly conduct

LETTER: Despite guilty verdict, pipeline protesters remain steadfast
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Enbridge Inc., which merged with Spectra Energy in February, is continuing the Algonquin Incremental Market (AIM) Project to replace parts of the high-pressure pipeline. The work includes a recently completed new section through Stony Point, under the Hudson River and into Verplanck and the Indian Point nuclear plant in Buchanan. The project will allow more natural gas to go north from Pennsylvania to New England.
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Watch a video from the vigil here
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The demonstrators noted that, even though Indian Point is now scheduled to close as early as 2021, the spent, radioactive nuclear rods will remain stored there forever.
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“We can’t afford to be sitting on a time bomb,” said Hastings-on-Hudson resident Susan Rutman. “These pipelines rupture, they leak. We’re in imminent danger of a disaster, and it has to be stopped.”
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On Wednesday night, a 12-inch Spectra pipeline ruptured in downtown Providence, Rhode Island, shutting down Interstate 195 and other roads and creating traffic havoc for more than three hours until the spewing gas was contained.
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Bernice McCann, of Irvington, said there’s no reason for the Algonquin pipeline to be expanded “when many major corporations are actually moving toward renewable energy and away from fossil fuels.”
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Dalle Carboneri said those attending the vigil were hopeful they can convince the governor to stop the pipeline. She said state environment officials recently reached out to set up a meeting to hear their concerns.
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“We’re just normal people who love the environment, love our kids and want to ensure a safe future for them,” she said. “We’re hoping that the governor has the strength to be the leader we need him to be.”
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All Banners and Folks at Vigil 2
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‘Just Say No’ to $7.6 Billion Nuclear Bailout

That’s not a typo. The State of New York is planning to spend 7.6 BILLION dollars
bailing out unprofitable nuclear plants by the Great Lakes

Cuomo - State of the State - 2017

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Stop the Cuomo Tax & End the Nuclear Bailout

Thanks to the State Assembly blocking the bailout in their budget, we are officially one step closer to defeating this disastrous Cuomo Tax once and for all. Cuomo could end this awful plan all by himself, but instead, he’s refusing to listen to New Yorkers and the Assembly.
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Can you call Cuomo today and tell him to send the nuclear bailout back to the drawing board? You can help change the governor’s mind with just a quick 30-second phone call. It’s simple. Just follow these instructions:
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Cuomo Tax - 3 Days2Call 866-772-3843
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Tell Governor Cuomo’s office your name and 
where you live, then say:
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“As a constituent, I oppose the $7.6 billion dollar Cuomo Tax and nuclear bailout. His mistaken plan would take billions of dollars from all New Yorkers – residents, schools, hospitals, businesses and communities – to bail out aging, unsafe nuclear plants owned by a wealthy Chicago company. I applaud the New York Assembly for blocking the bailout in their budget. Governor Cuomo should follow their lead, scrap the deal, and instead invest in energy efficiency and truly clean renewable alternatives like solar and wind while saving us money. New Yorkers deserve better.”

 

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Please support passage of this legislation before April 1st (Fools Day):

Nuclear Bailout Moratorium Legislation

Cuomo Tax - 3 Days 1

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There’s an old Chinese saying: “It’s later than you think”
Seems to apply to climate as well as individuals

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A study published in December in Palaeoworld, a scientific journal about pre-historic eras, discusses a global warming event at the end of the Permian period and the plausible methane (natural gas) process that could accelerate our own rush to extinctions
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Methan Bubbles

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Public Abstract:
The cause for the end Permian mass extinction, the greatest challenge life on Earth faced in its geologic history, is still hotly debated by scientists. The most significant marker of this event is the negative δ13C shift and rebound recorded in marine carbonates with a duration ranging from 2000 to 19 000 years depending on localities and sedimentation rates. Leading causes for the event are Siberian trap volcanism and the emission of greenhouse gases with consequent global warming. Measurements of gases vaulted in calcite of end Permian brachiopods and whole rock document significant differences in normal atmospheric equilibrium concentration in gases between modern and end Permian seawaters. The gas composition of the end Permian brachiopod-inclusions reflects dramatically higher seawater carbon dioxide and methane contents leading up to the biotic event. Initial global warming of 8–11 °C sourced by isotopically light carbon dioxide from volcanic emissions triggered the release of isotopically lighter methane from permafrost and shelf sediment methane hydrates. Consequently, the huge quantities of methane emitted into the atmosphere and the oceans accelerated global warming and marked the negative δ13C spike observed in marine carbonates, documenting the onset of the mass extinction period. The rapidity of the methane hydrate emission lasting from several years to thousands of years was tempered by the equally rapid oxidation of the atmospheric and oceanic methane that gradually reduced its warming potential but not before global warming had reached levels lethal to most life on land and in the oceans. Based on measurements of gases trapped in biogenic and abiogenic calcite, the release of methane (of ∼3–14% of total C stored) from permafrost and shelf sediment methane hydrate is deemed the ultimate source and cause for the dramatic life-changing global warming (GMAT > 34 °C) and oceanic negative-carbon isotope excursion observed at the end Permian. Global warming triggered by the massive release of carbon dioxide may be catastrophic, but the release of methane from hydrate may be apocalyptic. The end Permian holds an important lesson for humanity regarding the issue it faces today with greenhouse gas emissions, global warming, and climate change.


FlowerAccording to National Geographic: “About 250 million years ago, at the end of the Permian period,
something killed some 90 percent of the planet’s species. Less than 5 percent of the animal species in the seas survived. On land less than a third of the large animal species made it. Nearly all the trees died.”
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See SEnRG’s fight against climate change http://www.senrg.org/climate-change/
To Donate for our fight see http://www.senrg.org/donate/

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You can read more about the Permian Extinction here.
You can read discussions of the “methane climate bomb” phenomenon here and here and here

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Can you make a call today?

URGENT ACTION ITEM! Must be done today (Tuesday, March 28) and tomorrow (Wednesday, March 29) because of the budget process!
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Call State Senator Terrence Murphy about Community Solar!

Script:
Terrence Murphy, your voters are depending on you to support the Assembly’s budget proposal to dedicate $23 million in clean energy funds. Help lead our way to solar leadership. We need your strong voice to ask Senator Flanagan to support community solar in the budget negotiations. Please use your position to advocate and advance the Assembly’s version of the budget!
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Phone: 914-962-2624 (District office) 518-455-3111 (Albany office)
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Background:
New York receives a revenue stream through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (basically charging coal plants for their carbon pollution) and that money goes to NYSERDA for clean energy funding. Every year, legislators and the Governor attempt to raid those funds for the state budget. This year, Cuomo wants to take $23 million to put toward energy tax credits, the Senate wants to take $100 million for the general fund (nothing to do with energy), and the Assembly wants to take Cuomo’s $23 million and put it toward community solar projects in low-income and environmental justice communities, rather than for tax credits, which largely help wealthier people.
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The Energy Democracy Alliance and many allies are supporting the Assembly version because the solar tax credits will get funded either way, so we see that Assembly version as a way to get some additional money flowing to communities that are much in need of renewable energy development and face some of the highest barriers to that development.
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Over the next 2 days, while the legislature and the Governor are in negotiations to agree on a reconciled budget, we are trying to turn either the Governor or the Senate (or both) to support the Assembly version. That’s where Murphy comes in. Murphy could apparently tip the balance if he were to support the Assembly language. So if people in his district could make some calls to his office to alert him to this issue and push him to get on board, that would be great.
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.vigil 10-27-16 Small

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We Must Wait – But Pipeline Can Proceed

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Shocking nobody, FERC (without a quorum legally required to conduct business) has issued a “Tolling Order” for the Atlantic Bridge segment of the Algonquin pipeline expansion.
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A tolling order is basically an indefinite time out. Supposedly this gives FERC more time to consider the Requests for Rehearing. In reality, it holds all legal challenges at bay while Spectra is allowed to proceed, full steam ahead.
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In the case of the AIM segment of this pipeline project, FERC issued a tolling order and did not rule on our request for rehearing for 9 MONTHS, during which time Spectra cut down trees, dug trenches through wetlands, crossed important streams, and completed much of the construction.
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As of right now, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has not issued the permits necessary for Spectra to begin construction in New York. There are also numerous permits outstanding in Massachusetts.

AB Tolling Order for Website

No Quorum? No Permits? FERC Says “No Problem”

And of course the FERC staff also issued this approval for the start of the Connecticut construction on the project:

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FEDERAL ENERGY REGULATORY COMMISSION
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20426
OFFICE OF ENERGY PROJECTS

In Reply Refer To:
OEP/DG2E/Gas 2
Algonquin Gas Transmission, LLC
Docket No. CP16-9-000
375.308(x)

March 27, 2017

Chris Harvey
Director, Rates and Certificates
5400 Westheimer Court
Houston, TX  77056

Re:  Authorization to Proceed with Construction of Connecticut Facilities

Dear Mr. Harvey:

I grant Algonquin Gas Transmission, LLC’s (Algonquin) March 14, 2017 request to proceed with construction and use the following Atlantic Bridge Project facilities in Connecticut:

  • Southeast Discharge Take-up and Relay Station Numbers 0+00 to 32+74, 39+73 to 75+95, and 79+09 to 122+92, and associated minor route or workspace modifications;
  • Danbury Meter Station; and
  • Mill Plain Road, Lee Farm, and Algonquin Cheshire Yards.

In considering your request, we have determined that Algonquin’s initial Implementation Plan, filed on February 3, 2017, as supplemented on March 14, 2017, includes the information necessary to meet the construction conditions of the Commission’s January 25, 2017 Order Issuing Certificate (Order) for the activities approved herein.  In addition, we have determined that Algonquin’s March 14, 2017 request confirms that the Connecticut facilities may provide independent utility towards the project purpose.  We have confirmed the receipt of all federal authorizations relevant to the approved activities herein.

I remind you that Algonquin must comply with all applicable terms and conditions of the Commission’s Order, and that no other activities are authorized other than those activities identified above.  If you have any questions, please contact Maggie Suter at (202) 502-6463.

Sincerely,

Alisa M. Lykens, Chief
Gas Branch 2

cc:      Public File, Docket No. CP16-9-000

So once again FERC has told us that we can’t ask a Federal Court to decide whether this pipeline was approved legally until after our property and public spaces are destroyed. The phrase “Justice delayed is justice denied” was first used by William E. Gladstone (British Prime Minister from 1868 to 1894) and Martin Luther King, Jr. repeated it in his letter from the Birmingham Jail. The FERC tolling order maneuver seems like a clear violation of our constitutional right to due process. We mustn’t let it stand in a society that prides itself on offering everyone their day in court.
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Despite the FERC’s Lack of a Quorum & No New York Water Permit, Atlantic Bridge Pipeline Construction in CT is Approved

 

FERC Vacancy2

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FERC staff just sent this letter approving the start of Connecticut construction on the Atlantic Bridge pipeline project:
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FEDERAL ENERGY REGULATORY COMMISSION
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20426
OFFICE OF ENERGY PROJECTS

In Reply Refer To:
OEP/DG2E/Gas 2
Algonquin Gas Transmission, LLC
Docket No. CP16-9-000
375.308(x)

March 27, 2017

Chris Harvey
Director, Rates and Certificates
5400 Westheimer Court
Houston, TX  77056

Re:  Authorization to Proceed with Construction of Connecticut Facilities

Dear Mr. Harvey:

I grant Algonquin Gas Transmission, LLC’s (Algonquin) March 14, 2017 request to proceed with construction and use the following Atlantic Bridge Project facilities in Connecticut:

  • Southeast Discharge Take-up and Relay Station Numbers 0+00 to 32+74, 39+73 to 75+95, and 79+09 to 122+92, and associated minor route or workspace modifications;
  • Danbury Meter Station; and
  • Mill Plain Road, Lee Farm, and Algonquin Cheshire Yards.

In considering your request, we have determined that Algonquin’s initial Implementation Plan, filed on February 3, 2017, as supplemented on March 14, 2017, includes the information necessary to meet the construction conditions of the Commission’s January 25, 2017 Order Issuing Certificate (Order) for the activities approved herein.  In addition, we have determined that Algonquin’s March 14, 2017 request confirms that the Connecticut facilities may provide independent utility towards the project purpose.  We have confirmed the receipt of all federal authorizations relevant to the approved activities herein.

I remind you that Algonquin must comply with all applicable terms and conditions of the Commission’s Order, and that no other activities are authorized other than those activities identified above.  If you have any questions, please contact Maggie Suter at (202) 502-6463.

Sincerely,

Alisa M. Lykens, Chief
Gas Branch 2

cc:      Public File, Docket No. CP16-9-000

 

And Maggie Suter – still conflicted after all these years . . .

 

 

 

 

The Scariest Pipelines in the U.S. Threatening Our Public Lands

The Dakota Access protests made headlines, but there’s a bigger war being waged against pipelines across the country that threaten our favorite parks and forests

By: Jay Bouchard
Mar 21, 2017

Standing Rock, a once little known reservation on the border of North and South Dakota, became the focal point of national controversy this year when thousands of activists joined Native Americans to protest the environmental impacts of the Dakota Access oil pipeline. If completed, activists argue, the pipeline would impact sites sacred to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, cut through environmentally sensitive areas, and, if it were to leak, contaminate drinking water downstream in the Missouri River.
scariest-pipeline-map.
Standing Rock isn’t the only place where our country’s appetite for cheap energy is being openly opposed. While protesters have been evicted and construction resumes on Dakota Access, the fight rages on across the country where demonstrators are fighting similar pipeline projects. Protests have erupted in Texas, Florida, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Ohio, among other states, where more than a dozen proposed oil and natural gas projects look to expand the country’s roughly 2.5 million-mile pipeline infrastructure.
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In an effort to shed light on some of these projects, and the possible environmental consequences attached to each, we mapped out nine other noteworthy projects currently under protest. Below, we’ve detailed each one and what may be at risk if they are to be built.
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Algonquin Expansion (Natural Gas) (AIM, Atlantic Bridge)

Location: New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts
Length: 38 miles of new pipeline
Status: Under construction
Overview: Operated by Spectra Energy, this expansion would join the 1,129-mile Algonquin Pipeline system that runs from New York to Massachusetts, supplying the Northeast with natural gas. The expansion is replacing much of the 26-inch diameter pipeline with a 42-inch line. The expansion would add 38 new miles to the system and would cross the Indian Point Nuclear Site in New York, which has been a source of major protest.
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For info on other scary pipelines, click here.

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Continuing our “Adventures in Decommissioning” series, here’s the NRC’s Step 2 of it’s “Three Easy Pieces” for getting rid of a nuclear reactor!

[Annotated by SEnRG in the Interest of “Truth in Decommissioning”]

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2) Major Decommissioning Activities

During Cleanup
Ninety days after the NRC receives the planning report, the owner can begin major decommissioning activities without specific NRC approval. [In other words, the NRC can’t be bothered to look at these reports and respond.] These include permanent removal of such major components as the reactor vessel, steam generators, large piping systems, pumps, and valves. [Not to worry, no safety problems with that work . . . ]
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However, decommissioning activities conducted without specific prior NRC approval must not prevent release of the site for possible unrestricted use, result in there being no reasonable assurance that adequate funds will be available for decommissioning, or cause any significant environmental impact not previously reviewed. [Love those double negatives! Rough Translation: the activities must allow for site reuse, maintain adequate decommissioning funds, and not do any environmental damage that hasn’t already been allowed.] If any decommissioning activity does not meet these terms, the licensee is required to submit a license amendment request, which would provide an opportunity for a public hearing.
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Initially, the owner can use up to 3 percent of its set-aside funds for decommissioning planning. The remainder becomes available 90 days after submittal of the planning report unless the NRC staff has raised objections. [Cue deafening silence from the NRC staff.]

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That’s not all folks.  More “Adventures in Decommissioning” coming soon!

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So What Happens When a Nuclear Plant is Shut Down?

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Step 1 of the NRC’s “Phases of Decommissioning”:

 

“The requirements for power reactor decommissioning activities may be divided into three phases: (1) initial activities; (2) major decommissioning and storage; and (3) license termination activities.

Before Cleanup

1) Initial Activities

When a nuclear power plant licensee shuts down the plant permanently, it must submit a written certification of permanent cessation of operations to the NRC within 30 days. [OK so far] When radioactive nuclear fuel is permanently removed from the reactor vessel, [how long is that?] the owner must submit another written certification to the NRC, surrendering its authority to operate the reactor or load fuel into the reactor vessel. This eliminates the obligation to adhere to certain requirements needed only during reactor operation. [Just curious – which ones are those?]

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Within two years after submitting the certification of permanent closure, [so basically after the DECON “immediate dismantling”?] the licensee must submit a post-shutdown decommissioning activities report to the NRC. This report provides a description of the planned decommissioning activities, a schedule for accomplishing them, and an estimate of the expected costs. [Shouldn’t the costs have been calculated before the plant started operation and before the decommissioning funds were accrued and distributed?] The report must discuss the reasons for concluding [???] that environmental impacts associated with the site-specific decommissioning activities have already been addressed in previous environmental analyses. [So we know that the environmental impacts have been addressed already – but not the costs ???] Otherwise, the licensee must request a license amendment for approval of the activities and submit to the NRC details on the additional impacts of decommissioning on the environment.

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After receiving the report, the NRC publishes a notice of receipt in the Federal Register, [Handy tip: the Federal Register makes great reading for insomniacs!] makes the report available for public review and comment, and holds a public meeting in the vicinity of the plant [Um, how long after they’ve already made all of the decisions??] to discuss the licensee’s intentions.”
[Annotated] by SEnRG in the Interest of “Truth in Decommissioning”

 

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Come back regularly for more details of the “Adventures in Decommissioning” story happening soon at a nuclear plant near YOU!

 

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Info from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Website:
Trying to “Improve” Decommissioning with No Waste Plan!

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Improving the Decommissioning Program

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Several nuclear power plants completed decommissioning in the 1990s without a viable option for disposing of their spent nuclear fuel, because the federal government did not construct a geologic repository as planned. Accordingly, the NRC implemented regulations allowing licensees to sell off part of their land once it meets NRC release criteria, while maintaining a small parcel under license for storing the spent fuel. These stand-alone facilities, called “independent spent fuel storage installations,” remain under license and NRC regulation. Licensees are responsible for security and for maintaining insurance and funding for eventual decommissioning[SEnRG Note: required insurance is totally inadequate in the event of a nuclear emergency] 
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As more facilities complete decommissioning, the NRC is implementing “lessons learned” in order to improve the program and focus on the prevention of future legacy sites that are difficult to clean up. Applications for new reactors must now describe how design and operations will minimize contamination during the plant’s operating life and facilitate eventual decommissioning. New regulations published in 2010 require plant operators to be more vigilant in preventing contamination during operations, and to clean up and monitor any contamination that does occur.”

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Wow – NRC didn’t ask how operators would minimize contamination before??  And operators were not required to clean it up????

 

With the Indian Point nuclear plant (25 miles north of NYC) scheduled to close in 2020 and 2021, we hope there will be more “improvements” to the process . . . like only ‘hardened dry casks allowed, no ‘bowling alley’ cask configuration, and a decommissioning schedule that will make use of current employees and their historical knowledge.

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Some Notes on Nuke Plant Decommissioning from the
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)

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Nuclear licensees may choose from three decommissioning strategies: DECON, SAFSTOR, or ENTOMB.

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Under DECON (immediate dismantling), soon after the nuclear facility closes, equipment, structures, and portions of the facility containing radioactive contaminants are removed or decontaminated to a level that permits release of the property and termination of the NRC license.

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Under SAFSTOR, often considered “deferred dismantling,” a nuclear facility is maintained and monitored in a condition that allows the radioactivity to decay; afterwards, the plant is dismantled and the property decontaminated.

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Under ENTOMB, radioactive contaminants are permanently encased on site in structurally sound material such as concrete. The facility is maintained and monitored until the radioactivity decays to a level permitting restricted release of the property. To date, no NRC-licensed facilities have requested this option.

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The licensee may also choose to adopt a combination of the first two choices in which some portions of the facility are dismantled or decontaminated while other parts of the facility are left in SAFSTOR. The decision may be based on factors besides radioactive decay, such as availability of waste disposal sites.

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Does this picture of the demolition of a nuclear reactor make you nervous?

Demolition of Nuclear Reactor

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Don’t Let Fossil Fuel Companies Steamroller NY State!

 

Save 401 Water Permit Requirement

 

In an unprecedented move, National Fuel Gas has asked the Federal Regulatory Energy Commission (FERC) to WAIVE the requirement to obtain a 401 Water Quality Certificate from New York before building its proposed Northern Access Pipeline.

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National Fuel’s high-pressure fracked-gas EXPORT pipeline would clear-cut thousands of trees and bulldoze across nearly 450 streams and wetlands in Western New York, including state-protected waterways and a sole-source aquifer. This degradation of land, water quality, property values and public safety would happen so that a multi-billion-dollar company can export fracked-gas to Canada.

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If FERC grants National Fuel’s request, it would usurp Governor Cuomo’s power to protect New York’s water and residents from this destructive pipeline, the Spectra ‘Atlantic Bridge’ project, AND it would set a horrible precedent, potentially allowing future pipelines to steamroll over states’ rights.

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Please CALL Governor Cuomo: 518-474-8390
And EMAIL him:
www.governor.ny.gov/content/governor-contact-form

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Join SEnRG and StopSpectra to Deliver Signatures

 

Cuomo Petition Delivery 3-17-17

 

We are delivering 44,000 Petition Signatures to Governor Cuomo’s NYC Office to Stop the Spectra Pipeline

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BACKGROUND:
Recently Spectra’s Atlantic Bridge project, the second phase of their illegally segmented Algonquin pipeline expansion, was prematurely approved by FERC. Now New York State is considering issuing a water quality permit for the project which would enable construction to go forward. Spectra is pressing for the approval as soon as possible so they can begin to cut trees before April 1st and begin construction. New York State should not be approving water permits for a project that is linked to significant risk of nuclear disaster impacting 20 million New Yorkers and that will contaminate our waterways and wetlands, ensure more air pollution, and destroy our health and climate.
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Governor Cuomo and the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation have called for a risk assessment of the Spectra Algonquin pipeline expansion. No water permit should be issued before this assessment is completed and thoroughly reviewed!
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Despite repeated warnings from numerous leading national pipeline, nuclear and disaster preparedness experts, Spectra Energy received approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to expand their Algonquin pipeline. Recently, the first phase of that expansion – the 42 inch diameter, high pressure Algonquin Incremental Market (AIM) project became operational. It was constructed only 105 feet from critical safety infrastructure at the old, accident-prone Indian Point nuclear plant in northern Westchester – near the intersection of 2 earthquake fault lines! The experts warned that a pipeline rupture at Indian Point could result in a nuclear disaster worse than Fukushima and threatens more than 20 million people who live in the New York tri-state area.* Even if Indian Point is shut down – still years away – a pipeline rupture poses catastrophic risks to millions of New Yorkers due to the 45 years of highly radioactive spent fuel permanently stored on site. Governor Cuomo and NYS DEC Commissioner Seggos must stop ignoring safety experts’ warnings about the permanent risks to New Yorkers posed by the further expansions of Spectra’s Algonquin pipeline because:

♦ Spectra illegally segmented its massive Algonquin pipeline expansion into 3 separate projects: Algonquin Incremental Market (AIM), Atlantic Bridge and Access Northeast, to avoid a full evaluation of the cumulative impacts.
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♦ Governor Cuomo recently stated that New York “must double down by investing in the fight against dirty fossil fuels and fracked gas from neighboring states” yet,
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♦ Despite the State’s ban on fracking, New York has continued to issue permits for dangerous, polluting and climate destroying fossil fuel pipelines and power plants that pose the same risks to our communities: polluting our air and water supplies, destroying our health and climate.
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♦ New York must stop approving fracked gas pipelines like Spectra Energy’s massive Algonquin pipeline expansion (AIM, Atlantic Bridge and Access Northeast) and must fast track our energy requirements to 100% renewables.
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Come be part of history as we deliver these signatures to Governor Cuomo!

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Come to Beacon, NY on April 2nd for a Free Screening

 

Join us in Beacon for a free film screening of Jon Bowermaster’s “The Hudson, A River at Risk,” a powerful film series about threats to the Hudson and communities along the river. After the screening, Bowermaster will help lead a discussion of efforts to stop these threats. 

 

Bowermaster Film in Beacon

 

Despite a fifty-year-long clean-up, the Hudson River still faces serious threats. The Pilgrim Pipelines would carry fracked petroleum along the river. Bomb trains course the river, and oil barges would be loaded with even more toxic crude.

On April 2nd, we’ll discuss the campaigns to stop these threats and ways that you can get involved.

 

 

 

 

 

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HIGH ALERT! DAILY URGENT ACTION FOR MONTH OF MARCH!

 


ACTION #1

Please call:

-Governor Cuomo: 518-474-8390
-NYS Dept of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Seggos: 518-402-8545

Tell them: Reject the water permit for Spectra’s illegally segmented Atlantic Bridge pipeline project. 

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ACTION #2 

Please sign petition to Governor Cuomo to reject the water permit for Spectra’s illegally segmented Atlantic Bridge project, the next phase of Spectra’s dangerous massive Algonquin pipeline expansion:  tinyurl.com/CuomoStopSpectraPipeline

 

BACKGROUND:

Recently Spectra’s Atlantic Bridge project, the second phase of their illegally segmented Algonquin pipeline expansion was prematurely approved by FERC and New York State is considering issuing a water quality permit for the project which would enable construction to go forward. Spectra is pressing for the approval as soon as possible so they can begin to cut trees before April 1st and begin construction. New York State should not be approving water permits for a project that is linked to significant risk of nuclear disaster impacting 20 million New Yorkers, and will contaminate our waterways and wetlands, ensure more air pollution, and destroy our health and climate.
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Governor Cuomo and the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation have called for a risk assessment of the Spectra Algonquin pipeline expansion. No water permit should be issued before this assessment is completed and thoroughly reviewed!

 .

Despite repeated warnings from numerous leading national pipeline, nuclear and disaster preparedness experts, Spectra Energy received approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to expand their Algonquin pipeline. Recently, the first phase of that expansion – the 42 inch diameter, high pressure Algonquin Incremental Market (AIM) gas pipeline became operational and was constructed only 105 feet from critical safety infrastructure at the old,   accident-prone Indian Point nuclear plant in northern Westchester near 2 earthquake fault lines.  The experts warned that a pipeline rupture at Indian Point could result in a nuclear disaster worse than Fukushima and threatens more than 20 million people who live in the New York tri-state area.*  Even if Indian Point is shut down – still years away – a pipeline rupture poses disastrous risks to millions of New Yorkers due to 45 years of highly radioactive spent fuel permanently stored on site. Governor Cuomo and NYS DEC Commissioner Seggos must stop ignoring safety experts’ warnings about the permanent catastrophic risks to New Yorkers posed by the giant Spectra AIM pipeline and further expansions.
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Spectra illegally segmented its massive Algonquin pipeline expansion into 3 separate projects: Algonquin Incremental Market (AIM), Atlantic Bridge and Access Northeast, to avoid a full evaluation of the cumulative impacts. 

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Governor Cuomo recently stated that New York “must double down by investing in the fight against dirty fossil fuels and fracked gas from neighboring states” yet, New York continues to issue permits for dangerous, polluting and climate destroying fossil fuel pipelines and power plants in our communities polluting our air and water supplies, destroying our health and climate. New York must stop approving fracked gas pipelines like Spectra Energy’s massive Algonquin pipeline expansion (AIM, Atlantic Bridge and Access Northeast) and fast track to 100% renewable energy.
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View 2 minute video:  The Nuclear Power Plant and the Giant Gas Pipeline:  https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=-nO-KLsji6w
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*New York tri-state area including Westchester, Rockland, Putnam, New York City, Long Island, Ulster, Orange, parts of New Jersey and Connecticut.
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Indian Point Nuke Plant Is Closing – Let’s Do it Right!

3-11-17 Event

March 11, 2017, 1:30 PM
Peekskill Presbyterian Church, 705 Park Street

 

How do you safely store 2,000 tons of radioactive material that is lethal for 240,000 years?

Can a radioactive site be decontaminated so it can  be used for commerce and recreation?

How do you monitor and protect material so it doesn’t erupt in a radioactive fire and contaminate the region?

 

These and related questions will be a focus of a special program looking into the future of Indian Point after it ceases operations and looking back at the lessons learned from the continuing catastrophe at the Fukushima nuclear power plant.

 

The event features Dr. Gordon Edwards, a noted independent scientist, who will speak about the difficulties involved and the planning needed to close a nuclear power plant safely.  He will deal with the problems associated with the storage of high level radioactive waste. We are providing a potluck dinner for the Walkers. People are encouraged to bring food to share. Members of the Indian Point Safe Energy Coalition will provide an update on the closure agreement and we will delve into the presentation by Dr. Edwards. Please join us.  All are welcome.

 

What: Indian Point Decommissioned: Fukushima Remembered
Who: Dr. Gordon Edwards, renowned independent expert on Decommissioning and Storage of High Level Radioactive Waste.
When: 1:30 PM Saturday, March 11, the 6th anniversary of the ongoing nuclear disaster at Fukushima
Where: Peekskill Presbyterian Church, 705 Park Street, Peekskill, NY
Contacts: Marilyn Elie 914-954-6739, Gary Shaw 914-400-4335
For more information visit https://closeindianpoint.wordpress.com/

 

 

 

Woodstock Meets Gas Pipeline Next to Nuke Plant

 

Rachel Havens streams Woodstock radio show about the high pressure Algonquin Gas Pipeline running 105 feet from Indian Point Nuke Plant. Did we mention that it’s over two earthquake fault lines and 25 miles from New York City?

 

 

 

SEnRG President Nancy Vann and ResistSpectra activist Rob May want you to know more about this catastrophic risk.

 

 

What to do if you want to save the environment without freezing to death! (or going bankrupt)

 

Renewals Solutions - Beanrunner


Come learn about alternatives that won’t leave you at the whims of the electric company!

Join us at a free, open-to-the-public workshop to learn about the benefits of renewable-ready space heating and the policies that will transition New York to air-source and ground-source (geothermal) heat pumps.

 

Presenters will include Arjun Makhijani, Ph.D., Project Scientist at the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research (IEER) and author of a new study on New York’s space heating sector, and NYS activists and organizers who will launch a campaign to transition space heating to renewable-ready technologies.

 

Organized by Alliance for a Green Economy, New Yorkers for Clean Power, ResistSpectra, Sane Energy Project, and Safe Energy Rights Group (SEnRG).

 

Wednesday, February 15 at 6 PM – 8:30 PM
Next Week · 25–39° Partly Cloudy
Beanrunner Café
201 S Division St, Peekskill, New York 10566

 

 

Some Wider Thoughts – For Our Children & the Environment

 

Rabbi Gil Steinlauf, in his letter to President Trump, states:

“The stranger, the widow, the orphan — these represent all the people in society who are vulnerable, who do not have privilege. In our time, that list extends to black people, to LGBTQ people, to Muslims and to immigrants, to Jews, to women, to the disabled. I know you so well, Mr. Trump, because in every generation, you hate and seek to destroy us for exactly the same reason: deep down, you are afraid of us.”

 

People who are vulnerable and afraid have choices. They can attack those they see as the “enemy” or they can join with others in community and kindness. They can support each other and support what is right.

 

Choose wisely!

 

Gil Steinlauf: Dear President Trump

 

 

 

Remarks of Nancy Vann – Safe Energy Rights Group

Rally at Senator Schumer’s Peekskill Office, February 2, 2017

 

My name is Nancy Vann and I live right here in Peekskill. We’re here to speak to Senator Schumer not only about the Indian Point nuclear plant but about a pipeline that makes that facility much more dangerous – even after it’s closed. The Algonquin gas pipeline is a 42-inch diameter, high-pressure line that Spectra Energy is running next to the aging Indian Point plant. Since the electoral college coup undermined our democratic system, stopping this dangerous project has become much more difficult and each new presidential appointment makes things even worse.

 

Although Senator Schumer promised to resist Trump’s agenda, he has now voted to approve four Trump nominees: James Mattis for Department of Defense, John Kelly for Homeland Security, Mike Pompeo for the CIA, and Nikki Haley as Ambassador to the U.N. Each of these individuals will have an influence on environmental issues and have responsibilities for agencies that are supposed to protect us. For example, Homeland Security needs to strenuously oppose the Spectra-Algonquin pipeline expansion next to Indian Point – a well known terrorist target and one of the targets that was considered before the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center. Under Obama the Department of Defense cited climate change as the number one threat to national security. Don’t think that’s happening under Trump’s Mattis. And of course the U.N.’s influence and the CIA’s ‘chilling effect’ on the international environmental community needs no explanation. 1

 

Senator Schumer, we need leadership not collaborators.

 

Schumer has stated that he will vote against other Trump nominees – so now it’s time for him to match words with actions. Of all of the upcoming Trump challenges, the nominee for the Supreme Court is the most important one. President Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, was not given any consideration for a total of 293 days – the longest period in history by far. And in the end he was neither rejected nor confirmed. So it is particularly essential to fight back against DT’s nominee for this stolen Supreme Court seat. Some of the new appointments may be short lived – but a Federal judge is appointed for life. Compromise and reason are not part of the DT gameplan and concessions are simply foolish.

 

After eight years of obstructionist politics, it is hypocritical for the current administration to believe that the loser of the popular vote has the political authority to turn back the clock to the ‘good old days’ of rampant pollution, racial discrimination and robber barons. We don’t believe that the man who removed all government references to climate change in his first day in office will be easier to deal with based on anyone’s support of his cronies or his policies. This presidency represents nothing less than an all-out war on our climate, environment, and communities.

 

But we are not here just to critique Senator Schumer’s record on Trump appointments. We are also here to try to inspire him. Many of us have been fighting for climate and environmental progress for years. It’s terrifying to be in the position of just trying to hang onto decades of hard-won gains. And protecting past progress is not enough. Although the Indian Point nuclear plant is now scheduled to shut down, it will be dangerous for decades. There are currently 2,713 highly radioactive fuel rods in storage pools at the site and experts have warned that a rupture of the Algonquin pipeline could encompass the entire plant and result in a nuclear catastrophe worse than the Fukushima disaster. With the U.S. government reporting an average of 6 pipeline accidents per week in 2015, the risks are too serious to ignore. Twenty million people, including all of New York City, are within the 50 mile radiation zone. An accident here could make the financial capital of the world uninhabitable for nearly 240,000 years.

 

The rewards of true leadership, however, are gratifying. Rachel Carson, the author of ‘Silent Spring,’ which launched the American environmental movement, reflected in a letter to her dearest friend that, “Knowing what I do, there would be no future peace for me if I kept silent . . . It is, in the deepest sense, a privilege as well as a duty to have the opportunity to speak out – to many thousands of people – on something so important.” During a losing battle against terminal cancer she finally completed her book in 1962 and wrote “I could never again listen happily to a thrush song if I had not done all I could. And last night the thoughts of all the birds and other creatures and the loveliness that is in nature came to me with such a surge of deep happiness, that now I had done what I could – I had been able to complete it.”

 

That is the sort of fulfillment that we wish for Senator Schumer – and for all the many dear activists trying to save our assaulted planet. I feel so privileged to be with you as we each try, as we must, to “do all we can.”

 

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  1. Additionally, Pompeo believes Trump’s government should maintain a robust intelligence database of American’s financial information and “lifestyle” details and has refused to rule out a regime of government torture. Mattis, as a freshly retired general, is such a glaring deviation from the principle of civilian control of the military that he required a special waiver from the rule against military self-rule. Kelly, another general, has mot given any reason to believe he’ll resist Trump’s promised reign of immigration-enforcement terror.

 

 

 

SEnRG Goes to a Rally – Tells Officials to Save our Environment

 

Ready to Fight Rev

SEnRG President Nancy Vann speaks to crowd at environmental rally

 

Peekskill, NY February 2, 2017 –  Hundreds of activists in eight cities across the state converged on Senator Chuck Schumer’s offices, including at his office in Peekskill, to demand that he show bold leadership to protect public health and the environment from the Trump administration.

 

Greta 3 Rev

Greta Zarro, Food & Water Watch

With Trump laying out an agenda  that threatens fundamental environmental protections, activists are calling on Schumer to demonstrate bold leadership by telling Senators to use every tool at their disposal to challenge this corporate takeover of our democracy. Those at the rally urged Schumer to make sure that there is a full 30 hours of debate over each Cabinet appointment, and to use his tremendous visibility and influence to send a message to the nation about the need to resist Trump’s disastrous appointments and policies.

 

“As Senate Minority Leader and the most powerful Democrat, Senator Schumer has a responsibility to rally his fellow Democrats to join him in opposing Trump’s Cabinet of corporate cronies and climate change deniers,” said Greta Zarro, New York Organizer, Food & Water Watch. “In the months ahead, Senator Schumer must be outspoken and tenacious in blocking Trump’s climate-destroying plans to defund the EPA and to expand the network of polluting pipelines across our nation.”

 

Nancy Vann, President of Safe Energy Rights Group (SEnRG) said “Senator Schumer has now voted for four Trump nominees: Mattis for DOD, Kelly for Homeland Security, Pompeo for the CIA and Haley as Ambassador to the U.N. Each has an influence on environmental issues. For example, Homeland Security needs to strenuously oppose the Spectra-Algonquin pipeline expansion next to the Indian Point nuclear plant, a well-known terrorist target. Schumer promises to vote against other Trump nominees but we need action and leadership, not words and collaboration.
With Sign Rev

Members of IPSEC fighting nukes & fracked gas

Republicans blocked President Obama’s appointment to the Supreme Court for a full 293 days. Surely Democrats can halt the rush to destroy our environment and so  many of the things that have made America great.”

 

“The American people are tired of being thrown under the bus by both parties. Trump’s anti-human agenda has awoken a sleeping giant, a courageous collective that will no longer allow entire peoples and our planet to be sacrificed for profit,” said Pramilla Malick, Chair, Protect Orange County. “We proclaim that our right to clean air and clean water are inalienable human rights. The crisis in leadership within the Democratic Party can only be resolved by those bold enough to fight for those rights and who understand that true leaders must follow the will of the people.”

 

Peekskill City Councilwoman Kathie Talbot: “Our federal Democratic elected officials must be aggressive in their opposition to President Trump’s agenda and regularly communicate with their constituencies . . . . especially regarding climate change and the Affordable Care Act.”

 

Susan Van Dolsen, Co-Founder of Stop the Algonquin Pipeline Expansion (SAPE) and Co-Organizer of
Gary Shaw Rev

Gary Shaw discusses nuclear plant and gas pipeline

Westchester for Change: “Senator Schumer, as leader of the Democratic Caucus and a very powerful voice in our country, must show leadership by rejecting nominees that don’t pass the basic litmus test of experience and competence. . . . We also expect Senator Schumer to use his position to publicly challenge all of the egregious actions that the Trump administration is taking to undermine democratic norms.”

 

Vanessa Agudelo, former intern for Senator Schumer and local Peekskill activist said “Schumer voted in favor of Trump’s first 4 nominations; we are past the point of conciliating because there is no compromising with a tyrant! I implore him to stop supporting Trump’s agenda in its entirety, and to obstruct using any means possible.”

 

Ed Barry from the Sierra Club Lower Hudson Group offered this statement: “The US Senate has the ability to stop the most extreme cabinet picks in modern history. We are calling on Senator Schumer to expand opposition in the Senate and to lead a strong bipartisan resistance to these disastrous nominations. We also ask him to stand for progressive values and to engage this coalition to fight rollbacks to environmental laws and policies.”

 

With Allyson

Nancy Speaks to Schumer Rep Allison Biasotti

Schumer’s January 30 announcement that he would vote against several Trump nominees is a sign that he is hearing the message coming from the grassroots. Voting against oil and gas insiders is just the first step to resisting Trump’s anti-environmental agenda; bigger battles over clean air regulations, climate change, and fossil fuel drilling are on the horizon.

 

The simultaneous actions took place at all eight of Schumer’s offices (Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Binghamton, Albany, Peekskill, Melville, and Manhattan). Sponsoring organizations include WESPAC, Peekskill NAACP, Food & Water Watch, Croton Climate Initiative, Resist Spectra, Safe Energy Rights Group (SEnRG), Lower Hudson Valley Progressive Action Network, Westchester for Change, Up & Up Action Initiative, Stop the Algonquin Pipeline Expansion (SAPE), The Sierra Club, Rockland United, Labor-Religion Coalition of NYS, Climate Hawks Vote, Public Citizen.

 

 

 

Senators Markey and Warren Call on FERC to Rescind Authorization
for Spectra’s Atlantic Bridge Pipeline

Announcement of Commissioner Bay’s resignation will lead to lack of quorum
necessary to hear public challenges to pipeline

Washington (February 1, 2017) – Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) today sent a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) calling on it to immediately rescind the order authorizing Spectra’s Atlantic Bridge pipeline project in light of the announcement from Commissioner Norman Bay that he will resign from FERC on February 3, 2017, which will leave FERC without the quorum needed to be able to hear challenges of this pipeline approval. The absence of a quorum at FERC could prevent opponents from challenging FERC’s approval of the Atlantic Bridge pipeline project for as long as the vacancies persist. FERC’s authorization of the pipeline will allow for the construction of new and expanded compressor stations, larger pipelines and the potential for natural gas to flow north out of New England to Canada, which could pave the way for the exportation of natural gas out of our region as liquefied natural gas.

“Given the announced resignation of former Chairman Bay following the approval of this pipeline project, we ask that FERC immediately rescind the order authorizing Spectra’s Atlantic Bridge Project until a new quorum can be reconstituted at the Commission,” write Senators Markey and Warren to FERC Acting Chairman Cheryl LaFleur. “Only by rescinding this pipeline approval until that time can the American people be assured that their voices will be properly heard and that this pipeline will not be permitted to go forward while opponents are silenced.”

A copy of the Senators’ letter to FERC can be found HERE.

Senators Markey and Warren have previously sent three letters since the summer of 2016 on the potential conflict of interest between Spectra and a third-party contractor on this project and FERC’s process for evaluating whether a conflict of interest exists. FERC has not yet responded to the Senators’ most recent request in January 2017 for more information.

 


 

 

Open or closed? NYers take stance on Indian Point: poll

A majority of New Yorkers support a state agreement to close Indian Point by 2021, a poll Monday found.

 

By a margin of 54 percent to 30 percent, voters across the state backed a Jan. 9 deal among the nuclear power plant’s owner, environmental groups and the state to shutter the controversial Buchanan facility within the next four years, a Siena College poll said.

 

Support of the decision was similar across the state: It was 56 percent to 32 percent in the New York City suburbs and 50 percent to 34 percent upstate.

 

Among different groups, only people who identified themselves as conservatives opposed the closure.

 

Entergy said ongoing legal battles over operating the plant and declining energy prices led it to agree to shutter the plan by 2021.

 

The question was among 14 asked of New York voters on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s 2017 agenda, and voters were widely supportive of his initiatives. While Cuomo’s proposals were largely backed, voters gave a declining opinion of its home-state president, Donald Trump.

 

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New York voters said they expected the Republican president  . . .  would make the country worse on seven other issues – including the environment and race relations.

 

To see the full article in LoHud. click here.