Call Your NY State Legislators to Sign on to Rosenthal/Hoylman 2015 Port Ambrose Opposition Letter


Port Ambrose is a liquefied natural gas (LNG) port that has been proposed by Liberty Natural Gas off Long Beach, Long Island for the New York/New Jersey Harbor where a proposed wind farm is to be built in the same area. This project would damage our marine ecosystem, put us at risk from terrorist attacks, exacerbate climate change and put pressure to frack for more gas across the Northeast region. The surest way to stop the Port Ambrose LNG project is for Governor Cuomo of New York and/or Governor Christie of New Jersey to veto the project.

New York State Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal and New York State Senator Brad Hoylman began circulating the 2015 Port Ambrose Opposition Letter to their Democratic colleagues in the NYS Assembly and Senate asking them to sign on to this letter which asked Governor Cuomo to veto Port Ambrose.

February __, 2015

The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo

Governor of New York State

New York State Capitol Building

Albany, NY 12224

Dear Governor Cuomo:

We want to first thank you for protecting the health and safety of all New York residents by banning high volume hydraulic fracturing throughout New York State. We ask you to continue this leadership by vetoing a project that could result in more fracking in the region. Liberty Natural Gas, LLC (Liberty), has submitted an application to build a proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) deepwater port facility, called Port Ambrose, roughly 19 miles from the New York shore. As representatives of the State of New York, we urge you to veto this unnecessary and environmentally irresponsible project.

The construction and operation of Port Ambrose would have a strongly negative ecological impact on its surroundings, discharge millions of gallons of chemically treated seawater and require the dredging of miles of sea floor. Port Ambrose would further aggravate environmental degradation by increasing New York’s reliance on natural gas, a methane-emitting fuel. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the leading international body for the assessment of climate change, methane, a dangerous greenhouse gas, is 86 times more effective than carbon dioxide at trapping heat in our atmosphere over a 20-year period. This is, of course, in addition to the potential havoc wrought to New York’s coastline if an extreme weather event, such as another Hurricane Sandy, were to damage a vulnerable offshore facility of this type. Moreover, Port Ambrose could pose a grave security risk for New York. According to the Council on Foreign Relations, liquefied natural gas facilities are a potential terrorist target. Any explosion or fire from an LNG facility in the New York harbor would be catastrophic.

This project also has the potential to interfere with the development of a far more environmentally responsible wind farm that has been proposed for this area. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, an agency of the U.S. Department of Interior, in its scoping comments on the Port Ambrose application, stated that it is “concerned that the proposal to construct a LNG port in the same area proposed for a large wind facility could result in serious conflicts—or at the minimum, complicating factors—that may impact the overall viability of one or both projects.” We and many of our constituents fear that this would not be a worthy tradeoff.

Furthermore, Port Ambrose is an unnecessary project. According to the 2014 Draft New York State Energy Plan, domestic production of natural gas is at its highest level in four decades and the “need for substantial increased volumes of imported LNG has diminished for the near term.” The Draft Energy Plan further states that this saturation of supply in natural gas has caused imports to decline every year from 2007 through 2012, a year in which just two of the twelve active LNG import terminals in the country received regular shipments.

As you may be aware, in 2011 New Jersey Governor Chris Christie vetoed an application for an LNG port by Liberty off the coast of New Jersey, stating that “offshore LNG poses unacceptable risks to the state’s residents, natural resources, economy and security.” We urge you to veto this project and continue to defend New York State’s precious environmental assets.

Thank you for your consideration of this matter.


Brad Hoylman                Linda B. Rosenthal

State Senator                  Member of Assembly

Please pick up the phone and call your NYS representatives in Albany.  Tell them you oppose the Port Ambrose LNG project and ask them to sign on to the Rosenthal/Hoylman 2015 Port Ambrose Opposition Letter.  You can find your NYS Senator and phone number by clicking on this link Find Your NYS Senator (

You can find your NYS Assembly Member and phone number by clicking on this link Find Your NYS Assembly Member (

While you’re at it, please make one more call to Governor Cuomo at 518-474-8390 and tell him you oppose the Port Ambrose LNG project and ask the governor to veto the project.

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People’s Climate March: a Day to Remember

On Sunday, September 21st an estimated 400,000 citizens came together and marched through the streets of Manhattan to demand serious action from world leaders, who were meeting that week at the UN Climate Summit.  Although there were a few politicians and celebrities in the ranks, the march truly lived up to its name and it was ordinary people from all walks of life who made the day special with their voices, their creativity and their passion to change the world for better.  United for Action friends and families were part of the beautiful medley.  Below are some of their experiences and thoughts about the march.  We thank them for sharing their words and photos and are also grateful to photographers such as Erik McGregor and videographers Charlie Olson, John Duffy and the rest of the Environment TV crew who are sharing their amazing work.


Let’s begin with thoughts from two of our fearless leaders.  Edie Kantrowitz (who has a fantastic collection of photos here)  writes:

 It was just so wonderful being with 400,000 people who are trying to save the climate, and trying to make a better world. edieSuch an outpouring of diversity and creativity! And wonderful to be with all my UFA friends. I really think this march did make a big change, because the issue is now much more in the awareness of the general public.

And from Ling Tsou:

Sunday September 21, 2014 was an unforgettable day. I was amazed by the sheer number of people who came from New York City, throughout the country and from some parts of the world as far away as Australia to converge on New York City for the People’s Climate March which lived up to its name as the largest climate march in history. The number of people who came was beyond my wildest expectations. This march was not about the politicians or the celebrities, although we were glad to see many of them there including the Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki Moon. This march was about the linganddebohundreds of thousands of ordinary people, young, old, black, white, brown, rich, poor, faiths of all kinds, who came together for a common goal to demand our world leaders to take urgent action to fight climate change. The creativity and imaginative art work that was on display at the march and the collective energy of the people were truly astounding.

I just want to take a moment to thank all the volunteers and organizers, especially the awesome United for Action volunteers, who for months prior to the march have been working tirelessly informing, organizing and recruiting people to join the march. Thank you to all who joined us and more than 400,000 people marching in the streets of New York City on September 21, no matter where and with which group you marched, as well as countless number of people in many countries around the world who took part in events in their own countries. Thank you for your patience and good cheers for standing for hours waiting for the march to begin and then walked for miles during the march. Thanks also to those who could not physically march with us but was with us in spirit. I feel very grateful and privileged to have shared this unbelievable experience with so many wonderful and caring people. Now we have to work together to build on the momentum of the march and move forward on taking actions on climate change. We need you more than ever to continue the work we began together. To change everything we need everyone. Please join the movement.

Anne Lazarus shares that she “felt a powerful, determined and positive energy in the march. I was impressed by the group of people meditating on the lawn at 59th St. The signs were creative and engaging. I was also impressed by the families who brought their young children, and by people in wheelchairs holding signs.”  Laura Mcgill says the March was “inspiring, invigorating and validation that our voices are being heard. The media had to pay attention, even if some of them focused on the negative, we still got the
attention and message we wanted to broadcast to the world.”laurabanner

(Photo courtesy of Paulette Osborne)

Diane Vertal wrote “When I looked around me and saw the creativity, some just ingenious, displayed in all of the signs, costumes, and street theater, and all of the environmental and social concerns expressed — I realized how potent a combination there is in this grass roots movement of skill, knowledge, devotion; and I felt for the first time that all the ingredients are there to overcome the enormous obstacles preventing change.”  The DevilMerle Mceldowney thanks the Society for Ethical Culture for providing a “comfort station” after the long hours of waiting to begin to march, and also relied upon Kathleen Thomas‘s devil signs to help her find her way back to the group when she would wander off.  (photo courtesy of Laura Mcgill)

UFA volunteers often wear multiple hats. lwv  I (Beth) marched with the League of Women Voters — I co-chair the Environmental Action Committee in the city League — and my friends Betsy and Kathy (an artist who has contributed her talents making free signs upon request).  I was thrilled to spot a young woman holding a sign urging Swarthmore College to divest.  I’ve been supporting their efforts as an alumna.

Kevin and Martha wore their Westchester hats (and many buttons, literally)  for the march.  Kevin sent this along:

I have a small story about talking with Josh Fox during PCM assembly about “Westchester’s Fracking Monstrosity Pipeline”, my new name for what Spectra Energy calls, highly inappropriately, the Algonquin Incremental Market (“AIM”) Expansion.

I caught the chat on video, here: Josh signs my “Stop the Algonquin Pipeline” sign, “Next to the Bill of Rights Toxic Waste Pit”, in reference to a joke he uses sometimes when he talks about all the nice names the oil and gas industry uses for insidious infrastructure projects.


I subsequently marched the entire route crying out, “Westchester’s next!”, “Westchester is the next sacrifice zone!”, “Massive Fracking Gas Pipeline Coming to Westchester Soon!” and explained the story to folks who were interested, including multiple groups of curious NYPD officers.

We end this post with Amala Lane’s eloquent reflections.  Thank you Amala and everyone else who helped make the People’s Climate March an event to cherish and build upon.

For some weeks I had been volunteering with the People’s Puppets of Occupy Wall Street through a contact made through Paulette Osborne, a member of United for Action. Paulette introduced me to Kim Fraczek, and anyone who knows Kim knows what a force of nature and spirit she is.

The People’s Puppets of Occupy Wall Street were already in the thick of making puppets and banners, signs and props for various other justice issues: Newark Students, anti FERC action, and of course, the People’s Climate March. The project I fell into from just about the start was tracing, cutting and painting bees: hundreds of them. We were making them for a Bee Swarm at the Bee Keepers’ Bloc.

Hence, by Sunday, we had handed out many of the little honey bees and Morgan Jennes made sure the major components were in place with Reverand Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping’s HoneyBEElujah chorus. We had two golden Queen Bee poles in blue with a swarm of drone bees all around. There was one yellow “Stop CCD” (Colony Collapse Disorder) sign in the shape of a stop sign made to look like it was honeycomb with little bees on it. And many larger bees were clipped to people with small signs like, ‘If we go, we’re taking you with us!’ or, ‘1 out of every 4 bites of food made possible by the bees.’ The signs were by my close friend Dorota; the bees by Morgan’s friend. The collaboration involved in making all this was extensive and exhaustive. I recognized the bees I made on people’s shirts, in their hair, floating from one of 10 giant orange and pink flowers that friends held as they marched.

When we got on the subway, soon enough we were joined by other marchers. Now keep in mind, we live in Washington Heights at 181st Street near the A train stop. This doesn’t even exist on most New Yorker’s sphere of awareness. But our flowers and bees made riders smile and we easily talked about the march and even climate change on the way down.  A flood of melting glaciers joined us at 125th Street as we waited for the C local. We weren’t sure that the train was running but when it did show up, the glacier heads had trouble fitting in at first as they bumped against one another. We made a lovely site: bees, flowers and glaciers. Our spirits were high.

Every time I visualized the march in my mind, tears would start to well up. And they still do.  I see the hundreds of thousands of marchers and just wish that leaders and wealthy corporate bosses could see us all and feel with us, share with us our dire concern and love for humanity. This is a melodramatic statement perhaps but I just kept hearing this song that came to me the morning or so before the march:

The People are marching, our voices are strong, denying climate science is just damn wrong. Just damn wrong, just damn wrong, denying climate science is just damn wrong. The People are marching, our voices are strong, a better world is possible and everyone belongs. Everyone belongs, everyone belongs, a better world is possible and everyone belongs.


And that is what the march was about. Kim Fraczek had said at one of our meetings at the May Day art build space in Brooklyn (and if you hadn’t visited there, you missed something totally amazing), when we were helping an anti-fracking group from upstate visualize their messaging – that the march asks us, ‘How do we talk about climate change with one another?” We took those ideas, those strings of thought, and turned them into bees, flowers, Lady Liberty with a life preserver on her, Methane and Carbon Dioxide molecules made from beach balls and tossed around by children, Indigenous People dancing and singing and performing blessing rituals at the forefront, because they are at the forefront, Rockaway neighbors carrying orange life preserver rings that named the neighborhoods affected by Sandy, dozens of majestic sunflowers, banners 300 feet long, drummers, musicians, singers, chanters.

At a few minutes before 1, when we were to have a moment of silence then sound the alarm, volunteers from in orange T-shirts scuttled between groups telling us to get ready. We stopped. We were silent. In waves, we turned silent. Then at 1 exactly, we turned it into one powerful wave after wave of alarm and a bellowing call to action. I felt the drums thundering under my feet.

So that’s where we are at now. Responding to that call for action that over 400,000 made that day together. That’s about 10,000 people per block. I think the organization of the march was superb – no matter what critics may say. Because, in order to change this situation around and protect the future for our children and grandchildren and great grandchildren, we have to be just as organized, more organized than the multinational organizations and nation states who have been either leading the earth’s exploitation or burying their collective heads in the tar sands.

We have to be organized.



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New York Court of Appeals Ruled that Dryden and Middlefield Can Ban Fracking

In a precedent-setting case decided today by the New York Court of Appeals, local communities have triumphed over the fracking industry. The court ruled that the towns of Dryden and Middlefield can use local zoning laws to ban heavy industry, including oil and gas production within municipal borders.


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Wind and other renewables generated a fifth of Britain’s electricity in early 2014 by Terry Macalister and Fiona Harvey at

New windfarms, strong winds and a good winter for hydropower plants sent renewable energy generation surging to 19.4% of all electricity from January to March.

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Renewable Energy Finance Forum-Wall Street (REFF-Wall Street) by GlobeNewswire

At the Renewable Energy Finance Forum-Wall Street (REFF-Wall Street), industry leaders from the financial industry, the renewable energy sector and the State of New York discuss the future of financing renewable energy as State-Driven policies lead the way and Federal Policies lag behind.

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New York’s Silent but Deadly Fracking Problem By Peter Rugh

Even though New York State has not yet allowed high volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing.  We are already being fracked by rapidly expanding natural gas pipelines and infrastructure.

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EPA drastically underestimates methane released at drilling sites by Neela Banerjee of LA Times

Drilling operations at several natural gas wells in southwestern Pennsylvania released methane into the atmosphere at rates that were 100 to 1,000 times greater than federal regulators had estimated, new research shows.


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New York Times Article by Justin Gillis on the Latest IPCC Report on Climate Risk

New York Times, March 30, 2014, Justin Gillis, Panel’s Warning on Climate Risk: Worst is Yet to Come

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Protest Against Keystone XL Pipeline in Philadelphia

Today March 10th, more than 20 people were arrested for blocking an entrance to the William J. Green Federal Building, near Independence Mall, in Philadelphia in a civil disobedience action organized by Earth Quaker Action Team to protest the Keystone XL pipeline.  The activists brought brooms, to “sweep out” the corruption of the State Department’s Final Environmental Impact Statement, underwritten by a firm with close ties to TransCanada and the oil industry.

Among the supporters was a group of New Yorkers, including volunteers from United for Action, who went to Philadelphia to stand in solidarity with the

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Tuesday March 11, 2014 – Fair Elections for New York Lobby Day in Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo has put Fair Elections in the Executive Budget, and now it’s time to make sure it stays there. A coalition group has organized for New Yorkers to engage in lobby visits in Albany with our Senators and Assembly members to encourage them to pass a small donor matching fund in the state budget, and to champion campaign finance reform so our elected officials will be accountable to the voters instead of wealthy campaign donors.

Free buses are available from many places in New York State, including several locations in New York City. You must be registered for a seat on the bus by clicking Register for A Seat on the Bus. Lunch will be provided in Albany. Please feel free to bring snacks and water for the bus trip.

We will gather at Emmanuel Baptist Church, 275 State Street, Albany at 11:00 am and wrap up the day at 4:00 pm.


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