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January 7, 2013 The Honorable Andrew Cuomo Governor of New York State NYS Capitol Building Albany, NY 12224

Dear Governor Cuomo, We, the undersigned organizations and experts, applaud your recent commitment to confront the global climate change crisis. In the wake of Tropical Storms Irene and Lee, and as recovery from Superstorm Sandy continues, New Yorkers are already suffering the human life and economic consequences of extreme weather events. As youve correctly observed, this run of disastrous storms is an undeniable wake up call to the reality of climate change. We are heartened that you have committed to leading on climate change and that you have made "environmental protection and initiatives that address our changing climate" one of your administrations key priorities. While rebuilding from these recent disasters, you have an opportunity to lead the nation by crafting energy policies that would make New York more resilient to future extreme weather events and that would, at the same time, address their root cause greenhouse gas emissions. New York State is poised to become a national leader in the roll-out and development of clean energy. In addition to being the only responsible course of action, deploying proven clean energy and energy efficiency solutions along with investing in research to bring continuous improvements to these solutions would bring jobs and capital to regions across the state. In setting this course, you would enjoy widespread support from New Yorkers. Nearly 70 percent of New York residents believe that Irene, Lee, and Sandy are tied to climate change. As well, a growing majority of Americans nearly 4 out of every 5 in a recent poll see global warming as a serious problem. We stand ready to work with you to pioneer a clean energy future for New York State. While we welcome your determination to lead on climate change, we are greatly concerned by indications that you may soon allow high-volume hydraulic fracturing (HVHF) in New York for extracting natural gas from deep-lying shale formations. A decision to allow HVHF would be a direct contradiction of your promise to lead on climate change. Opening New Yorks doors to this form of extreme fossil fuel extraction undercuts your pledge to make environmental protection, including initiatives that address climate change, a legislative priority. The carbon dioxide emitted from burning natural gas contributes significantly to greenhouse gas emissions driving global climate change (Myhrvold and Caldeira, 2012). And, in addition to carbon dioxide, HVHF releases significant amounts of methane into the atmosphere during the extraction, transport, and processing of the gas. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas, 33 times more efficient at trapping heat than carbon dioxide over 100 years, and about 100 times more potent than carbon dioxide over 20 years (Shindell et al. 2009). As such, even small amounts of gas leaked into the atmosphere make enormous contributions to global warming. (Myhrvold and Caldeira, 2012). Increasing evidence, including a study led by researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric

Administration, indicates that methane emissions from HVHF and related operations have been significantly underestimated by both the gas industry and the Environmental Protection Agency (Petron et al. 2012). HVHF, which blasts methane from New Yorks bedrock, is an inherently leaky operation, and the proposed regulations that would oversee its practice here in New York do little to stop methane vapors from escaping into our atmosphere. Given the magnitude of these emissions and proof of their demonstrable harm to our atmosphere, dependence on natural gas, and thus on HVHF, dashes any chance of keeping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere at levels below what scientists say are necessary to avoid climate catastrophe. And yet, inexplicably, your Department of Environmental Conservation has not closely examined the issue of greenhouse gas emissions in evaluating the environmental impact of opening up New York State to HVHF. The November 2012 International Energy Agency report underscores the dire consequences we face from climate change and emphasizes the urgency of drastic reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. As detailed above, natural gas is not a bridge to a clean energy future but leads instead to catastrophic climate change. Redesigning the New York energy and transportation system around renewable energy and energy efficiency is the only viable path forward. Unfortunately, natural gas development stands in the way. In May, The Guardian summarized a special report about natural gas by the International Energy Agency: A golden age of gas spurred by a tripling of shale gas from fracking and other sources of unconventional gas by 2035 will stop renewable energy in its tracks if governments do not take action. Beyond climate impacts, opening up New York to HVHF would contradict your stated priority of environmental protection. The massive industrialization required by HVHF brings with it unavoidable environmental consequences. Well pads, pits, access roads, and spider webs of pipelines mar landscapes, destroy farmland, and fragment forests essential to the health of our watersheds and foodsheds. HVHF threatens our underground sources of drinking water, and our streams, rivers, and lakes through numerous pathways of contamination both above and below the earth. These environmental impacts, combined with air pollution, noise, and increased traffic, would degrade the high-quality environment that New Yorkers have cherished for centuries. They would also result in significant economic losses for businesses and communities across New York State. Governor Cuomo, your vow in the New York Daily News on November 15th inspired us: "We will not allow the national paralysis over climate change to stop us from pursuing the necessary path for the future." If you truly put these words into practice, we feel sure that you will be hailed as a national hero, securing a legacy and a political future as a leader who cut through political gridlock in order to act in the best interests of your constituents and generations to come. By contrast, opening up the state of New York to HVHF is a path leading away from that future. Sincerely,

National Signatories
350.org, Bill McKibben, President and Co-Founder Americans Against Fracking Center for Biological Diversity, Kassie Siegel, Director Climate Law Institute Center for Health, Environment & Justice, Lois Gibbs, Executive Director CREDO Action, Michael Kieschnick, President Damascus Citizens for Sustainability, B. Arrindell, Director Dear Governor Cuomo, Jon Bowermaster, Director Delaware Riverkeeper Network, Maya van Rossum Democracy for America, Kaili Lambe, Political Campaign Manager EARTHWORKS, Jennifer Krill, Executive Director Energy Action Coalition, Maura Cowley, Executive Director Environment America, John Rumpler, Senior Attorney Food & Water Watch, Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director Friends of the Earth, Damon Moglen, Director, Climate and Energy Program GASLAND, Josh Fox, Director Greenpeace, Phil Radford, Executive Director Progressive Democrats of America, Tim Carpenter, Executive Director Sierra Club, Michael Brune, Executive Director Yoko Ono, Co-Founder, Artists Against Fracking Sean Lennon, Co-Founder, Artists Against Fracking

New York State Signatories


Catskill Mountainkeeper, Wes Gillingham, Program Director Citizen Action of New York, Ivette Alfonso, President Environment New York, Eric Whalen, Field Organizer Frack Action, Julia Walsh, Campaign Director

Green Party of New York, Michael O'Neil and Gloria Mattera, Co-Chairs Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, Jeff Rumpf, Executive Director New Yorkers Against Fracking, Sandra Steingraber, Founder New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG), Rebecca J. Weber, Executive Director New York Students Rising, Alyssia Osorio United For Action, David Braun, President Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter, Roger Downs, Conservation Director Working Families Party, Daniel Cantor, Executive Director

Local New York State Signatories


Back to Democracy Baldwin Oaks Civic Association, Jacqueline Bell, President Beacon Climate Action, Amanda Means, Organizer Capital District Against Fracking Catskill Heritage Alliance, Kathleen Nolan, MD, MSL, Chair City of Binghamton Against Fracking, Isaac Silberman-Gorn, Coordinator Concerned Citizens of Covert, Janette Chauncey Concerned Citizens of Rural Broome, Joan Koster, Communications Concerned Citizens Town of Oneonta, Nicole Camarata, Member Environment and Human Rights Advisory, Tom Kerns, Director FaCT - Faith Communities Together (for Frac Awareness), Ron Prosek, Convener First Presbyterian Church, The Rev. Elsie Armstrong Rhodes, pastor, Cooperstown Frack Free Catskills, Sue Rosenberg Gas Drilling Awareness for Cortland County, Sheila Cohen, Outreach Coordinator Gas Free Seneca, Yvonne Taylor, Co-Founder Green Umbrella - New York Youth for a Just and Sustainable Future HUNTINGTON BREAST CANCER ACTION COALITION, INC, Karen Joy Miller, President

Interfaith Alliance of Rochester, Mary Pizzente Morich, President Long Island Progressive Coalition, Lisa Tyson, Director Lower East Side Coalition to Stop Hydraulic Fracturing, Sharon Goldstein, Co-founder Marbletown Defense Against Fracking MK Gandhi institute for Nonviolence, Kit Miller, Director New Paltz Climate Action Coalition, Ann Guenther New Paltz Defense Against Fracking, Rosalyn Cherry New York Residents Against Drilling, Ben Perkus, Chair for NYRAD New York Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) NY Contra el Gasoducto, David Galarza, co-founder NYH2O, Joe Levine, Director Olive Defense Against Fracking, Christina Himberger, President Otsego 2000, Nicole Dillingham Park Slope Food Coop, Ann Herpel, General Coordinator Park Slope United Methodist Church Social Action Committee, S. Ridgeway Sandi Gonzalez, Co-Chairs. Peace Action Bay Ridge, Dave Doll, Environmental Justice Coordinator Plymouth Friends of Clean Water, Peter Hudiburg, Founder R-CAUSE, Anna Sears and Nedra Harvey, Co-Founders Residents Opposing Unsafe Shale-Gas Extraction, Bill Podulka, Chair ROUSE Steering Committee Riverside-Salem United Church of Christ, Mary Herbst Rochester Defense Against Fracking, Judith Karpova Sane Energy Project Sixth Street Community Center, Howard Brandstein, Executive Director Sludge Stoppers Task Force, Scott Bochner, Co-Founder Sullivan Area Citizens for Responsible Energy Development, Karen London, Co-founder SUNY Cortland Center for Gender & Intercultural Studies EJ Committee, Sheila Cohen, Chair

Sustainable Tompkins, Gay Nicholson, President Syracuse Peace Council, Amelia Ramsey-Lefevre, Staff Organizer The Carbon Squeeze, Mel Wymore The Kirkland Committee to Prohibit Hydrofracking, Arlene Somer, Co-Chair. Trinity Lutheran Church, Rev. Dr. Sam Cruz, Senior Pastor Vestal Residents for Safe Energy Water Equality Western New York Peace Center, Inc., Charley Bowman, Interim Executive Director Western NY Drilling Defense, Rita Yelda, Founder Wittenberg Center for Alternative Resources, Rev. Jim Davis

References: Myhrvold, Nathan and Ken Caldeira. "Greenhouse gases, climate change and the transition from coal to low-carbon electricity." Environmental Research Letters, Vol. 7, Iss 1. February 2012 Ptron, G., et al. (2012), Hydrocarbon emissions characterization in the Colorado Front Range: A pilot study, J. Geophys. Res., 117, D04304, doi:10.1029/2011JD016360. Shindell, Drew T., et. al. Improved Attribution of Climate Forcing to Emissions. Science Magazine. Volume 326, October 30, 2009, at 716 to 717