Environmental Justice

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Our Purpose and Vision

  • By 2030: NY State should produce all its electrical power from clean, renewable resources of energy (wind, solar and hydro). All transportation vehicles – cars, trucks and trains – should be powered by either hydrogen or batteries. All heating for buildings should be done by air or ground sourced heat pumps.
  • No investment in new fossil fuel infrastructure
  • Landfills should be equipped with fuel cells to create hydrogen from methane that is now leaking into the atmosphere. That hydrogen can be burned cleanly to generate electricity, or sold to industry  for use in other purposes.
  • All the radioactivity (millions of Curies) at West Valley NY derived from reprocessing activities during the 1960’s and 1970’s will be removed from the site.
  • Due to the extreme dangers posed by spent nuclear fuel, nuclear energy will not be part of the low carbon future humans must create.


NY State’s Mysterious Electrical Energy Deficit. The electricity deficit appears when comparing NYISO’s Annual Gold Book reports (Table III-2) with their historical baseline load reports (Table I-2) (see figure). Electrical loads and generation must always be in balance, but NYISO’s reporting does not show that balance — in one table! You need to go digging. The discrepancy almost disappears when including GWh import data from Table III-3d. In 2020, NYS imported 17,456 GWh from Ontario and Quebec and 9,639 GWh from PJM (Pennsylvania & New Jersey). 23.8{18f4e0a41fddb2e88741536e88191ef0d4c56a815c6739466934f6385f4e0c26} of the electricity in PJM comes from coal; 36.6{18f4e0a41fddb2e88741536e88191ef0d4c56a815c6739466934f6385f4e0c26} comes from methane and 33.9{18f4e0a41fddb2e88741536e88191ef0d4c56a815c6739466934f6385f4e0c26} nuclear (2019 figures). 97{18f4e0a41fddb2e88741536e88191ef0d4c56a815c6739466934f6385f4e0c26} of Hydro-Quebec are dams & reservoirs with 3{18f4e0a41fddb2e88741536e88191ef0d4c56a815c6739466934f6385f4e0c26} methane. For Ontario, 28{18f4e0a41fddb2e88741536e88191ef0d4c56a815c6739466934f6385f4e0c26} is methane; 23{18f4e0a41fddb2e88741536e88191ef0d4c56a815c6739466934f6385f4e0c26} is hydro; 34{18f4e0a41fddb2e88741536e88191ef0d4c56a815c6739466934f6385f4e0c26} is nuclear; 13{18f4e0a41fddb2e88741536e88191ef0d4c56a815c6739466934f6385f4e0c26} wind; 1{18f4e0a41fddb2e88741536e88191ef0d4c56a815c6739466934f6385f4e0c26} solar.


NYISO Gold Books

Rearranged in very understandable and readable form…..

Each April, the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) publishes what they call a “Gold Book” which is a list the 700 electrical energy generators in New York State, and their production (GWh) during the previous year…i.e. the 2018 Gold Book refers to 2017 generation. The NYISO Gold Books are in pdf format and in Excel format. NYISO’s Gold Books are here: https://www.nyiso.com/library Look for “Load & Capacity Data Report”.

As we have for the past 8 years, the Environmental Justice Taskforce provides re-formatted NYISO Gold Books as a public service.

For an overview of electricity generation in New York State, take a look at the Excel sheet named: “Zonal Totals”.

Unofficial NYISO Goldbook 2020

Unofficial NYISO Goldbook 2019

Unofficial NYISO Goldbook 2018

Unofficial NYISO Goldbook 2017

Unofficial NYISO Goldbook 2016

Unofficial NYISO Goldbook 2015

Unofficial NYISO Goldbook 2014

Unofficial NYISO Goldbook 2013

Unofficial NYISO Goldbook 2012

Unofficial NYISO Goldbook 2011

Unofficial NYISO Goldbook 2010

Unofficial NYISO Goldbook 2009

Unofficial NYISO Goldbook 2008

Unofficial NYISO Goldbook 2007

Unofficial NYISO Goldbook 2006

Charley Bowman’s slides presented July 27, 2021 during the West Valley Action Network’s presentation:

Why the Main Plant Process Building Must be Enclosed Prior to Demolition


Big News!

Monthly Solar PV Installs in NY State

As of Oct 2020, the growth rate of solar PV MW is ~ 20{18f4e0a41fddb2e88741536e88191ef0d4c56a815c6739466934f6385f4e0c26} annually.  Prior to summer 2020, the growth rate was about 0 {18f4e0a41fddb2e88741536e88191ef0d4c56a815c6739466934f6385f4e0c26}. So the Oct 2020 NYSERDA data is Big News for solar PV infrastructure in NY State.  Prior to January 2016, the growth rate was 64{18f4e0a41fddb2e88741536e88191ef0d4c56a815c6739466934f6385f4e0c26} which represented a doubling time was about 1.5 years. Why this phenomenal growth rate decreased to 0{18f4e0a41fddb2e88741536e88191ef0d4c56a815c6739466934f6385f4e0c26} remains a mystery.


In 2 or 3 years, Solar PV in Zone A will produce more kWh than Zone A’s methane-fired generators!


LNG by Rail: An Idea Whose Time Should Have Never Come!

On June 19, 2020, the Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) okayed the transport of liquid natural gas (LNG) by rail…in untested rail tanker cars designated as DOT-113C120W9.  Previous to June 19, 2020, rail transport of LNG has been illegal because of huge disasters involving LNG, such as the one that occurred on October 20, 1944 in Cleveland Ohio (Cleveland LNG Disaster) killing 130 people and destroying 1 square mile of downtown Cleveland. By approving LNG by rail, President Trump is setting us up for another such accident. More information is here


Our April 29, 2019  visit to the High Sheldon Wind Farm, Town of Sheldon NY

Do wind turbines make any of noise? Hear for yourself:

Listening to wind turbine D2 at the High Sheldon Wind Farm, Sheldon NY. Can you hear anything besides the voices of other people and the wind itself?

Wind Turbine D2 at the High Sheldon Wind Farm, Sheldon NY, April 29, 2019

Thanks to Apex Clean Energy for organizing the visit to the High Sheldon Wind Farm.


Results of our 24 Hour Trainspotting Efforts during 2019

As we have for the past few years, we host a 24 hour trainspotting effort, usually at the Amtrak Station in Depew NY.  Here is a summary of four such trainspotting efforts all done in 2019.  Charley Bowman presented these results at a lecture on Dec 5 2019 at the Niagara Branch Library, Buffalo NY.

2019: WNY Drilling Defense/Environmental Justice Taskforce Trainspotting Efforts

…and our trainpotting efforts have been a subject of a study by Professor Michael Ziolkowski of the College of Brockport, School of Business, Brockport New York:

 Citizen scientists documenting hazardous materials shipments on American railroads

Unfortunately, Dr. Ziolkowski’s paper is safely kept behind an immense $31.50 paywall…..but here is the abstract:

Economic development is powered by access to energy and industrial chemical inputs. Many of these energy forms and chemicals are harmful to human health and the environment. North American sourced petroleum crude oil has grown in volume in the past decade. Transporting this oil from its sources to refineries and export markets requires railroads. Unfortunately, there have been serious accidents involving the transportation of oil and some have questioned the conventional risk analysis used to permit its shipment by rail. At the same time climate change is being fueled by the use of hydrocarbons. A group of concerned citizens, skeptical of official information channels, began monitoring railroad rights-of-way for hazardous materials and recorded their findings. Railroad shipping data are otherwise unavailable to the general public. While energy related chemicals such as petroleum crude oil, alcohol, and butane constitute most of the observed shipments, a great deal of miscellaneous hazardous materials are present as well. Many of these hazardous materials are distributed through densely populated urban areas and ecologically sensitive places. The results of these observations are presented in this paper, followed by a discussion of the present situation and view toward future trends.


Gov. Cuomo: Walk the Talk on Climate!

On April 23, 2018, former EJTF Chair, Dr. Charley Bowman was one of 55 people arrested for blocking the entrance to Gov. Cuomo’s office at the state capitol.

I decided to participate in this wonderful event because Gov. Cuomo has allowed the 60{18f4e0a41fddb2e88741536e88191ef0d4c56a815c6739466934f6385f4e0c26} growth rate in solar PV to plummet to 0{18f4e0a41fddb2e88741536e88191ef0d4c56a815c6739466934f6385f4e0c26} annually. The change happened after September 2015 (see graph above “Solar PV in NY State”). This big question is WHY?

An aside: For the Walk-The-Talk Event,  I drove our new all-electric Chevy Bolt, which has a 238 mile EPA range, from Buffalo NY to Albany NY — a distance of about 280 miles. Unfortunately, as much as I enjoy Ithaca, the only level 3 DC chargers in Upstate NY are located in Ithaca NY. So I drove from Buffalo to Ithaca to re-charge the batteries (2 hour wait using the 60 Amp service at Diane’s Auto). During that time I visited Ithacan friends before driving to Albany where I charged up again at the Hannefords in Voorheesville NY (100 amp service – 50 minute charge time). The alternative of stopping in Syracuse NY to charge the batteries would require a 6 hour wait time — hence the shortest  pathway (in time)  between Buffalo and Albany NY for Chevy Bolts runs through Ithaca NY. I hope this gets fixed soon by placing more level 3 charges (> 100 amp service) in the charging desert of Upstate NY. Oct. 2020 Update: Electrify America now has fast DC chargers at Herkimer NY and Waterloo NY, not far from their respective Thruway exits. No longer is it necessary to travel through Ithaca NY to charge up.

I burned no fossil fuels, directly, during the trip between Buffalo and Albany NY (neglecting the source of electricity to charge the Bolt’s batteries…a topic for another time).

More information about the Cuomo Walk-the-Talk event at:


US Military’s Carbon Footprint:
Piloted Aircraft, Drones & Electric Cars

Charley Bowman’s Presentation-June-23-2018-Sierra-Atlantic-Meeting-Binghamton NY


Renewable Energy Projects and Information

Local government in several towns located in Niagara County in Upstate New York passed anti-solar and proposed state-wide anti-wind law. Details current as of April 2017 are here:

Summary Anti-Wind and Solar Legislation NY State April 26 2017


Renewable Energy Production in New York State: Essentially, No Overall Progress in 10 Years
Use of non-hydro renewables remains small relative to fossil and nuclear fuels: graphs will be posted…





Our Comments on the NYS Energy Board’s April 2014 Draft Energy Plan

The 2014 Draft State Energy Plan: Business as Usual: Continue Burning Fossil, Nuclear Fuels & Continue the ‘Freeze’ Renewable Energy



Repowering the Dunkirk Coal Plant and Cayuga Coal Plant with Renewable Energy

The fact that coal is a dangerous fossil fuel for human health and the climate coupled with the cheap natural gas is forcing coal plant operators to close their plants, or curtail energy production. New York State’s Public Service Commission held hearings on what to do with the Dunkirk Coal Plant (Dunkirk NY) and the Cayuga Coal Plant (near Lansing NY on the shores of beautiful Cayuga Lake, just north of Ithaca). Only two choices were presented by the Public Service Commission: repower with natural gas or shut down the plants and improve transmission lines into both areas. The global warming potential of methane is about 90 times that of CO2 (Howarth et al. Climatic Change 106:679-690 (2011)). Hence New York State’s Public Service Commission is seriously considering an option (methane) that would enhance the global warming.

The WNY Peace Center’s Renewable Energy Task Force offered a third alternative: repower both with renewable energy by creating two large solar parks: one at the old Seneca Army Depot (between Seneca and Cayuga Lakes) — the other at the Dunkirk Coal plant itself. Our report can be downloaded here: Green Powering the Dunkirk and Cayuga Coal Plants

Seneca Army Depot Solar Park
— would be the largest solar farm in U.S.
Dunkirk Solar Park
Seneca Army Depot Image...
Seneca Army Depot Solar Park
— would be the largest solar farm in U.S.
Dunkirk Solar Park
Seneca Army Depot Image...
Seneca Army Depot Solar Park
— would be the largest solar farm in U.S.
Dunkirk Solar Park
Seneca Army Depot Image...

Red: 8,366 acres for a 2,091 MWp-dc solar park.
Excluding the following areas: Blue: 620 acre Area Q, home of the Seneca White Deer population
and Green: Five Points Correctional Facility.

Dunkirk Coal Plant Image...

Dunkirk NY Solar Park, 65.7 acres, 13 MWp-dcLansing Coal Plant

Lansing Coal Plant Image...

Lansing, New York — 313 acres, 78.2 MWp-dc .


Methane derived from shale or conventional sources contributes to global warming more than do coal or oil

…..both shale gas and conventional natural gas have a larger GHG [Greenhouse Gas Footprint] than do coal or oil, for any possible use of natural gas and particularly for the primary uses of residential and commercial heating. The 20-year time period is appropriate because of the urgent need to reduce methane emissions over the coming 15–35 years….Robert Howarth, May 2014 (see below)

Robert Howarth, May 2014: A bridge to nowhere: methane emissions and the greenhouse gas footprint of natural gas

Howarth et al 2011: Methane and the greenhouse-gas footprint of natural gas from shale formations

Jacobson et al paper: A 17 Year Plan for Generating all of New York State Electrical, Transporation and Heating Energy from Renewable Sources of Energy

“We have an emergency….we have a crisis” — James Hansen, Feb 20, 2013

Listen to James Hansen, inteviewed by Subhankar Banerjee, February 2013


Niagara Falls / Lewiston NY Solar Array Projects:

Niagara Falls Air Base & Lewiston Pump Storage Reservoir

We need to immediately begin the transition to 100{18f4e0a41fddb2e88741536e88191ef0d4c56a815c6739466934f6385f4e0c26} renewable energy….

Greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4), continue to increase. For the first time in our 8,000 year human history — on Thursday May 9, 2013 at 8 PM (Eastern Standard Time) — the atmospheric CO2 level reached a landmark concentration of 400 parts per million1. Apart from a seasonal variation (minimum around October, ever-increasing maximums around May of each year), the increase shows no sign of abatement, and is due mostly to the burning of fossil fuels to generate electricity.You can view the current CO2 level (in parts per million) here: Current Atmospheric CO2 Level

The increasing greenhouse gas level is causing unpredictable changes in climate over the entire Earth: sea levels are rising endangering continued human habitation in coastal areas and islands; the oceans’ reefs are disintegrating due to acidification; the ocean’s temperature is increasing which will increase the frequency and severity of storms (superstorms); and the average temperature is rising, diminishing glaciers and sea ice, causing the slow rise in sea level.

All this adds up to one thing: long established food growing areas may loose that ability, while other areas may gain it — or not.

If the burning of fossil fuels is not soon attenuated, some of these climatological changes will likely cause war between those who continue to “have” and the newly “have-nots”, within the same jurisdiction (i.e.country or state), between countries, or both…

For example, the origins of the Syrian Civil War can be traced to an extended Syrian drought between 2006 and 2010. In that time, Syria lost 80{18f4e0a41fddb2e88741536e88191ef0d4c56a815c6739466934f6385f4e0c26} of its cattle. As a result of the loss of farming, 1.5 million Syrians migrated to Syrian cities — the largest internal migration in human history. These climate refugees needed new water wells to quench the thirst but permits to dig were given out in a sectarian manner. Wells were dug anyway. NPR broadcast a segment on the climatic origins of the Syrian Civil War on Sunday, September 8, 2013. You can listen here Also see The Role of Drought and Climate Change in the Syrian Uprising: Untangling the Triggers of the Revolution, by Francesca De Châtel, January 27, 2014

To abate the increasing greenhouse gas levels, we need to stop burning fossil fuels. The technology is available to do this through wind, solar and geothermal sources of renewable energy.

As part of this needed world-wide effort to transition to sources of renewable energy, the WNY Peace Center proposes gigantic solar arrays at the following locations: Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station in Niagara Falls NY, the Lewiston Pump Storage Reservoir in Lewiston NY, Dunkirk Coal Plant, Dunkirk, NY (now closed), Coal Power Plant at Lansing NY (operating), and the former Seneca Army Depot .

Slides of the most recent version of the proposal, dated October 20, 2013 are here: Niagara Falls/Lewiston NY Gigantic Solar Array Project

Nick Mottern – Knowdrones.org – interviews Charley Bowman about the Proposed Solar Farms in Niagara County

On April 26, 2013, as part of his wonderful “Drones and Global Conflict Education Series — Nick Mottern interviewed (now) Former Interim Executive Director Charley Bowman about the Peace Center’s plans for two solar farms in Niagara County: one at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station and the second on top of the Lewiston Pump Storage Reservoir. The interview can be seen here here


Weather Analysis Concludes that Niagara Falls Area is Best Suited for Solar Farms

In December 2012, Buffalo State College’s Dr. Stephen Vermette, and Jack Kanack (of Weather Medic, Inc), along with Buffalo State students Fred Bloom, Brigette Brzezniak, William Matalonis, and Samantha Thomas wrote a detailed analysis of weather patterns in Western New York. They concluded that Niagara Falls and Lewiston NY “…are best suited for WNY to maximize solar energy and the solar view, and to minimize the impact of “lake effect” clouds, and snowfall amounts…“. Sunshine Report


Older Versions of NFARS/Lewiston Solar Farms Proposal

Some slides from an older version of the proposal, dated April 25, 2013, are here: Niagara Falls/Lewiston NY Gigantic Solar Array ProjectAn older version, dated October 4, 2012, is posted here: Niagara Falls/Lewiston NY Gigantic Solar Array Project


1. Heat-Trapping Gas Passes Milestone, Raising Fears, By Justin Gillis, New York Times, May 10, 2013.