September 1, 2018 Press Release

Cynthia Nixon Calls for Closing of Cayuga Power Plant, Criticizes Cuomo’s Continued Support of Fracking

Cuomo continues to allow fracked gas to be refined and transported in New York State through power plants and pipelines

ITHACA, NY – Ahead of her campaign stops in Ithaca today, Democratic candidate for governor Cynthia Nixon released the following statement on the proposal to convert the aging Cayuga Power Plant to fracked gas. The State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is currently reviewing permits for the conversion.

“Cayuga is dangerous and should be closed. We need to convert this plant to solar power with energy storage.

“Governor Cuomo says he banned fracking, but the reality is that he still allows fracked gas to be refined and transported in New York. We need to fully halt the fossil fuel billionaires’ agenda and enact a Green New Deal on our path to 100% renewable energy. We need a state government that puts the physical and economic health of our people over the interests of fossil fuel executives.”

The Cayuga Power Plant caught on fire twice in the past three years, one so intense half the plant was closed for almost the entire year. Other media outlets have pointed out that the current owner of the Cayuga Power Plant is affiliated “with Blackstone, which employs William J. Mulrow, the chairman of Cuomo’s 2018 re-election campaign, as a senior managing director.” This connection has raised concerns about the objectivity of DEC’s review process among opponents to the plant’s transition.

Local leaders praise Cynthia’s position on the plant:
“Thank you so much to Cynthia for coming out and speaking the truth about the dirty power industry in this state,” said Irene Weiser, Councilmember, Town of Caroline and Coordinator, Fossil Free Tompkins. “It’s so great to have a leader in Cynthia Nixon who will take a stand with the people of Tompkins County. Tompkins County is proud to be one of the environmental leaders in this state. We were the epicenter of the anti-fracking movement, and we’re still fighting. We will not accept the conversion of this plant to burn fracked gas. New York State  must stop allowing fracked gas power plants, which Governor Cuomo has allowed – it is time for renewable energy now.”

“Climate change is getting worse with each passing day,” said Judith Enck, former EPA Regional Administrator. “Burning coal and fracked gas at this aging fossil fuel power plant is a terrible mistake and is taking place on Governor Cuomo’s watch. Cynthia Nixon will stop this fossil fuel fiasco and replace it with clean renewable energy that can thrive in upstate NY.”

“I am thrilled that Cynthia Nixon has called for halting the coal-to-gas conversion of the old Cayuga Power Plant,” said biologist and author, Sandra Steingraber, PhD. “The science is clear: burning fracked gas to keep the lights on is just as bad for our climate as coal. And mothers living here in the Finger Lakes are also clear: we don’t want trucks hauling dangerous, climate-killing gases barreling along our rural roads, past our homes, on the same routes our children travel to school.  We can do better. The health and safety of the people of Central New York depend on a genuine conversion—from dirty fossil fuels to 100 percent renewable energy, not a coal-to-gas switcharoo.”