ASTORIA, N.Y. – Senate Deputy Michael Gianaris called on the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to reject NRG’s appeal of the agency’s denial of permits to build and operate a new fossil fuel power plant in Astoria. The DEC denied the company’s initial application in October. Senator Gianaris provided testimony to the DEC as part of the agency’s appeal happening today.
“The DEC was right to deny a permit for a destructive, fossil fuel plant in Astoria and should reject their appeal as well,” said Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris. “Our community drew a line in the sand against new fossil fuel infrastructure and won. Let the DEC issue a strong statement that “no new fossil fuel plants” is the policy of New York as we fight the ravages of the climate crisis.”
After much advocacy, the DEC in October rejected NRG’s application for this proposed fossil fuel power plant. Astoria is already home to multiple power generating facilities, and the area immediately surrounding those plants is known as “Asthma Alley,” where residents are known to have higher-than-average rates of asthma and emphysema. Senator Gianaris worked with local leaders and area residents to successfully oppose this plant.
A new plant would also make it likely the state would fail to comply with the CLCPA, New York’s nation-leading climate law which Senator Gianaris championed in 2019. CLCPA commits New York to an equitable clean energy future – with 70% of electricity being renewable by 2030, 100% carbon-free by 2040, and an 85% emissions reduction overall by 2050. Crucially, at least 40% of investment is reserved for areas that have suffered from climate injustice. These ambitious goals are critical, and they are the law. We must do what it takes to win this clean-energy future, secure a livable climate, and fully-fund a just transition for frontline communities.