Join the Environmental Justice Task Force!
Our Purpose and Vision
NY State should produce all its electrical power from clean, renewable resources of energy (wind, solar and geothermal- (and air-) sourced heat pumps) by 2030. All transportation vehicles – cars, trucks and trains – should run on either hydrogen or batteries by 2030.
No investment in new fossil fuel infrastructure
No Bakken crude oil trains (aka “Bomb trains”) in NY State and elsewhere.
Renewable Energy Projects and Information
War Abroad Supports Shale Oil Production in US and Canada
– New York State Draft Energy Plan is not a road map to a renewable energy future in New York State. The plan —
- ignores discussing global warming and climate change
- ignores discussing the serious problem methane poses to global warming;
- ignores – – in its entirety – – discussing New York State’s immense now-in-place-and-functioning renewable energy infrastructure
- ignores discussing the `frozen’ nature of New York State’s total renewable energy production
- ignores discussing the serious problems posed by hydrofracking
- ignores comparing the economics of shale gas with renewable energy
- ignores discussing the impending problems communities and workers will face as coal plants close
- ignores discussing possible funding sources for the gradual transition to renewable energy
- ignores discussing the immense wealth within New York State that could fund the transition
In short, the NYS Draft Energy Plan is a moldy old road map for the purpose of continuing on the fossil/nuclear fuel potholed – – bumpy – expensive- pathway we’re currently on.
This report from the WNY Peace Center’s Renewable Energy Task Force discusses all that is ignored by the NYS Energy Board.
Enjoy reading –and thinking–about our upcoming renewable future.
Repowering the Dunkirk Coal Plant and Cayuga Coal Plant with Renewable Energy
The fact that coal is a dangerous fossil fuel for human health and the climate coupled with the cheap natural gas is forcing coal plant operators to close their plants, or curtail energy production. New York State’s Public Service Commission held hearings on what to do with the Dunkirk Coal Plant (Dunkirk NY) and the Cayuga Coal Plant (near Lansing NY on the shores of beautiful Cayuga Lake, just north of Ithaca).Only two choices were presented by the Public Service Commission: repower with natural gas or shut down the plants and improve transmission lines into both areas. The global warming potential of methane is about 90 times that of CO2 (Howarth et al. Climatic Change 106:679-690 (2011)). Hence New York State’s Public Service Commission is seriously considering an option (methane) that would enhance the global warming.
The WNY Peace Center’s Renewable Energy Task Force offered a third alternative: repower both with renewable energy by creating two large solar parks: one at the old Seneca Army Depot (between Seneca and Cayuga Lakes) — the other at the Dunkirk Coal plant itself. Our report can be downloaded here: Green Powering the Dunkirk and Cayuga Coal Plants
Methane derived from shale or conventional sources contributes to global warming more than do coal or oil
…..both shale gas and conventional natural gas have a larger GHG [Greenhouse Gas Footprint] than do coal or oil, for any possible use of natural gas and particularly for the primary uses of residential and commercial heating. The 20-year time period is appropriate because of the urgent need to reduce methane emissions over the coming 15–35 years….Robert Howarth, May 2014 (see below)
“We have an emergency….we have a crisis” — James Hansen, Feb 20, 2013
Niagara Falls / Lewiston NY Solar Array Projects:
We need to immediately begin the transition to 100% renewable energy….
Greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4), continue to increase. For the first time in our 8,000 year human history — on Thursday May 9, 2013 at 8 PM (Eastern Standard Time) — the atmospheric CO2 level reached a landmark concentration of 400 parts per million1. Apart from a seasonal variation (minimum around October, ever-increasing maximums around May of each year), the increase shows no sign of abatement, and is due mostly to the burning of fossil fuels to generate electricity.You can view the current CO2 level (in parts per million) here: Current Atmospheric CO2 Level
The increasing greenhouse gas level is causing unpredictable changes in climate over the entire Earth: sea levels are rising endangering continued human habitation in coastal areas and islands; the oceans’ reefs are disintegrating due to acidification; the ocean’s temperature is increasing which will increase the frequency and severity of storms (superstorms); and the average temperature is rising, diminishing glaciers and sea ice, causing the slow rise in sea level.
All this adds up to one thing: long established food growing areas may loose that ability, while other areas may gain it — or not.
If the burning of fossil fuels is not soon attenuated, some of these climatological changes will likely cause war between those who continue to “have” and the newly “have-nots”, within the same jurisdiction (i.e.country or state), between countries, or both…
For example, the origins of the Syrian Civil War can be traced to an extended Syrian drought between 2006 and 2010. In that time, Syria lost 80% of its cattle. As a result of the loss of farming, 1.5 million Syrians migrated to Syrian cities — the largest internal migration in human history. These climate refugees needed new water wells to quench the thirst but permits to dig were given out in a sectarian manner. Wells were dug anyway. NPR broadcast a segment on the climatic origins of the Syrian Civil War on Sunday, September 8, 2013. You can listen here Also see The Role of Drought and Climate Change in the Syrian Uprising: Untangling the Triggers of the Revolution, by Francesca De Châtel, January 27, 2014
To abate the increasing greenhouse gas levels, we need to stop burning fossil fuels. The technology is available to do this through wind, solar and geothermal sources of renewable energy.
As part of this needed world-wide effort to transition to sources of renewable energy, the WNY Peace Center proposes gigantic solar arrays at the following locations: Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station in Niagara Falls NY, the Lewiston Pump Storage Reservoir in Lewiston NY, Dunkirk Coal Plant, Dunkirk, NY (now closed), Coal Power Plant at Lansing NY (operating), and the former Seneca Army Depot .
Slides of the most recent version of the proposal, dated October 20, 2013 are here: Niagara Falls/Lewiston NY Gigantic Solar Array Project
Nick Mottern – Knowdrones.org – interviews Charley Bowman about the Proposed Solar Farms in Niagara County
On April 26, 2013, as part of his wonderful “Drones and Global Conflict Education Series — Nick Mottern interviewed (now) Former Interim Executive Director Charley Bowman about the Peace Center’s plans for two solar farms in Niagara County: one at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station and the second on top of the Lewiston Pump Storage Reservoir. The interview can be seen here here
New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) Annual Reports – “Gold Book”
Older Versions of NFARS/Lewiston Solar Farms Proposal
Some slides from an older version of the proposal, dated April 25, 2013, are here: Niagara Falls/Lewiston NY Gigantic Solar Array ProjectAn older version, dated October 4, 2012, is posted here: Niagara Falls/Lewiston NY Gigantic Solar Array Project
1. Heat-Trapping Gas Passes Milestone, Raising Fears, By Justin Gillis, New York Times, May 10, 2013.