Gordian Raacke of Renewable Energy Long Island speaks at the Rally for Renewables on October 30, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 30, 2014
Long Island Assembly Members, Community, Conservation Leaders Call on Gov. Cuomo, LIPA to Commit to Offshore Wind
Assembly Delegation letter & 20,000 petitions signatures presented at rally
Uniondale – Today, Assemblyman Englebright joined dozens of community leaders at a rally outside LIPA headquarters calling on Governor Cuomo and LIPA to commit to offshore wind power this year. The Assemblyman presented LIPA with a letter of from the Long Island delegation that highlights the tremendous economic opportunity that would come with building wind off Long Island’s coasts.
In addition to the letter, conservation groups presented LIPA and the Department of Public Service with more than 20,000 petition signatures. The groups urged LIPA to follow through on their commitment to invest in 280MW of new renewable energy this year by choosing an offshore wind project 30 miles off the coast of Montauk.
The innovative project would create jobs, grow the economy and produce enough clean, reliable electricity to power 150,000 homes. It could also help meet the island’s peak power demand without building additional, dirty fossil fuel plants.
This was the final LIPA Board of Trustees meeting before they are set to decide on the renewable energy “Request for Proposal”. The process is part of Governor Cuomo’s LIPA reorganization legislation in which he promised Long Islanders 400MW of new renewable energy in response to overwhelming demand for more clean power. Both LIPA and PSEG-LI have committed to follow through on the Governor’s promise this year.
The Assembly letter is the just latest in a growing list of supporters calling on Governor Cuomo and LIPA to bring offshore wind to New York. Other recent supporters include: Senators Kenneth Lavalle and Phil Boyle, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, Town of Brookhaven Supervisor Edward Romaine, the Long Island Federation of Labor, Association for a Better Long Island, Concerned Citizens for Montauk, the North Fork Environmental Council and a number of local, state and national environmental and conservation organizations.
Supporters had this to say about the urgent need for Governor Cuomo and LIPA to commit to job-creating offshore wind:
Assemblyman Steve Englebright, 4th Assembly District:
“Offshore of our Long Island coast, the wind is strong and constant. Our region is blessed with this high wind resource that we would be wise to harness as we transform our energy economy. Committing to power Long Island with offshore wind will put us on a path to meet New York State’s renewable and energy efficiency goals, including reaching the 50% carbon emission reduction by 2030 and the 80% reduction by 2050. Building offshore wind power generation will also power our regional economy and position Long Island to serve as a major regional hub for the U.S. offshore wind industry in the long term. Now is the time to turn not burn.”
Larry Cantwell, Supervisor of the Town of East Hampton:
“New York has a unique opportunity to support renewable energy sources such as the Long Island offshore wind project, save ratepayers money, and reduce our carbon emissions. The only question is do the decision makers have the courage to do it?”
Anna Throne-Holst, Southampton Town Supervisor:
“New York State should be making every effort to transition to cost-effective renewable energy sources, and moving away from installations that rely on fossil fuels.”
Lisa Tyson, Director, Long Island Progressive Coalition:
"This year, Governor Cuomo and LIPA have the opportunity to launch New York's first offshore wind farm. Investing in wind this year will put Long Island at the forefront of an industry that will not only deliver good union jobs to New York but will protect vulnerable frontline communities across Long Island from the threat of climate disruption."
William Toedter, President, North Fork Environmental Council:
“Long Island needs to be relieved of the burdens of higher electric costs and higher levels of air pollution from fossil fuel-driven peaker plants. We need a commitment to renewable energy sources today to meet tomorrow's energy needs. Winds of change towards renewables mean a breath of fresh air and a better future for all Long Islanders.”
Eric Alexander, Director, Vision Long Island:
“There are clearly many questions concerning Long Island’s energy future and a focus on renewables and energy efficiency is needed. We do know that this offshore wind project provides alternative energy, is economically viable and has broad community support. We encourage LIPA to move forward with approvals without delay.”
Stephan Edel, Policy and Campaign Analyst at the Center for Working Families:
"New York is poised to lead when it comes to building a new clean energy industry, creating thousands of good union jobs, slowing climate change, and taking preventive action against any future Hurricane Sandy."
Lisa Dix, Senior New York Representative, Sierra Club
“Governor Cuomo and LIPA promised us a greater commitment to renewable energy this year. Now, we’re counting on them to follow through with an historic commitment to offshore wind power that will create jobs, grow our economy and safely and reliably power Long Island.”
Catherine Bowes, Senior Manager, National Wildlife Federation:
“People and wildlife alike need clean energy. We urge Governor Cuomo and the LIPA Board to utilize this opportunity to bring transformational offshore wind power online for New York. Harnessing our unrivaled offshore wind resource will create jobs, protect ratepayers from volatile fossil fuel prices, improve local air and water quality, and help protect coastal communities and fragile wildlife habitat from the dangerous impacts of global warming.”
Aileen Sheil, Queens College student and Chair of NYPIRG's Board of Directors:
"As students, we represent a generation that will be directly impacted by the worst consequences of climate change. New York cannot afford to wait on harnessing utility-scale clean, renewable energy solutions like offshore wind."
Maureen Dolan Murphy, Executive Programs Manager, Citizens Campaign for the Environment:
“Long Island is standing strong and saying YES to Clean Energy, YES to Renewables and YES to Offshore wind. Today, we submitted over 2,000 Long Island signatures demanding renewables now. Over 1000 letters have gone to Governor Cuomo and the LIPA Chairman urging NY to move forward with large offshore wind. The time is now. No more waiting, no more delays. We are calling on Governor Cuomo and the LIPA Board to seize this historic opportunity to finally make offshore wind a reality for Long Island.”
Gordian Raacke, executive director of Renewable Energy Long Island:
“When PSEG took over LIPA, Governor Cuomo and the Legislature assured Long Islanders that plans for 400 MW of renewable power projects already under consideration would not be abandoned. We now call on the Governor, LIPA and PSEG to deliver on that promise by selecting the full amount of offshore wind power and solar farms under the current 280 MW RFP.”
Read the Letter from the Assembly Delegation and other letters here.