Listen to New Yorkers: Reject the NRG Power Plant in Astoria, end our dependency on fossil fuel.

Focus instead on a New York State that leads our nation with green, renewable energy.

I am a grown up and I know we need to take action now — for every generation.

I live in the Dutch Kills neighborhood that bridges Astoria and Long Island City. Dutch Kills is one of many neighborhoods that will be impacted should the proposed NRG Power Plant in Astoria become a reality.

The proposed NRG Power Plant will replace 50 year old turbines with a gas fueled generator. So it may cut some emissions, but it will still use fossil fuel — not green, renewable energy. The proposed NRG Power Plant will contribute to the pollution that already exists and has existed for decades in the surrounding neighborhoods. An area with the gross but accurate nickname, “asthma alley”. I do not want my neighbors to continue to be sick or made sick by a another power plant in the area that uses fossil fuel.

But it is not just me and my neighbors in western Queens — it is New Yorkers who live in all five boroughs and across our state. New Yorkers who are impacted and harmed by power plants that use fossil fuel. New Yorkers who elected a New York State Senate Democratic majority and, last year, a supermajority for the purpose of enacting bold policies. Like policies that will end our dependency on fossil fuel, combat the climate crisis, and embrace green, renewable energy and jobs.

I am a co-lead organizer of Empire State Indivisible, We worked to get a New York State Senate majority and supermajority and in 2019 successfully advocated to get the landmark Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) passed.

The CLCPA, if fully executed, will make New York State a leader in fighting the climate crisis in a way that delivers justice to the communities most directly impacted and harmed by climate change. This includes many communities that will be directly impacted and harmed by the proposed NRG Power Plant in Astoria. The CLCPA will require the NRG Power Plant to shutdown in 2040 if it does not have zero-carbon emissions by that date. But a power plant that uses fossil fuel should not bridge our present with our future — we should invest and use green technology now.

When we were advocating for the passage of the CLCPA, Empire State Indivisible got signatures on thousands of constituent letters calling on Governor Cuomo to sign CLCPA into law. We had conversations with New Yorkers at our letter tables, marches, rallies, and town halls as they signed our letters. New Yorkers overwhelmingly told us they want our state to work to combat the climate crisis, end the use of fossil fuel, and implement a green new deal.

And it is almost too late.

As a community member in western Queens, as a good neighbor who does not want to see my neighbors or myself sick; as an advocate and activist who wants to make sure that all the people’s voices are heard; as a New Yorker who loves our borough, city, and state; and as an earthling who wants our beautiful living planet to remain livable for my generation and all future generations, I implore you to reject the NRG Power Plant in Astoria, Queens.

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