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NEWBURGH – Chanting slogans like “Maloney, don’t be a climate phony,” a group of local residents and climate activists marched on Representative Sean Patrick Maloney’s district office last week to urge him to oppose the controversial plan to build a massive fracked gas power plant in Newburgh.
“Congressman Maloney cannot claim to fight climate change while supporting the Danskammer fracked gas plant expansion being proposed here on the Hudson River,” said Andrew Pezzullo of Food & Water Watch. “He’s on the record against building any new fossil fuel infrastructure. If he breaks his word, his constituents will call him out for being a climate phony.”
“There is no need for the energy that this proposed plant expansion will provide. Our energy needs are projected to continue decreasing into the foreseeable future, thanks to ever-increasing efficiency and the promise of improved transmission capability. To support the Danskammer plant expansion is to place the profit of the few over the health of the public and the planet,” added Nick Page, Dutchess County Legislator District 18.
The advocates pointed out that Rep. Maloney must be more consistent in his climate and clean energy positions. He has supported the Green New Deal Resolution and co-sponsored the Off Fossil Fuels Act, which calls for a rapid transition to clean energy and an end to new fossil fuel projects. But he recently remarked that he has no objections to the Danskammer fracked gas expansion.
Newburgh Clean Water Project member Tamsin Hollo: “The cumulative heath impacts of the PCBs in the Hudson, the lead in our paint and pipes, the PFOS polluting our soil and drinking water, in addition to the 40,000,000 lbs of pollution generated annually by this proposed fracked gas plant, are simply too great for one community to bear. The adjacent town of Marlborough will receive the tax benefits of this plant, just as the Town of Newburgh creates property tax revenue by developing every inch of our unprotected watershed. We receive none of the cash, but are forced to shoulder the devastating effects. We’re at our limit. Enough is enough.”
“If built, Danskammer Energy’s new fracked-gas facility will burn fossil fuel year-round for decades to come. Located in a highly flood-prone area, this is a fool-hardy investment on the part of Wall Street, one which will ultimately be paid for by New York ratepayers,” said Manna Jo Greene, Environmental Director for Hudson River Sloop Clearwater.
The action was led by Food & Water Watch, Newburgh Clean Water Project, NYPIRG, Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, Sunrise Movement, Orange Residents Against Pilgrim Pipelines, Mothers Out Front and Sane Energy Project.
After marching from City Hall to Maloney’s office, the activists delivered over 500 in-district petitions urging him to oppose the plant, and a recent Food & Water Watch report highlighting the dangers of fracking and the need to stop all fossil fuel infrastructure (The Fracking Endgame: Locked into Plastics, Pollution and Climate Chaos).