Letter to the Editor

Countering Danskammer’s misinformation

By Janet Apuzzo, Wallkill
Posted 9/15/22

Re: “Danskammer Energy responds to Scenic Hudson,” August 31: You extensively quoted a Danskammer executive as providing “corrections and clarifications” to counter opposition …

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Letter to the Editor

Countering Danskammer’s misinformation

Posted

Re: “Danskammer Energy responds to Scenic Hudson,” August 31: You extensively quoted a Danskammer executive as providing “corrections and clarifications” to counter opposition to the plant. In reality, her statements were misinformation to deflect from two essential facts:

1) Building a new gas-burning power plant at Danskammer will add to the climate crisis, and 2) New York doesn’t even need it.

To the first point: The plant’s air quality permit application has rightly been denied by the Department of Environmental Conservation for violating New York’s 2019 climate law, which mandates reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Nothing that Ms. Hook says about any other topic will change that.

To the second point: It is disingenuous to argue that the Danskammer plant “must remain a power generating facility” because it is a member of the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO). In an analysis preceding the drawdown of the Indian Point nuclear facility, NYISO concluded in 2017 that there would be no reliability concerns if the old Danskammer plant goes offline or if a new plant were not built there. Simply put, New York will have enough power without Danskammer.

Whether it runs 60% of the time, as Ms. Hook argues, or constantly, a new plant at Danskammer will emit carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, particulates and other pollutants, harming the health of surrounding communities as well as adding greenhouse gasses to the atmosphere.

New York has been expanding wind and solar power generation, which will eventually replace even existing gas-burning power plants. With its connections to the grid, Danskammer is in an excellent location for its land to be used for battery storage.

The hedge fund that bought Danskammer Energy assumed responsibility for coal ash clean-up at the site. Saying that the site is too expensive to remediate does not relieve the owner of its obligation to do so.

A new plant at Danskammer would take us backward in the battle to mitigate climate change.  New, clean energy must be generated from wind and solar and coupled with utility-scale battery storage. There must be teeth in New York’s climate law, without regard to Danskammer Energy’s profit or loss. This company needs to stop fighting the future.

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