29 Arrested Protesting Controversial Power Plant, Gov. Cuomo
Nearly 30 were arrested following a protest that stalled the construction of a controversial power plant in the Hudson Valley. Much of the protest focused on Gov. Cuomo.
On Monday, the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office and New York State Police reported the arrests of 29 people as a result of an alleged protest at the Crickett Valley Energy facility on Route 22 in the Town of Dover.
According to police, during the early morning hours on Saturday, a large group of protesters gained access to the facility grounds, with most of the group blocking the entrance while a smaller group climbed up onto smokestacks on the property. The protesters’ actions resulted in a large law enforcement response from both agencies, at which time arrangements were made to remove the protesters from the private property.
The 29 who were arrested are accused of refusing to follow dispersal orders. Four scaled a 275-foot-tall smokestack to try to stall the construction of a controversial power plant.
The four accused of climbing the smokestack range in age from 20 to 53, they were all charged with criminal trespass, a misdemeanor. 25, ranging in age from 21 to 77, were given a violation of trespass are accused of blocking the entrance while trespassing on private property.
Protesters claim that the Crickett Valley Energy facility's 1,100-megawatt plant would be the biggest in the Northeast and greatly contribute to global warming while covering the Hudson Valley in pollution.
"Cricket Valley Energy is one of the largest natural-gas power plants in the North East. It will burn fracked natural gas (methane) piped in from Pennsylvania to produce 1,100 megawatts of electric power. CVE will pump at least 6 million tons of greenhouse gasses and thousands of tons of other toxic pollutants into the air each year. According to CVE’s own documents, the plant will emit over 279 tons of nitrogen oxides, 570 tons of carbon monoxide, and more than 60 tons of sulfuric acid and its precursors. All of this pollution will disburse throughout the Harlem and Hudson Valleys upon the prevailing winds, then spill over into neighboring Connecticut," the Indigenous Life Movement wrote on Facebook.
“My family farmed just down the road for generations--some still do to this day. Our area is rooted in agriculture, and our economy relies on clean air, water and soil. Cricket Valley Energy is directly contradicting the needs of the local people and businesses. The people that are building this plant are not going to have to endure the negative repercussions of the pollution that it is going to cause. They will profit from it, but their lives, health and livelihood won’t be affected in any way. The people who live here--we are the ones who will suffer the consequences, Justin Holden, a U.S. Army Veteran from Stanfordville said.
Much of Saturday's protest focused on Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
“We are rallying in support of the protesters who are being arrested today, and we call upon Governor Cuomo to do the right thing,” New Paltz Climate Action Coalition Coordinator Jess Mullen said in a press release. “His father (Mario Cuomo) shut down Shoreham Nuclear Power Plant nearly three decades ago, when it was fully constructed but had not begun to operate. We hope the governor will follow in his father's wonderful footsteps, and fulfill his destiny as a true climate leader.”
Over 2,000 people have petition Cuomo to stop the construction of the Crickett Valley Energy facility.
After being processed all of those arrested were released on appearance tickets returnable to the Town of Dover Court. No injuries were reported.
Cricket Valley Energy Center issued the following statement:
Cricket Valley Energy Center thanks the New York State Police and Dutchess County Sheriff Department for their efforts in restoring order at our facility Saturday, November 16, and protecting the safety of our workforce and the public. We appreciate the patience and cooperation of motorists and others who may have been affected.
As construction of the 1,100-megawatt power plant nears completion and preparations are now underway to transition the site into operations on or before the guaranteed completion dates in early 2020, it is very dangerous to intrude on this site by illegal trespass. Cricket Valley Energy Center is a critical energy infrastructure facility, as defined by Homeland Security, and any attempts to interfere or damage this facility will be prosecuted in accordance with State and Federal law as applicable.
As has been true throughout the environmental review and permitting process for the Cricket Valley Energy Center, we welcome thoughtful, fact-based conversation with those who have questions or concerns about the project. All are invited to contact us via our website, www.cricketvalley.com, by phone or by email rather than compromising the safety of the men and women working at our facility and the public.
Cricket Valley Energy Center was approved and permitted following a rigorous environmental review by the State, and has received all Federal, State and local permits to construct and operate. The permitting process also included a multi-year public outreach effort that included an office in Dover, NY, Advisory Working Group meetings, informational public meetings and State-sponsored public hearings, newsletters, fact sheets, brochures, email updates, and the maintenance of a project website. The plant is currently operating during test and startup and will become fully operational in early 2020. It will be one of the cleanest facilities of its kind, providing energy to 1,000,000 homes, $4 million per year in tax revenue, to the Town of Dover and the Dover Union School District.
Natural gas-powered electric plants supply communities with clean, reliable electric power when solar and wind energy are unavailable, and help displace older coal-burning plants. Detailed information about the plant along with contact information, is available on the website, www.cricketvalley.com.
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