New Yorkers Disrupt Power Plant’s Breaking-Ground Ceremony

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Above Photo: From Erik McGregor

A massive methane emitting fracked gas power plant breaks ground despite Governor Cuomo’s recent announcement of New York State’s Methane Reduction Plan

Dover, NY – The controversial Cricket Valley Gas-Fired Power Plant’s golden-shovel ceremony was disrupted today by a large, golden bell rung by NY voters and local farmers expressing an alarm-bell for regional waters and soil, nearby school children that will breath toxic emissions, decline in quality, local jobs and economy, and a gigantic methane producer at the height of a global climate crisis.

Cricket Valley, an 1,100MW power plant not only locks New York into a future of dirty fuels via the plant’s connection to the Dominion Pipeline expansion, but also slates the connected Iroquois Pipeline for flow reversal expansion to export the gas to foreign markets via Canada putting the health and safety risk on the local community for private profit.

Although Governor Cuomo has made bold statements about being a climate leader, he sets policy to a different tune. He recently issued a Methane Reduction Plan shortly following his 2017 State of the State address where he said “New York must double down by investing in the fight against dirty fossil fuels and fracked gas from neighboring states.” He further took a stand against President Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord and pledged climate action with governors across the U.S. “If Washington won’t act, New Yorkers will,” he wrote on Twitter. “We’ve set bold renewable energy goals and will invest in a sustainable future.”

Cuomo’s programs like Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) aimed to revamp New York’s electric grid with clean and affordable energy to all New Yorkers, is counter to the reality of the massive buildout of fracked gas infrastructure we see in New York State. He is even going as far as issue Request for Proposals (RFP’s) this July to power Empire State Plaza in Albany with fracked gas disguised as a clean energy microgrid.

Local resident Cindy Beach states, “My entire childhood was spent here. It was very rural and many farms then. The building of this infrastructure is very disturbing to me especially for the several children’s schools near this plant. Wingdale Elementary School, 2.5 miles from Cricket Valley, Dover Elementary School 4.5 miles, Dover Middle School 0.9 miles, and Dover High School 0.9 miles from the plant. Where does the school administration stand on the safety of our children? Are they aware of the health consequences of gas infrastructure?”

Local farmer and land-owner in Amenia, NY, Devin Kyle Irby states, “Like many who have bought farms in this beautiful region, we here to be part of a cleaner future. I was saddened and appalled to hear that this power plant would be part of the fracked gas nightmare. This “transition fuel” is literally destroying the water table throughout North America. Sold as clean, most of us who honor water and work for future generations know this is a ‘Transition’ to a dead planet with polluted water and air. We need to draw a line in the sand and support only solutions which are truly renewable part of a living future.”

Southern Tier resident and local organizer with Mothers Out Front, Lisa Marshall states, “On the other end of this pipeline and  power plant is my home. Dominion has shown craven disregard for the health, safety, and private property of the communities where it has sited its compressors. Their permit applications were deeply flawed and inaccurate. The technology employed does not meet the highest available standard for environmental protection. They’ve been consistently dishonest about the full impacts of this project from the start.”

A growing and powerful movement across New York State, responsible for the ban on high-volume hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, backed by science and health professionals asserts the ancillary infrastructure is preventing a full transition to an equitable, renewable economy


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  • Debby Somers

    Where were you people in 2009 when the community meetings began and hearings were held, documents were beginning to be submitted and reviewed? If you really were here you’d already know the answers to the questions posed in this article and what was done or not.

  • Thom Rip

    That’s a good question..however not forgetting that many of these type projects are pushed through rather clandestinely…if not illegally. A major point to take away from this is the constant 2 faced approach by NY’s governor and many other seemingly good “dems”.. who say the right thing, but do the bad thing…distracting…if not criminal in itself.

  • Debby Somers

    I live here, I attended, this is a Johnny Come Lately line of BS from people that do not live here and were not involved. Last I checked the first rule of reporting was to at least get your facts correct or you’ve blown your credibility, assuming it existed in the first place. The whining about all those things related to this plant already took place. The writer of the article also hasn’t answered my direct email, certainly not holding my breath on that one!

  • kevinzeese

    What is your view of this project? It sounds like you are opposed to people protesting it.

  • Debby Somers

    I don’t have a problem with it. We’ll have a lot of traffic for a while and then it’s minimal once up and running. The Iroqois gas line is already there as are the electric transmission lines. It’s a former Superfund site that was left a brownfield when SF lost its funding. The site is being cleaned and a containment pad will be built and even run-off from rain in the parking lot will be collected. CV went through every environmental question and study that the town and school asked for, some of them twice, air quality study comes to mind. My problem with the protest is that it is 8-9 years late and the people quoted in the article are one the “resident”, not a resident, didn’t grow up here, doesn’t live here now, and the “land owner” also isn’t or at least isn’t yet. Differences of opinion are great but they need to be argued with facts and not inflammatory propaganda!