Over the past few months, community members working to stop a massive fracked gas power plant in Orange County, New York have assembled 70 miles away, outside of a courthouse in lower Manhattan.
The court is the site of an ongoing corruption trial for Joseph Percoco, the former top aide of Governor Andrew Cuomo. The case centers on bribes that Percoco, a long-time Cuomo family friend, collected from developers looking for state approval for several high-profile projects, most notably the Competitive Power Ventures (CPV) power plant.
The CPV plant would burn fracked gas, polluting the air of nearby communities and representing a huge, long-term investment in dirty fossil fuels contributing to climate change. As the case has unfolded, compelling evidence shows that the Cuomo administration’s approval process embodied the worst of Albany-style political corruption.
Governor Cuomo is reportedly furious that his administration is being linked to the scandal. But he’s not doing anything about it. And that’s simply not good enough. Led by local allies like Sustainable Warwick and Protect Orange County, advocates have been using the Percoco trial to send a clear message to Governor Cuomo: This plant is dirty, your administration is responsible, and you must take action.
It’s time for Cuomo to revoke the permits for CPV and shut down this dirty power plant. For a governor who banned fracking in our state, and who has made repeated pledges to clean up the sleazy culture of Albany, there is no other choice.