Dec 162016
 

Dear neighbors, friends, and allies,

With the possibility of significantly bad weather tomorrow, those of us

who usually make sure there are signs at the picket site (3300 Route 6,

Middletown NY) from 11-noon on saturdays cannot guarantee that we will be

there, though if we can we certainly will.

The picket is the people’s picket and people decide differently from each

other, so if you decide to go, we just want you to be warned to bring your

own sign in case we can’t get there. We ask that in upcoming weeks

throughout the cold months people create, bring, take away, and bring back

their own signs. We will continue to provide extra signs — when we can!

— for new people who come. But please, when you come bring a sign, and

when you leave take it with you. Thank you….

This is surely not a time when any of us want to miss a single opportunity

to stand up and speak out loudly and clearly against the devastation of

the earth and of our neighborhoods by the same companies that have —

under various names — been pillaging the earth and the working people’s

energy since the industrial revolution began. These companies have always

been called some version of the “energy” companies. It’s coal, it’s oil,

it’s methane, it’s fracked methane, it’s fracked oil. Now, it seems like

these companies are being given the keys to the Earth’s resources — and

the harbingers in our own backyards are things like CPV, LegoLand, AIM,

the Pilgrim Pipeline, and other venues for unearthing and transporting

fossil fuels. In being transported and mined, these fuels hurt those they

come in contact with: this should warn us it’s not a good plan.

But nevertheless this is not a moment to risk your safety unnecessarily

(we need us all!), so personally we urge you to stay safe tomorrow.

Good news: our constant picketer and resident

watcher-of-daily-activites-at-the-power-plant LINDA SAEGER has a letter to

the editor in the Times Herald Record: see this link —

http://www.recordonline.com/opinion/20161213/letter-in-pipeline-scheme-money-trumps-safety

Attached is a brief clip from last week’s picket — at which over 70

people came for protest and prayer.

We will stop this plant because we are all fire-fighters now,

Naomi

TriStates Unite for Safe Energy

tristatesunite.org

Twitter @TriStatesUnite

Dec 102016
 

Dear neighbors, friends and allies,

On Friday night Kim Fraczek from Sane energy sent out the email below.

Note that since then, the bail was reduced to $5000 for each person —

bail money was raised and the defenders are out of prison. THE MOST RECENT

COMMUNICATION IS IMPORTANT as it calls for people to be there Monday

Morning! It says–

“All 12 Water defenders are out and in warm beds as of 5:11am. Please

attend court on

Monday at 9am at 1 Heady St. in Cortlandt Manor, NY to observe and just be a

supportive face in the crowd.”

Here’s the communication from Friday night:

“12 water protectors arrested stopping Spectra’s pipeline pull across the

Hudson tonight.  Spectra commenced destruction after the 12 were taken and

now is currently hammering IN the pipeline (as opposed to pulling it

through) according to video of a neighbor in Verplanck which we think

sounds like they are having problems. Please pray their problems continue.

The 12 are now being transferred to an arraignment and the District

Attorney is asking for $50,000 bail for each person.

We will keep you posted after this special nighttime arraignment, which is

going to be the same judge that just found the Montrose9 guilty.

Please, if you are in the area, meet us at the courthouse at 1 Heady St in

Cortlandt

Manor, NY.

If you are not, please keep us in your hearts.

Our attorney David Dorfman is meeting us at the courthouse. He is amazing.

We will not give up.

Love,Kim

Kim Fraczek, Co-DirectorSane Energy Project”

People, they are running a pipeline under the Hudson River. These

struggles are all one struggle. If you can get to Cortlandt Manor NY on

Monday morning, please be there to support these 12 latest brave neighbors

who are putting their bodies on the line in an attempt to stop the

SpectraAim pipeline.

Meanwhile, for a video from today’s picket at CPV where almost 70 people

gathered, visit us on FB: Tri-States Unite for Safe Energy.

Naomi

TriStates Unite for Safe Energy

Dec 092016
 

Dear friend, neighbors, and fellow fire-fighters —

Tomorrow we will be joined on the picket line by elders from the Ramapaugh

Lenape, leading a prayer ceremony for water and earth.

As Ramapaugh Lenape Chief Dwayne Perry commented at a vigil near the CPV

site in February 2015, “We are ALL Indians now”. The off-spring of the

European colonizers are now themselves being pushed off the lands that

their ancestors acquired by pushing indigenous people off THEIR lands: we

are now all in a position to understand each other in far more depth

across culture, class, geography and political affiliation. We will join

together tomorrow to acknowledge the inter-connections of all the

struggles to save the earth and the living creatures on it from

destruction — starting right here, right now, around the country and the

world.

Start right here, tomorrow (Saturday December 10th), at 3300 Route 6,

Middletown NY, 11-noon.

Additionally, please note that a lawsuit was filed today by Michael

Sussman and Concerned Citizens 4 Orange County in an effort to prevent the

“development” (destruction) of precious and beautiful land and waters in

Goshen to construct a Legoland theme park. The fight against outrageously

large, unthinkably gluttonous theme parks and the fight against toxic and

terrify gas and oil infrastructure projects have the same goal: people,

not profits, must guide public policy.

We will keep the fossil fuels in the ground and the mega-developers out of

our region!

Naomi

TriStates Unite for Safe Energy

Twitter: @TriStatesUnite

FB: Tri-States Unite for Safe Energy

tristatesunite.org

Dec 022016
 

Dear friends, neighbors and allies,

As the announced date of eviction at Standing Rock (December 5th) draws

near, events are being held around the country and the world to show

solidarity with the thousands of brave people seeking to protect a crucial

water source by blocking the continuance of the Dakota Access Pipe Line.

Tomorrow, Saturday December 3rd, our picket line at the CPV site in

Wawayanda NY will be devoted to STANDING IN SOLIDARITY WITH STANDING ROCK.

These fights are the same fight: it’s not ok to frack gas (in PA, for

example); it’s not ok to burn fracked gas (in Wawayanda, for example);

it’s not ok to run fracked gas through dangerous pipelines (from Westtown

to Wawayanda via the Valley Lateral, for example); and it’s not ok to run

oil (also often fracked) across many hundreds of miles and crossing one of

the major rivers of this continent.

IT’S NOT OKAY; NONE OF IT IS ANYWHERE NEAR OKAY. And whatever else is

going on in the world, saying NO to something that is wrong is, quite

simply, the right thing to do.

Please join us tomorrow to send a message of solidarity to the brave souls

facing violence daily at Standing Rock; they are on the front lines of the

battle that is our battle, too. Please bring signs if you can that say

“Standing With Standing Rock” or “No DAPL” or similar messages.

We meet from 11-noon at 3300 Route 6, Middletown, NY.

For more information on supporting Standing Rock, visit

https://nodaplsolidarity.org

On another note: The lawsuit seeking an injunction to halt building at the

CPV plant until a new Environmental Impact Study has been completed is

still awaiting hearing in the appellate court. Please see, below, attorney

Michael Sussman’s recently-filed motion to expedite hearing of the case.

This is the second such motion he has filed.

And join us tomorrow! Let’s halt construction before they fill the diesel

and ammonia tanks.

We are all firefighters now,

Naomi

TriStates Unite for Safe Energy

tristatesunite.org

AFFIRMATION OF MICHAEL H. SUSSMAN

     1.  I am lead counsel for plaintiffs/appellants.  I make this

Affirmation on information known to me to be true.

     2.  This matter has been fully submitted for eight months.

     3.  On one prior occasion, I moved unsuccessfully to expedite

consideration of this appeal.  Respondents opposed that application.

    4.  Work on constructing the CPV power plant has continued in

Wawayanda, New York.  In the meantime, earlier this week, the United

States Attorney for the Southern District of New York has indicted

respondent CPV’s Senior Vice President for External Affairs for

bribery and public corruption relating to this very project.  Exhibit

1 hereto is the Complaint filed with the Court and the accompanying

narrative which enumerates the bribery related to this very site

engaged in by the respondent in this case; Exhibit 2 is the Indictment

filed on November 22, 2016.

        5.  Respondent filed for site plan approval for a massive power

plant in Orange County in or about 2009.  It did not fully

complete SEQR review before the Town Planning Board approved it.

In early 2015, having not yet commenced construction, respondent

submitted a new application for site plan approval, making changes

to the approved site plan.  Petitioners and  hundreds of others

from the Town and region asked the Town Planning Board to require

the respondent to prepare a Supplemental Environmental Impact

Statement [SEIS], arguing, inter alia, that in 2013, when the

Board approved the first site plan, Governor Cuomo had not

promulgated the current ban on fracking in New York, that this

plant depended on fracked natural gas, that production,

distribution and use of fracked natural gas caused dangerous

externalities which respondent had never assessed as part of its

FEIS and that inducing hydro-fracking in our neighboring state,

Pennsylvania, was contrary to our own state’s ban on this

process, announced in December 2014.

6.  Notwithstanding these and other arguments, the Town Planning Board

did not require an SEIS and Supreme Court dismissed the underlying

Article 78 proceeding which timely challenged this decision.  This Court

should halt construction of this project until an SEIS is completed by an

independent party, restoring some degree of public confidence in a

project which is plainly compromised by the corruption which lies at its

heart.  The public does not know what other corrupt practices the company

engaged in while gaining a myriad of approvals and there has bene no

publicly announced review of its permits to provide any degree of

assurance.

              WHEREFORE, this Court should expedite the appeal and, in

deciding the appeal, should enter an Order requiring the

DEIS to be completed before further work is done on this

project.

Jun 232016
 

Request for audience letter June 22 2016

The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo Governor of New York State
NYS State Capitol Building Albany, NY 12224

NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman Office of the Attorney General
The Capitol
Albany, NY 12224-0341

Gentlemen:

As you are the state’s highest elected officials, we write requesting an audience. Citizens created our organization to stop an unneeded and environmentally destructive power plant now under construction in the Town of Wawayanda by Competitive Power Ventures (CPV). For over a year, we have supported demonstrations and lawsuits aimed at both dramatizing the reasons we oppose the plant, and at gaining legal redress. In recent weeks, we have become increasingly concerned that the process which has allowed the project to go forward may have been been tainted by corruption and pre-judgment. We explain some of the bases for our concerns below:

1. Public revelations have exposed monetary improprieties in CPV’s chief lobbyist’s relation to the Governor’s closest aide. Such actions do not occur without a desired return. We understand that federal and state investigations continue into this chain of events; we strongly believe that the project’s state approvals should therefore be suspended and re-reviewed in light of the plain appearance of corruption. If the approval process was corrupted, CPV should not be permitted to benefit.

2. In April 2015 the Town of Wawayanda refused to require CPV to conduct a SEIS after the company sought approval for an amended
site plan. We strongly advocated for an updated review: The company had received conditional environmental approvals six years earlier, and in the intervening years an expansive scientific literature has demonstrated the health and environmental risks of fracking. Operation of the CPV plant would induce fracking by its dependence on fracked gas. During this same period, the state has banned fracking. We felt that these factors, combined with the newfound presence of endangered species at and adjacent to the development site, warranted new environmental reviews under the SEQRA. The town Planning Board scoffed at the public, shut down public discussion in a rude manner and requested that CPV lawyers respond to the public comments made in April

June 22nd, 2016 Slate Hill, NY

2015. CPV told the Planning Board that the citizens’ comments were largely irrelevant and the Planning Board then approved the amended site plan. When citizens challenged this approval in court, CPV abandoned its amended site plan and claimed to revert to its prior plan — though the town zoning ordinance forbids such reversions. The local court refused to intervene, allowing the project to proceed.

3. There is a fundamental incongruity inherent in a state government banning fracking as dangerous to our health and environment and then allowing the construction of a huge fracking-dependent plant (in bucolic Orange County, immediately abutting a low-income voting district). Not only is the production of fracked gas dangerous, but so is its transportation/distribution and use. We believe it likely that this incongruity can be explained by a corrupt process – because if corruption did not lead to this, then it displays a lack of simple logic which we trust is beneath the abilities of our lawmakers.

To explore these issues we want to meet with each of you. Mr. Governor, we need to understand your statement that the CPV Valley Energy Project only has conditional state approvals; apprised of the potential corruption of the approval process, we believe you should withdraw all state approvals pending re-review. Mr. Attorney General, we need to discuss what your office can do to actually bring justice in our courts to people in our county; we also need to understand the scope of your investigation and to explain to you why local officials, too, need to be made the subject of investigation.

Kindly advise us of dates when we can travel to Albany and meet with you. Sincerely,

TriStates Unite for Safe Energy
PO BOX 432
Slate Hill, NY 10973 mail@tristatesunite.org (Chairs: Tom Denny and Naomi Miller)

Please contact:
Michael Sussman, Esq., sussman1@frontiernet.net Tracy Malloy-Curtis, Esq., tracymalloy.curtis@gmail.com

Jun 232016
 

Tristates Unite for Safe Energy Holds Press Conference June 22 –

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TriStates Unite for Safe Energy Holds Press Conference to Demand State Government Action and Meeting with Governor re CPV Power Plant

Slate Hill, NY, June 22, 2016
Contact: Tom Denny – 845-551-7130/ Naomi Miller – 845-342-5224

mail@tristatesunite.org

On Wednesday, June 22, Tristates Unite for Safe Energy held a press conference in Goshen to demand state and local action to halt the state-wide build-out of “natural” gas power plants and the pipelines that supply them, in particular the CPV plant currently under construction in Wawayanda, Orange County. The group points to the State’s finding –under Governor Cuomo’s leadership– that the effects of fracking and fracked gas are injurious to the health of the public, a finding that was the basis for a moratorium on fracking in NY the Governor imposed in 2014.

Members of TriStates Unite issued a letter to Governor Cuomo and state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, requesting a meeting to seek clarification of the Governor’s recent statement that the CPV Valley Energy Project only has conditional state approvals. Highlighting the potential corruption of the approval process, TriStates also requested that the Governor immediately withdraw all state approvals pending re-review of the project.

TriStates Unite for Safe Energy is responding to accelerated building at the CPV power plant in Wawayanda, NY. Since the scandal broke over high-level corruption in the state, the rate of construction of this 650 MGW plant has accelerated. One of the Governor’s close confidants, Joe Percoco, and his wife are implicated in the favors-for-permits scandal and federal investigation that allegedly includes CPV.

“Every one of our elected officials has been mute about this imminent health and safety disaster,” according to Naomi Miller, co-chair of TriStates Unite for Safe Energy. “We need to know more — including about the legality and status of permits already issued to CPV.” Co- chair Tom Denny says, “Orange County Executive Stephen Neuhaus could stop this plant tomorrow as an imminent threat to health and safety,” adding that “this is the time for our elected officials to study the science of the negative impact a fracked gas power plant will have on the region and the people they serve. We are counting on them to be brave and forward thinking leaders in the present energy planning, not cowards.”

Studies have shown that the infrastructure does not and cannot adequately contain the methane and other toxic elements that are part and parcel of “natural” gas. “Calling it natural gas is misleading,” says Michael Sussman, legal counsel on two current cases involving CPV. “That sounds benign, but is anything but. The fracking process adds scores of toxic chemicals to the methane that is regularly released into the atmosphere by these facilities.”

Studies of the effects of exposure to particulate matter from fracked gas emissions show a direct correlation to autism in children, as well as links to nosebleeds, severe headaches, pulmonary illness and other serious health problems. Effects are estimated to spread in a 50- mile radius from power plants like the CPV Valley Energy Center.

May 082016
 

Alternative energy and why it matters

by Michael Sussman

 

The alternative energy movement is very complex. at once, in new york, we have to stop the expansion of a hydro-fracked based infrastructure, comprised of power plants, compressor stations, pipelines, which will continue to adversely dominate energy production and distribution for several generations. on the otherm. we must create a climate which increases [radically] the production and distribution of energy from alternative sources. This must be done with a cognizance of the impact of each individual decision on the entire grid. in doing this, we should apply the concept of generalizability — what is acceptable here is likely going to be acceptable in other places and if our choices are counter-planetary, then we can hardly criticize others’ equally regressive choices. these issues are made more difficult because of several conjoining factors: first, large corporations have control over the resources needed to expand energy supply and this is not an arena in which people without huge economic power can easily play; second, the science is not easily understood and can be manipulated by those whose primary motive is self-interest; third, people take energy for granted and are primarily concerned about the price they have to pay to access basic energy needs and fourth government has always been primarily aligned with monied interest, most particularly in the energy industry, which is, understandably seen as a component of national security.

into this context comes the fight against CPV, a power plant now being built in the Town of Wawayanda, right near the City of Middletown. As proposed, the plaint is dependent on fracked natural gas. CPV is sponsored by international monied interests who want to foster greater dependence on fracked natural gas, a policy supported by our current president.

On the other hand, NYS has banned fracking because of its injurious environmental and health effects. Yet, to date, the same Governor who took that progressive action [under substantial political pressure] has failed to generalize the decision to deny approvals to expansion of the fracking dependent infrastructure. To his credit, he has blocked several pipelines which were intended to be part of that infrastructure, but the CPV plant is currently being built.

CPV’s construction and operation will inherently induce more fracking in Pennsylvania and other states. Our state has determined that this is contrary to the public interest, and consistently, should oppose any new plants which rely on fracking. Applying this principle, CPV should be disallowed.

Other factors need consideration: during the last 18 months, the speaker of the NYS Assembly and the leader of the NY State Senate have been convicted of influence peddling. To put it simply, make sizable contributions to me and i will get legislative preference for you….In Silver’s case, he was on the salary of a law firm and engineered a regime of legislation favorable to its interests. In Skelos’ case, his son gained employment from several interested companies.

Again, enter CPV: preliminary reports have CPV lobbyists employing the wife of Cuomo’s Chief of Staff and funneling other monies to him. The structure seems very similar to that which doomed Silver and Skelos. Obviously, state approvals were critical for CPV. A friend who has studied this quite intensely advised me on Friday that the state review of the CPV project was cursory when compared with other rejected projects.

Local politicians have been prosecuted in NY for such actions as accepting bids for projects at lower than standard rates and saving their communities money. Why? These bids were seen as favors intended to advance the political careers of these elected officials.

Well, consider CPV’s “marketing” strategy: it promises communities “gifts” in exchange for greasing the approval process. Is this not a similar form of corruption, one intended to make approvals dependent less on scrutiny of the project than on currying favor with elected officials and playing Santa Claus to their towns? Is this not a form of bribery which distracts from the real issue – whether the proposed project is or is not in the public interest? Can we not see that the more “bribes” are offered the less likely is the project to really benefit the public interest?

I have involved myself in the anti-CPV struggle because we have to stop, not expand, production processes which threaten the planet and re-direct ourselves to energy sources which are renewable. In February 2016, our congressman told us at a meeting that he supports CPV because it is a “bridge” – he is wrong – a 30-40 year bridge to hell is what this project is…

Like the Congressman, our county elected officials have done NOTHING to protect residents from the impacts predictably deriving from CPV – they are either ignorant, bought off or cowardly.

‪I am urging each of you to study these issues, form your own conclusions and act – for your sake, for the planet’s sake and for the sake of our children. We gather every Saturday morning at the site – 11 AM, 3300 Route 6 in Wawayanda. We need your help to succeed and stop this plant.