Testimony In Opposition to the Proposed NRG Power Plant in Astoria
My testimony from early September 2021 in opposition to the proposed NRG Power Plant in Astoria. This past week, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation rejected the application for this power plant after over 6,600 New Yorkers testified!
I am Danielle Brecker. I live in the Dutch Kills neighborhood that bridges Astoria and Long Island City. Dutch Kills is one of many neighborhoods in western Queens that will be directly impacted should the proposed NRG Power Plant in Astoria be approved.
I testify today in opposition to the Astoria NRG power plant.
The proposed Plant will use fossil fuel continuing decades of pollution in western Queens. An area with the gross but accurate nickname, “asthma alley”.
But this is not just about my community in western Queens — it is about New Yorkers in all five boroughs and across our state. New Yorkers 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 those that will end our dependence on fossil fuel, combat the climate crisis, and embrace green, renewable energy and jobs.
I am a co-lead organizer of Empire State Indivisible. In 2019 we successfully advocated to get the landmark Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (the 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 harmed by climate change. This includes communities that will be directly harmed by the proposed NRG Power Plant.
The CLCPA will also require the NRG Power Plant to shut down in 2040 if it does not have zero-carbon emissions by that date. A power plant that uses fossil fuel should not bridge our present with our future — we should invest and use green technology now, not wait 19 years.
When Empire State Indivisible was advocating for the passage of the CLCPA, we had conversations with thousands of New Yorkers who overwhelmingly told us that they want our state to combat the climate crisis, end the use of fossil fuel, and implement a green new deal.
New Yorkers have made it clear with our voices and our votes that we do not want to continue down the fossil fuel road — instead we want to protect our communities, all of us, from the harm of fossil fuel and climate change before it is too late.
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 activist who wants to make sure that all New Yorkers’ 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 all generations, I implore you to reject the NRG Power Plant in Astoria, Queens.