By Peter Bardaglio, Senior Fellow, Second Nature
Welcome to the April – May 2012 issue of the TCCPI Newsletter, an electronic update from the Tompkins County Climate Protection Initiative (TCCPI).
NY Students Rally in Albany for a Clean Energy Economy
Young people from around New York state headed to the Capitol at the end of April to call on Governor Andrew Cuomo to ban hydraulic fracturing for natural gas and lead the state toward a clean energy economy.
The Green Umbrella, a network of high school and college students fighting climate change, held a conference in Albany over the weekend of April 27-29. Speakers at Power Shift NY included Bill McKibben, Josh Fox, Sandra Steingraber, and Dominic Frongillo.
On Monday morning, the students gathered on the banks of the Hudson River at Albany’s Corning Preserve and then marched to the Capitol. Along the way, they engaged in some attention-grabbing street theater, including a mock “wedding” between gas companies and politicians.
Hundreds of college students from more than 25 campuses across New York participated in the march through downtown Albany up to the Capitol. The group delivered a petition to the Governor’s office with more than 20,000 signatures calling for Cuomo to prohibit fracking in the state.
“We’re here in Albany to let Governor Cuomo know loud and clear that if he wants to be a leader for the youth vote and for for environmental communities then he needs to take a stand and ban fracking,” said Laura Smith, a student at Vassar College.
K.C. Alvey, assistant coordinator of TCCPI and a recent graduate of Cornell University, and Reed Steberger, a member of the coalition’s steering committee and Cornell senior, played key roles in organizing the conference and rally. “Hydrofracking just results in boom and bust economies and this is not the solution we want for New York,” said Alvey. “We want thriving, just, and sustainable communities.”
TCCPI and Community Energy Join Hands to “Catch the Wind”
Community Energy and TCCPI announced earlier this month that they will be partnering to promote NYSEG’s “Catch the Wind” clean energy option. Community Energy will make a $25 donation to TCCPI for every TCCPI friend or member who signs up for “Catch the Wind.”
Purchasing wind energy contributes to the growth of the market for renewable energy in New York and directly benefits the environment by reducing the need for fossil-fuel generation in the state.
The sale of wind energy in 2011 at NYSEG and RG&E, subsidiaries of Iberdrola USA, led to the reduction of approximately 51 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions. That is the equivalent of removing approximately 4,500 passenger vehicles from the road or the carbon sequestered by approximately 4,900 acres of trees. Renewable energy sources also help reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides.
In 2011, NYSEG customers bought nearly 55 million kilowatt-hours (kwh) of clean, renewable electricity – enough to power nearly 7,000 typical homes for a year – through the “Catch the Wind” program. All of the wind energy purchased by NYSEG on behalf of its customers in 2011 was generated in New York.
NYSEG’s wind energy program began in August 2002. The program is offered in partnership with Community Energy Inc., a leading developer and marketer of renewable energy. NYSEG customers can learn more about the company’s “Catch the Wind” program and sign up as a friend of TCCPI at communityenergyinc.com/tccpi.