Green Sanctuary - Working with SHARE

SHARE is the Sheridan Hollow Alliance for Renewable Energy.

SHARE mission and origin

SHARE seeks to stop the proposed Sheridan Hollow fossil fuel power plant and to redirect the state funds dedicated to this project toward a renewable energy solution.  SHARE was formed in August 2017 with initial and ongoing participation by several Albany UU members. In October 2017, Albany UU’s Board of Trustees voted to endorse SHARE. Other environmental groups active in SHARE include Sane Energy Project, Food and Water Watch, and Citizen Action of New York.

SHARE benefits

Success of the SHARE mission would mean bringing environmental justice to the local community and putting the state on a better track towards its greenhouse gas emission reduction goals (with the Sheridan Hollow project as a shining example of what urgently needs to be done throughout the state). SHARE’s more immediate goal is to persuade the state to issue an open request for proposals for a renewable energy solution. A side benefit is establishing useful relationships with state legislators and agency officials, local government officials, and community leaders.

SHARE accomplishments to date

SHARE activism and technical research has helped persuade the state to pause the fossil fuel project schedule in February 2018 and to meet with geothermal experts in April 2018. SHARE helped get signatures of over forty state legislators on a letter urging the governor to pursue an alternative to fossil fuels. SHARE also got the legislature to amend the language of the appropriation for the power plant to include the possibility of operating on renewable energy.

Recent developments

The December 9, 2018 Sunday service at Albany UU included a Give-Away-the-Plate for SHARE. Merton Simpson, Albany County Legislator for the district that includes Sheridan Hollow, spoke about both the climate change and the environmental justice issues of the proposed power plant, and the congregation responded generously in support of SHARE.

The governor’s budget, released January 15, 2019, includes the same $88 million appropriation for the Sheridan Hollow power plant as was in last year’s budget. The language that was added last year allowing a renewable energy solution is still in the governor’s new budget bill. The Assembly’s budget bill, released March 12, 2019, has new language that the plant is “to operate to the extent possible on renewable energy to provide heating, cooling and electricity for the Empire State Plaza”; there’s no mention of fossil fuels! But the Senate budget bill, released the next day, still has the same language as the governor’s version. Even if the Senate bill is also changed to exclude fossil fuels, the governor could prevail in the final budget. The state could then try to revive its plan for the plant to operate on fracked gas.

Call Governor Cuomo now,  877-235-6537, and say – “Use the $88 million in the NY State Budget for the Sheridan Hollow Microgrid for renewable energy, not fracked gas, for the Empire State Plaza (ESP).”

SHARE will participate in an Environmental and Climate Justice forum on April 13 (new date) at the Latinos building at 160 Central Avenue. Others involved include Citizen Action, A Village, and the Radix Center.

Learn more

Next monthly meeting: Thursday, April 4, 2019, at 6:30pm at Citizen Action of NY, 94 Central Avenue, Albany, NY 12206. Agenda includes state budget results, update on a Skidmore College project involving students in working with SHARE, and preparation for the April 13 Environmental and Climate Justice forum.

Web log of SHARE Google Group email.

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