OPINION — Protect Orange County leader criticizes environmentalists over Indian Point


GOSHEN – The founder of the Protect Orange County group, which has opposed the CPV power plant in Wawayanda, is critical of environmental organizations Riverkeeper and Clearwater for their support of the closure of the Indian Point nuclear power plants.

Indian Point Unit 2 was permanently shut down on April 30 and Unit 3 is scheduled to be closed in one year.

“While groups like Hudson River Sloop Clearwater and Riverkeeper have been floating this policy on a river of misinformation and irrational fear, the fact is that we are losing 80 percent of downstate New York’s carbon-free, hence pollution-free, source of baseload power,” said Protect Orange County’s Pramilla Malick. 

“They’ve demonstrated a level of disregard for climate change that would make a climate denier blush, as greenhouse gas emissions rise 27-29 percent of the power sector,” she said, while alleging “they’re also comfortably aligned with the corruption behind this agenda as described by Preet Bharara in the Percoco indictment.”

Malick said, “But even more egregious, now that we know pollution increases COVID-19 mortality by 15 percent, by pushing for IP’s closure in the middle of the pandemic, they’ve shown a complete indifference towards human life for all those living near the replacement gas plants; especially for the environmental justice communities and first responders (already disproportionately impacted by COVID) who live near the CPV Valley plant, built to replace Indian Point.”

Malick said “Despite (Governor) Cuomo’s rhetoric, the reality is that carbon emissions and pollution will rise exponentially; our climate goals impossible to achieve while people in Orange County and Dutchess County are deemed expendable. There is no reason this could not have waited the four to five years that Riverkeeper claims it will take to build renewable replacement power. It’s a catastrophic case of putting the cart before the horse, ensuring carbon- lock-down for decades to come; time we don’t have to act on climate; too late to save lives.”

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