URGING HIM TO PULL THE PLUG ON THE CPV VALLEY ENERGY PROJECT
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New York City: The Illuminators projected a protest message to Governor Cuomo upon the Harvard Club in Manhattan on Thursday night during his fundraising event there, on behalf of frontline communities impacted by a growing number of fracked-gas infrastructure projects in NY such as pipelines and power plants, (Pictures attached). The message urged the Governor to stop a controversial gas power plant project in Orange County that has received all state approvals and started construction despite intense local opposition. The CPV Valley project is a new 650 MW combined cycle gas plant that would take Marcellus shale fracked gas from the Millennium Pipeline, through the equally controversial Minisink Compressor station, and convert it to power for the wholesale energy market in NY. The project is being built by Maryland based Competitive Power Ventures. According to Common Cause, the company made sizable donations to Governor Cuomo throughout the project’s approval process.
Protect Orange County, a group representing the New York communities impacted by the project, protested at the fundraiser earlier in the evening wearing cow masks, calling themselves “The Angry Cows”. A statement issued by the group said“ As we celebrate the Governor’s decision to reject the Port Ambrose LNG project we urge him to be consistent and also reject the CPV plant, along with several pipeline projects his DEC has jurisdiction over. All of us need equal environmental protection. Why is Orange County being sacrificed?” Protestors say they dressed as cows to represent all the dairy farms that would be impacted by the project, which would release 2.1 million tons of green house gases into the atmosphere annually along with many toxic chemicals. They say that it would not only risk the health and safety of local residents, but also contaminate the many dairy farms surrounding the project site, which is in a designated class two agricultural district and critical environmental area.
Although the protest planned for Governor Cuomo’s fundraiser at the Harvard Club became a celebration rally after the Governor’s announcement of the veto, the protestors were still there to remind the Governor that much more needs to be done to extend the environmental, health, and safety protections (discussed in his earlier press statement) to all New Yorkers. Protestor Pina Flores, said “I think its incoherent for the Governor to have approved the CPV Valley project, while he claims to understand that fracking is harmful. Is he saying it’s ok to frack our neighbors in PA, or the New Yorkers living near the infrastructure?” Frontline community supporters say they will continue to protest the Governor until he rescinds the state permits for several fracked gas projects that are being developed in New York.