Riverkeeper’s “Victory” is Our Loss

Posted: January 9, 2018

New York AREA’s executive director, Rob DiFrancesco, offers the following response to a recent column by Riverkeeper’s Paul Gallay, published in the Huffington Post:

Perhaps Paul Gallay is unfamiliar with the term “Pyrrhic victory”— but, thanks to what he and his fellow antinuclear, anti-fracking, anti-anything-practical activists have done, he’s about to find out what it means—as, regrettably, are all of us.

The assertions in Mr. Gallay’s essay are not only excessively optimistic, but overtly false. If he’d read the New York ISO report, he’d know that it posits sufficient replacement power for Indian Point only if THREE natural-gas plants come online by 2021—one of which, CPV Valley Energy Center, is being held up by the legal obstacles that Riverkeeper and Co. are throwing up against the Valley Lateral pipeline.

The NY-ISO doesn’t hold that renewables are anywhere near ready to supply baseload power—and when Mr. Gallay refers to “environmentally sound” solar and wind, what he means is that he and his allies are going to object to the siting of projects whenever the latter might offend their tender sensibilities, which is usually. Yet somehow Riverkeeper favors the Champlain Hudson Power Express, despite the fact that it will require dredging up all kinds of pollutants in the muck at the bottom of the Hudson River.

So even though Mr. Gallay and his cohorts “won” when Indian Point’s fate was sealed, they’ve actually assured that New Yorkers will be losing in every conceivable way: we’ll no longer have reliable zero-carbon baseload power, and the activists’ insatiable obstructionism means that we’ll likely be paying a lot more for whatever power we’ll be importing while we await new local generation.

More carbon in our air, more pollution in our water, higher electricity prices, and less reliability for crucial power needs, all coming to us in 2021, courtesy of Riverkeeper.

Does that sound like victory to you?