On Monday night, the Beacon City Council unanimously passed a resolution opposing the massive expansion proposed for the Danskammer gas-fired power plant on the Hudson River. Beacon is now the seventh municipality to pass a resolution opposing the project.
Over 80 local residents and environmentalists rallied in front of City Hall before the meeting. They called on Governor Cuomo to reject the project, which would increase the state’s greenhouse gas emissions, exacerbate local air pollution, and deepen fossil fuel dependence for decades to come.
“Building yet another fossil fuel-burning plant in the Hudson Valley has impacts not just for today, but for the world we leave to the next generation,” said Amber Grant, a member of the City Council representing Ward 4. “It’s in direct contradiction to our stated goals to increase the use of renewable energy sources, there has been no demonstrable need for this energy source, and there is no upside for Beacon. I hope other communities will make their voices heard on this issue as soon as possible, as we will all pay for the impacts of this project for decades.”
The $400 million plan involves building a new gas-fired power plant that would run year-round adjacent to the existing peaker plant in Newburgh. The new plant, opponents believe, would present serious dangers to public health and the environment.
“I want to commend Beacon City Council and Mayor Casale for listening to their constituencies, respecting science and embracing the green future for Hudson Valley and the planet,” said Sergei Krasikov, coordinator of Green Beacon Coalition and a resident of Beacon.
“The Beacon City Council understands that the climate crisis demands local action to stop fossil fuel infrastructure projects like Danskammer,” said Food & Water Watch organizer Andrew Pezzullo. “Other communities in the Hudson Valley have spoken out, and this movement to stop Danskammer will continue to grow. If Governor Cuomo wants New York to be a true leader on climate, he must reject Danskammer and all other fossil fuel projects. Short of that, there is no way to meet the emissions goals set out in the new climate legislation.”
“Thank you to our neighbors across the river,” said Tamsin Hollo of Newburgh Clean Water Project. “The City of Newburgh is facing a water crisis due to the cumulative impacts of PCBs in the Hudson, the lead in our paint and pipes and the PFOS polluting our soil and drinking water. Environmental Justice communities like Newburgh and Beacon can’t afford more attacks to our water and the additional 40 million pounds of pollution that would be generated annually by this proposed fracked gas plant are simply too much to bear.”
“The Danskammer fracked gas power plant would threaten nearby communities while locking NYS into decades of fossil fuel dependence. If expanded, the Danskammer Power Plant would be a step backwards in the fight against climate change. Other communities must follow Beacon’s resolve to fight climate change and say no to this expansion,” said Jana Bergere of New York Public Interest Research Group.