August 20, 2018
The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo,
Governor of New York State
New York State Capitol Building
Albany, New York 12224
Dear Governor Cuomo,
We, the undersigned faith leaders, are devoted to easing the suffering of the most vulnerable in our society and are writing you today to urgently protect New York State and all its residents. We are asking you to halt any approval of the many fossil fuel infrastructure projects around the state and transition to 100% renewable energy.
We're glad that the risk assessment summary of the AIM pipeline has been released, which corroborated the alarming findings and statements of the nuclear, pipeline and disaster preparedness experts about the catastrophic risks posed to millions of New Yorkers. Now, in view of those risks and with utmost urgency, we call upon you to assert the power of your office to shut down the gas at the Indian Point nuclear power plant.
As faith leaders, we share your concern for the well being of your constituents. We are thankful that you banned high volume hydraulic fracturing (HVHF) in New York State. However, millions of people around the world are experiencing heat waves, drought conditions, fires and flooding. New York State’s continued dependence on fossil fuels accelerates our climate problems, pollutes our air, water and food and harms our children’s health. How can we protect our families, friends and neighbors before it’s too late?
In Westchester County, Enbridge/Spectra's Algonquin and newly installed AIM high pressure natural gas transmission pipelines are located under and adjacent to the Indian Point nuclear power plant. Though Indian Point is projected to close by 2021, the disastrous risks posed by a potential pipeline explosion remain due to the 1,500 tons of radioactive spent fuel rods stored indefinitely on-site. The huge fireball from such an explosion would release more radioactivity than Fukushima, threatening more than 20 million people who live within the 50-mile blast radius of the plant in the New York tri-state area. It is for these reasons we implore you to do everything in your power to shut down the gas at Indian Point.
Our faith has taught us to act not only for ourselves, but also for others. United in our concern for the safety of each person and for the vitality of Creation, we are motivated by the wisdom of our faiths and sound science. Science affirms what our sacred texts have always taught us: the interconnectedness of human life with our eco-system and the importance of that relationship. Continuing to support and burn fossil fuels will drive us deeper into climate chaos. Renewable energy is readily available now with solutions that offer real energy independence, strong job growth, stable energy costs, reduction of pollution and greenhouse gases, and protection of public health. We must vigorously pursue these solutions without further delay.
Governor Cuomo, it is time for a just and swift transition to 100% renewable energy. We urge you to shut down the gas at Indian Point and to make New York State the national leader in energy efficiency, conservation measures and renewable energy: a leading example for our nation! We trust and prayerfully support you to be a true climate leader.