It’s not surprising Bill Reid extols the proposed Danskammer Energy plant’s supposed benefits to the Hudson Valley considering he is the company’s president and CEO. However, readers deserve to be aware of the deflections he presents in his recent letter.
While it’s true air is currently slightly cleaner due to grounded aircraft and fewer cars on the road, omitting the detriment fossil fuel plants still present to the environment, specifically pertaining to air and water quality, is irresponsible. Danskammer admits in its own regulatory findings that increased operating hours will emit more harmful air pollutants, like volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides.
In his letter, Mr. Reid concentrates his focus on coal’s role in producing smog, insisting the natural gas Danskammer will produce is “clean” by comparison since it will not be burning coal.
What he fails to mention is natural gas’s role in increased atmospheric methane levels. Methane is a more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. It is far from “clean”.
Last month, the American Lung Association gave the Hudson Valley a “D” in its State of the Air 2020 report. This is unacceptable. We are aware of air pollutants’ deleterious effects on health, the economy, and contributions to the climate emergency. This is more imperative now as we contend with the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic.
We must continue to call on Gov. Cuomo to block permits for Danskammer’s proposed new gas plant since it would violate the mandates of the recently passed Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA).
The views expressed in the letter are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Mid Hudson News.