WATER WALK FOR LIFE

“WATER WALK FOR LIFE” Begins Saturday, July 22nd

Hudson Valley walkers to trace proposed Pilgrim Pipelines route: 170 miles, 13 days, from Mahwah NJ to Albany and Grafton, NY

Kingston, NY – Beginning Saturday, July 22nd 2017, internationally renowned environmental and human rights activist Jun Yasuda, Buddhist nun in residence at the Grafton, NY Peace Pagoda, will embark upon a 170 mile, 13 day prayer walk protesting the proposed Pilgrim oil pipelines and praying to protect water, health, climate and peace.

WHO: Municipal officials, faith leaders, members of the Coalition Against Pilgrim Pipelines (CAPPNY), and participants from diverse cultural backgrounds, including Ramapough Lenape, Mohican, and Lakota, will launch the walk together and traverse communities directly in the Pilgrim pipelines’ proposed route in New York including Harriman, Tuxedo, Newburgh, New Paltz, Esopus, Highland, Kingston, Saugerties, Catskill, Coxsackie, Bethlehem, and Albany.

WHAT: The Water Walk for Life launches with a dramatic three-hour ceremony followed by up to 50 walkers traveling the first day together. Walkers will travel on average 10 – 15 miles/day.

WHERE: The opening ceremony is at the Ramapough Lenape Split Rock Sweetwater Prayer Camp in Mahwah, New Jersey near Ramapo College. The first leg is short, to Sloatsburg NY.

WHEN: Saturday, July 22nd Walk Launch Water Protection Ceremony: 10 AM – 1 PM

Day 1 Walk Mahwah, NJ – Sloatsburg, NY 1 PM – 4 PM; evening speaker Geoff    Welch

Day 2, Sunday July 23rd, Walk 8 AM to Harriman (overnight in Cornwall)

Day 3, Monday July 24th, Walk 8 AM to Washingtonville (village) in Blooming Grove (town)

Day 4, Tuesday July 25th, Walk 8 AM to Walden

Day 5, Tuesday July 26th, Walk 8 AM through Gardiner to New Paltz, NY; potluck dinner 5:30-7 PM at New Paltz Friends Meeting House; speakers. Welcomed by New Paltz Supervisor Neil Bettez, New Paltz Mayor Tim Rogers, Rosendale Councilwoman Jen Metzger.

Days 6-7, Wednesday July 27th, Walk 8 AM to Kingston, NY; welcomed by Unitarian Congregation of the Catskills; REST DAY July 28th; Potluck dinner/ program, Friday July 28th

 

ATTACHED: Itinerary incl. Saugerties, Catskill, Coxsackie, Bethlehem, Albany, Troy, Grafton.
MORE CONTACTS: Bill Barr, CAPPNY (Saugerties) (845) 598-7770

Arielle Herman, CAPPNY (Catskill), hosting Walk in Catskill Sun. July 30th: (845) 417-8428 

Water Walk for Life: Jim Suriano 518.542.4543

Water Walk for Life: Megan Kylee McLean 518.603.3571

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Floating Artivist Residency

Call for Collaborations:

Floating Artivist Residency – Apply now!

Calling all frontline and local artists along the Hudson River and the Bakken Crude Oil Supply Chain! We are seeking storytellers, musicians, visual artists, documentarians of all kinds, and cultural organizers to apply to join a “Floating Artivist* Residency” aboard Solar Sal, a 40- foot all-solar boat that will journey down the Hudson River from Troy to Newburgh, NY from July 13 – 23, 2017. Along the way, artists will be facilitated in meeting with local communities along the river and this supply chain, to exchange stories – and build networks – of resistance and resilience in the age of the climate crisis. Participating artists will be supported in the investigation, creation and sharing of new work about New York’s waterways and their relationships to fossil fuel transportation and our changing climate.

Our focus is to utilize the languages of art and creativity to lift-up and make visual the front line stories of resistance to fossil fuel infrastructure, as well as the community resilience to climate change, along the Hudson. We aim to develop new forms of advocacy for cultural change.

Additionally, the “Floating Artivist Residency” is intended as a tool for developing new and engaging forms of communication about the threats to, and possible futures for, the Hudson River watershed. We believe artists, with their experience in creative communication, are among the most equipped to take on this difficult task. Additionally, through the cultivation of new relationships and a community of artists, we encourage community artists and arts-organizations to play a more impactful role in protecting the Hudson River and the waters that sustain us.

There are limited spaces aboard Solar Sal, and applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis so you are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. We will prioritize artists who are able to attend the entire duration of the voyage, though we also welcome specific project proposals, performances, interventions, workshops, collaborations, etc (throw an idea at us!) that may be last from a few minutes to a few days. We are organizing a closing event in New York City between July 27-29, where residents and participants are encouraged to publicly present their work. Details to come.

All food will be provided during the journey, and all accommodation will be arranged and at no charge to the participant (through camping and solidarity housing).  Travel grants are available  and limited stipends can be given to support the participation of front-line artists living along the Hudson River and the Bakken oil supply chain.

* Artivist is a combination word, & way of being, of artist & activist

To apply for this residency, send a letter of interest to seachangevoyage(at)gmail.com. Please includes samples of your previous work, your relationship to the river or the Bakken-crude supply chain, the dates of your availability, and highlight possible themes you’d like to explore during the “Floating Artivist Residency”.  Please include your name and “Floating Artivist Residency” in the email subject. 

Resistance Report: The Highland (Eldred) Compressor

 

Millennium Pipeline Co. has purchased 80 acres from the Eldred Preserve (Town of Highland) in western Sullivan County for a new proposed compressor station. This compressor is connected not just to the Millennium pipeline but to the CPV Valley power plant, the Valley Lateral pipeline (which would connect Millennium and CPV) and the Hancock compressor, where they plan to add a second compressor, plus additional work at Ramapo. If Eldred is built, that would make 4 compressors within 60 miles, which far exceeds the industry standard and bodes ill of further future expansion.

Based on their stated in-service date of Fall 2018, Millennium was clearly hoping to ram this through what they expected to be a sleepy rural area. But true to the area’s history as the incubator of the early anti-fracking movement, that has not been the case. A new grassroots group called SCRAM (Sullivan County Residents Against Millennium) has organized in record time, with help from several established anti-fracking groups. READ THE WHOLE STORY HERE.

WHERE TO JUMP IN: Click here for info about the dangers of the compressor. Watch this video(provided by SCRAM) of what life is like living near a Millennium compressor. View the interactive YOU ARE HERE map to get an overview of the larger pipeline system.

Independent Solar Contractors in it for the Long Haul

Without question national solar installers such as SolarCity (now Tesla), SunRun, Sungevity, and SunPower deserve significant credit for the proliferation of residential solar. From 2012 to 2016 residential solar grew by more than 50% annually, and the top 5 installers have more than 50% market share. They used aggressive marketing campaigns and third party financing products to make average Americans (with FICO scores 680+) comfortable with rooftop solar. However, recently Andrew Bebe beautifully explained why the “long tail” (small regional solar installers, roofers, plumbers, electricians, general contractors) will dominate residential solar in the future. Independent contractors should be very confident their solar installation businesses are competitive with national solar installers and that their businesses are the future of residential solar.

1) Cost & Quality

For the majority of installs, the most important factors are Cost & Quality (economics). Independent installers have an advantage over national installer’s economics. Both independent installers and national installers are using tier-1 Asian Poly, SolarEdge/Enphase, and racking systems that protect roof warranties. In addition, independent solar installers have great access to high-efficiency modules such as Panasonic and LG that cost less than Sunpower. The biggest difference in value-add is that independent installers can complete their installs for less money.

Since the module price drop, independent solar installers across the country do not have issues selling systems for less than $3.30/w (dependent upon roof type and module); installation costs are consistently below $2.75/w. However, according to SunRun’s Q3 2016 financials, the average cost per watt is $3.37/w. Before Tesla’s merger with SolarCity, they achieved an installed cost of $3.18/w. While Vivint Solar’s cost was below SunRun’s at $2.85/w, it will consistently cost them about 10% more per watt than an independent installer. The main reason is marketing and overhead. In Q3 2016, both companies spent more than $.50/w on customer acquisition to fund several aggressive marketing strategies. Due to a slightly more complex business model from third party ownership financing products, their overhead will be higher and it has been higher by approximately $.20/w than independent installers. While anything is possible, it seems difficult for national installers to overcome these costs challenges. It is not surprising that previous national installers such as Verengo, One Roof, and NRG Home Solar have gone bankrupt or exited residential solar. Sungevity had their merger canceled and have recently gone through another round of layoffs.

2) Service

Independent installers should always win big with service. They are known and trusted professionals in their respective communities and potential solar customers quickly know their name and face. Because they are familiar with local authorities having jurisdiction (AHJ), they know how to navigate the interconnection process as efficiently as possible. If there ever was a service issue, the homeowner will have their cell phone and they can attend to the installation immediately. It is much more difficult for a national installer to provide this high level of service and develop a personal relationship with the installer. Involving a national installer will require communication with multiple layers and it will be difficult to match a local installer’s communication. A national installer will take longer to interconnect the system and Sungevity acknowledged that their average install time (sale to system installation) averaged 90 days.

3) Financing

One of the most interesting predictions for 2017 is there will be more residential loans than residential leases. Homeowners–that have enough tax liability–save significantly more with loans than a lease and they are available across the country, unlike third party ownership. While national installers generally had the advantage with PPAs and leases, it is an equal playing field with loan and PACE products. Mosaic and GreenSky are two of the most popular loan providers for independent contractors and they handle Tesla and SunRun’s loan product as well. They offer an 18-month interest only 20-year and 12-year loan with ~5% and ~3% APR that comes with a varying dealer fee. Independent installers can also more fluidly work with the homeowner to find a financing product that better fits their needs. They can compare multiple loan options and also explore PACE, HELOCs, and Mortgage Refis. Since the same financial institutions are providing loans for both national and local installers, there is no benefit for the national installer. It is also likely local installers will use multiple financing products and they can work with potential solar customers to find the optimal financing solution.

4) What about Storage?

Storage without a doubt will be critical for residential solar in the future. While Tesla definitely has the best name in the market with their PowerWall, independent contractors have access to great battery alternatives. Products such as GS Battery, BMZ, and SimpliPhi do not have the same name recognition as Tesla, but their Levelized Cost of Energy are comparable and, more importantly, they are readily available to install.

Although it may get overlooked, independent contractors can prepare elegant sales proposals efficiently with programs like Energy Toolbase. National installers have IT departments and have allocated resources to create sales proposals. These proposals are important marketing materials because they allow the homeowner to calculate their savings and understand their systems. While national installers have more resources to develop sales proposals, independent contractors can deliver the same proposal. Energy Toolbase helps solar contractors accurately forecast savings, especially with complex and/or new rate tariffs. Again, the sales proposal is another tool or feature that would previously offer a national installer an inherent advantage but now there’s no difference.

While some homeowners will prefer national installers, and there will always be homeowners that independent contractors can’t reach, independent contractors should not fear a national installer in their hometown. Instead, they should leverage the demand generated and be ready to shine amongst the competition.

Is community solar in trouble?

News Alert: Is community solar in trouble?

Despite deep concerns raised by the Energy Democracy Alliance, a recent state order replaces net metering with a complex set of rules that could cripple small-scale renewable energy development.

BACKGROUND: The Public Service Commission (PSC) has just adopted a “Value of Distributed Energy Resources” (VDER) policy that sets the statewide value of renewable energy resources, such as solar and wind. VDER puts local installers and community organizations at a disadvantage, by rapidly phasing out net metering – the current simple compensation mechanism – and replacing it with a policy so complex that it may only work for large firms capable of devoting substantial resources to sophisticated financial and energy market modeling.

MITIGATING FACTORS: To its credit, the PSC acknowledged some of these issues and proposed potential remedies. These include a directive to NYSERDA (the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority) to provide $28 million in funding for community renewable energy, with targeted funding to support low-income access. Additionally, the Commission opened the door for immediate consideration of increased compensation for projects that serve low-income customers. There were also some incremental improvements to the core of the policy that may smooth out the transition and allow more projects to become viable. BUT . . .

Is this a signal that the state is walking back stated goals for widely available and affordable distributed energy, in favor of centralized and utility-scale projects that favor Wall Street?

Kauffman

CONCERNS REMAIN: This ruling is part of Reforming the Energy Vision (REV), a process launched by Governor Cuomo, whose stated goals were to create a clean, resilient, and more affordable energy system in New York. The Energy Democracy Alliance is concerned that the rapid pace of net metering phase-out and the complexity of the new policy jeopardizes these goals.

The proposed VDER policy could perpetuate inequities for low-income customers, people of color, and other New Yorkers who want to generate and use renewable energy.

MORE INFO HERE.

Action steps coming soon!

About the New York Energy Democracy Alliance  

The New York Energy Democracy Alliance is a collaboration of community-based organizations, grassroots groups, and policy experts working together to move our state toward a renewable, equitable, affordable and local energy system. Our current focus is on building public participation in the historic overhaul of state energy policy that Gov. Cuomo, the PSC, and NYSERDA are pursuing, in order to ensure that all New Yorkers—including low-and moderate-income communities and communities of color— can be part of the process, and benefit from it.

Current members include:

 

  • Affordable Housing Partnership Homeownership Center
  • Alliance for a Green Economy (AGREE)
  • Binghamton Regional Sustainability Coalition
  • Catskill Mountainkeeper
  • Center for Social Inclusion
  • Citizen Action of New York
  • Citizens’ Environmental Coalition
  • Citizens for Local Power
  • Co-op Power
  • Fossil Free Tompkins
  • Good Old Lower East Side (GOLES)
  • Hudson River Sloop Clearwater
  • Long Island Progressive Coalition
  • New York State Sustainable Business Council
  • Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson
  • Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition
  • People United for Sustainable Housing (PUSH) Buffalo
  • Sane Energy Project
  • Solstice
  • Sullivan Alliance for Sustainable Development
  • Syracuse United Neighbors (SUN)
  • WE ACT for Environmental Justice

Kingston: Demonstration Opposing Gutting of Clean Water Act

Background & Information for the Press Conference:

Last week, the Attorney General led a coalition of AGs vowing to oppose President Trump’s Executive Order that guts protections for Clean Water, known as the “Clean Water Rule.” Read more about this announcement here: https://ag.ny.gov/press-release/new-york-ag-schneiderman-leads-coalition-ags-opposing-president-trumps-executive-order.

On Thursday, March 9 at 12:30pm the AG will be in the Kingston area to join local officials and environmental advocates to reiterate this promise to protect New York’s residents by protecting their clean water. The Trump administration has given every indication that they are going to carry out this assault on Clean Water and our environment, so we are standing together to vow to fight these dangerous plans. We are planning on meeting at the Sojourner Truth/Ulster Landing Park by 12:15pm for the 12:30event.

For background, here’s some information on the Clean Water Rule from the NY Times:https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/28/us/politics/trump-epa-clean-water-climate-change.html?_r=0

Please RSVP to Lynsey Timbrouck in the Mayor’s office if you are planning to attend: 

Coalition Against PILGRIM PIPELINES Outreach Training Day

Saturday Feb. 11  9:30 am – 3 pm 
Unitarian Universalist Congregation
320 Sawkill Rd, Kingston

Want to get involved to stop the Pilgrim Pipelines but sometimes feel like you don’t have all the facts at your finger tips, don’t have the latest updates on the struggle or think you don’t know exactly what goes into a press release or fb page? Come join us for a great day of skills sharing!

The workshops included in this skills-sharing day are: a Sample Talking Points presentation accompanied by a printed version, with references, that can be used for outreach and talking points, as well as trainings on Media Outreach, Power Point, Social Media Outreach, and Pilgrim Pipeline Map Reading. Additionally, a handy Outreach Resource Bibliography will be provided to all attendees.

This sharing of skills is intended for those invested in the fight against Pilgrim Pipelines to be able to leave at the end of the day equipped to do outreach to others. So whether you are a seasoned member of CAPPNY who would like to hone your outreach skills, or are new to learning about the threat of Pilgrim Pipelines and seeking to get involved, whether you have a few hours a month to volunteer or more time to devote- come join us. Coffee and a nosh will get us started, and lunch will be provided in between sessions.

Lunch will be provided.  Bring your laptop if you have one – laptops are required for some (but not all) of the skills workshops.  (Look at the registration page for details.)
 

Please take the time to register so we can prepare lunch and materials for all!  Register at: http://tinyurl.com/capp-trainingday-registernow

See attached for schedule of the day.

The workshops are free to all, but as always, donations to CAPPNY  are greatly appreciated. To register go to:

http://tinyurl.com/capp-trainingday-registernow

See you February 11!

Please let us know if you have any questions.

Sue, Emily, Arielle- outreach committee

Benefit Concert to Help Stop Dakota Access and Pilgrim Pipelines

kingston-ny-solar-hudson-valley

 

Over a Dozen Musicians to Perform Benefit Concert to Help Stop Dakota Access and Pilgrim Pipelines  
Kingston, NY  Over fifteen Hudson Valley musicians will play a benefit, “Concert for a Cause,” on Sunday, January 152 – 5 PM, to raise money for Water Protectors working to stop fracked oil pipelines in North Dakota and in New York. All proceeds from the fundraiser, sponsored by and taking place at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Catskills, 320 Sawkill Rd., Kingston, NY, will go to the Water Protectors resisting the Dakota Access Pipeline near Standing Rock, ND, and to the Coalition Against Pilgrim Pipelines-NY.
The concert will open with the “Sioux Honoring Song” performed by the Red Feather Singers from the Association of Native Americans of the Hudson Valley in fellowship with the Water Protectors at Oceti Sakowin Camp in North Dakota. Maggie Rothwell, a professional singer and guitarist, will emcee the event as well as perform. The Red Feather Singers will perform a wide range of original and traditional songs, many from the contemporary folk genre. Other performers, in alphabetical order, will include:
• Steve Beer

• Lannie Bolde
• James Burke
• Bill Buttner
• Ethan Campbell
• Nancy and John DeNicolo
• Ditto – Cyndy DiBeneditto & Michelle Ann
• David C. Hemingway
• Matthew Kobalkin
• Bob Morgenstern
• Kevin O’Connell
• Katie Pierce
• Mary Ellen Schwartz
• Justin Smith
• Tom Starace
• Paul Stokes

• UU Ukes

Although the Obama Administration temporarily blocked an easement for the Dakota Access pipeline, the indigenous-led nonviolent movement remains through the brutal North Dakota winter. Funds are still needed to support those who continue their encampment at the site, and for legal fees. The proposed Pilgrim pipelines, which would run from Albany to Linden, NJ, would cross under the Hudson River twice, along with 237 other waterways, as well as 296 wetlands. Both the Dakota Access and Pilgrim pipelines would carry Bakken Shale crude oil, extracted using fracking, which was banned in New York due to its health impacts. The suggested donation will be $20 although smaller amounts will be accepted gratefully.
“This upcoming fundraiser goes hand-in-hand with the Unitarian Universalists’ strong tradition of supporting environmental causes,” noted Reverend Erica Baron, minister at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Catskills. “It fits right in with the U.U. Seventh Principle: “Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.”
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Friends, These sibling pipeline struggles have much in common, as both Dakota Access Pipeline and the Pilgrim pipelines would threaten mighty rivers, carry fracked Bakken shale crude oil from North Dakota, harm climate, violate indigenous peoples’ land, and put drinking water at risk for millions. We are united and strong here! Over a dozen of us from CAPPNY have gone to North Dakota in solidarity since September, and increasingly, the national profile of the fight against Pilgrim pipelines is growing also, along with the awareness that Pilgrim’s route would go through Ramapough Luunape land. Here’s an example: From Standing Rock to the World: 10 indigenous and environmental struggles and how you can help in 2017. 
In closing — see you Sunday, or soon.
Peace,
Iris

Solidarity with Standing Rock-New Paltz

PLEASE JOIN US TO STAND IN SOLIDARITY WITH STANDING ROCK

SATURDAY DECEMBER 3rd 10am – 1pm

29 Main Street, New Paltz NY WELLS FARGO BANK

More than 200 Indigenous tribes as well as non-Native allies have been standing strong to stop Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) from uprooting sacred Sioux burial sites on unceeded treaty land dating from 1851.  More immediately water protectors have been risking their lives to keep the 1172 mile pipeline, which would carry Bakken Crude oil, from being laid under the Missouri River and Lake Oahe, the only water source of the Lakota Sioux. A break in the line will poison drinking water for millions and hasten climate change.  Water protectors are being met with brutal militarized force from County and State police, a private security firm hired by Energy Transfer Partners, as well as from the National Guard, even though the corporation has been given NO federal permit approval to drill under the Missouri River.

Now the Army Corps of Engineers has issued an eviction notice to Standing Rock (Oceti Sakowin Camp) where thousands have been peacefully camped out for months- for Dec. 5th!

Wells Fargo is one of the banks investing in DAPL, making it possible for Energy Transfer to continue this project despite costly delays and strong opposition.
Given Wells Fargo’s prime investment in this project, and its recent practice involving customer account fraud. this seems like an especially appropriate place to urge people to take action.

On Sat. we will share information, urge account holders to divest from Wells Fargo, urge Wells Fargo to divest from DAPL, stop business as usual.

Please spread the word to all you know
see:  https://actionnetwork.org/event_campaigns/nodapl-solidarity-week-of-action?zipcode=12561&country=US

Please bring signs.  We will have fliers to distribute to customers and passersby.
If you would consider participating in an action within the bank itself, please email either:
Reeni – 
Phyllis – 
Sue-