Forum on the anchorages set for Oct. 18 in Rhinebeck

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Save the date.  Join Scenic Hudson Director of Public Policy Andy Bicking and Dutchess County Legislator Joel Tyner on Tuesday, October 18th at 5:30 p.m. at Rhinebeck Town Hall for a forum on the threat to our river, health, and safety posed by industry’s proposal for ten anchorage sites from Yonkers to Kingston, including 43 berths for fracking oil barges.  The meeting follows previous forums organized by Tyner in Rhinebeck and Rhinecliff.  There’s more on Facebook here.

Duchess County Legislators Micki Strawinski and Joel Tyner have submitted a resolution to the County Legislature offices on Aug. 15th, but GOP leadership decided to keep off meeting agenda this year.

STOP NEWLY PROPOSED ANCHORAGES FOR FOSSIL-FUEL BARGES ON HUDSON RIVER; INSTEAD MOVE DUTCHESS COUNTY TOWARDS 100-PERCENT FOSSIL-FREE FUTURE BY 2030

WHEREAS, the Coast Guard is planning to add ten locations where commercial vessels can drop anchor on the Hudson River, and three of them are in the Rhinecliff area (Kingston Flats South, Port Ewen, and Big Rock Point) ; the vessels that anchor in this area are often returning to Albany to pick up crude oil; a leak would have devastating effects on the environment and local economy; even as it is, the barges at anchorage are a serious annoyance; for safety, the barges are required to maintain bright lights all night long, so they cause visual pollution, and they run generators 24-7, causing noise pollution as well; they continue to be a constant disturbance to those who live along the river, as all too often the law is not enforced banning them currently, and

WHEREAS, Riverkeeper Captain John Lipscomb recently challenged an industry representative publicly to actually name even just one specific instance where there were “safety concerns” because of a lack of Coast-Guard-approved anchorages for frack oil barges in the Hudson River, and that industry representative failed to name one instance where there actually was a “safety concern,” and

WHEREAS, in 2011, oil terminals in the Port of Albany (operated by Global Partners and Buckeye Partners) were unfortunately approved for expansion without any public input formally requested or allowed; since 2012 there has been an exponential increase in frack oil barges on the Hudson River, and recently the ban was removed on exporting oil to other countries as well; these events, together with the proposed new anchorages on our river, could well turn our river into a virtual parking lot for industrial pollution, and

WHEREAS, this threat to our drinking water and environment is quite real; in December 2012, an oil tanker named the Stena Primorsk ran aground about 6 miles from the Port of Albany; the ship was carrying 12 million gallons of crude oil– the same amount spilled by the Exxon Valdez; the ship’s outer hull was breached; luckily a second hull prevented a spill that would have devastated the area, and

WHEREAS, the Sierra Club just launched its Ready for 100 campaign to showcase ten municipalities across the United States that have pledged to be 100-percent fossil-fuel free over the next two decades, recognizing the leadership of GOP San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, East Hampton (NY), Grand Rapids, Burlington, San Francisco, San Jose, Aspen, Greenburg, Kansas, Georgetown, Texas, Rochester, Minnesota, and many others; the Sierra Club is now challenging 100 counties, cities, towns, and villages across our country to do the same, and

WHEREAS, converting all of New York state’s energy sources from natural gas, coal and fossil fuel to wind, water and sunlight by 2030 will stabilize electricity prices, reduce power demand by about 37 percent and create thousands of permanent jobs, suggested a March 12, 2013 report in the journal Energy Policy, and as noted in the New York State Assembly New York State budget proposed this spring, and

WHEREAS, the report, “Examining the Feasibility of Converting New York State’s All-Purpose Energy Infrastructure to One Using Wind, Water and Sunlight,” is the first-ever, comprehensive plan for an individual state – New York – that provides 100 percent of its all-purpose energy from wind, water and sunlight, and

WHEREAS, during the construction phases, this energy plan would generate 4.5 million jobs for New York; after construction, the plan suggests 58,000 permanent jobs would be created; an additional land footprint needed for wind, water and sunlight devices would be less than 1 percent of New York’s land area, and

WHEREAS, the plan effectively pays for the new energy generation infrastructure over 15 years solely by the reduction in air pollution costs to the state and global warming costs to the U.S. from state emissions; annual electricity sales reduce the payback time to about 10 years; the current fossil-fuel infrastructure does not provide the air quality benefits to New York, and

WHEREAS, it also calculates the number of energy devices, land and ocean areas, jobs and policies needed for such an infrastructure; Mark Jacobson of Stanford University is the lead author, and Anthony Ingraffea and Robert Howarth, Cornell professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, are co-authors, and

WHEREAS, New York state has the opportunity to lead the nation and the world toward what we all know must be the energy path of the 21st century; the only questions have been, how long will it take to get to renewables, and how much will they cost; this report shows it can be done quickly and at a net economic benefit to the state, and

WHEREAS, New York state’s landscape with such a conversion will have a 2030 power demand met by 4,020 onshore 5-megawatt wind turbines, 12,770 off-shore 5-megawatt wind turbines, 387 100-megawatt concentrated solar plants, 828 50-megawatt photovoltaic power plants, 5 million 5-kilowatt residential rooftop, photovoltaic systems, 500,000 100-kilowatt commercial/government rooftop systems, 36 100-megawatt geothermal plants, 1,910 0.75-megawatt wave devices, 2,600 1-megawatt tidal wind-turbines, and seven 1,300-megawatt hydroelectric power plants, of which most exist, and

WHEREAS, the onshore wind capacity installed under this plan (about 20 gigawatts) would be less than twice the current installed now in Texas; in terms of health, air pollution-related illness would fall substantially, resulting in about 4,000 fewer deaths annually, and therefore be it

RESOLVED, that the Dutchess County Legislature, in solidarity with Riverkeeper and Scenic Hudson, strongly urges the Coast Guard to reject the proposal for additional anchorages on the Hudson River for frack oil barges and other fossil-fuel vessels, and

RESOLVED, that the Dutchess County Legislature endorses the Jacobson/Ingraffea/Howarth plan to convert New York state’s infrastructure to one using wind, water, and sunlight, requests that the Dutchess County Department of Planning and Development work with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Dutchess County to host a series of forums on this plan across Dutchess County towards this goal, at least one with Cornell professors Anthony Ingraffea and Robert Howarth invited to present their findings, and requests that the Dutchess County Executive and Budget Director incorporate the report’s findings into deliberations over the proposed 2017 Dutchess County Budget, and be it further

RESOLVED, that a copy of this resolution be sent to the Dutchess County Executive, Dutchess County Budget Director, Dutchess County Department of Planning and Development Commissioner, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Dutchess County Executive Director, Cornell University professors Anthony Ingraffea and Robert Howarth, and Stanford University professor Mark Jacobson.

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