By Joseph Wilson
According to its own website, Cornell has been spewing 600,000 metric tons of CO2 equivalent of Methane Emissions from its fracked gas burning co-generation plant since 2016. This is a ten-fold increase in this 100-times more powerful than carbon dioxide heat-trapping pollutant since 2008.
Now Cornell proposes to dump another 5700 metric tons per year or 245,000 metric tons on us over 50 years as part of its North Campus Residential Expansion.
This kind of explosion in greenhouse gas emissions violates our Community’s plans to cut Emissions and Natural Gas implied in the City’s Climate Smart Pledge and specified in the Town’s Comprehensive Plan and the County’s Energy Road Map. Moreover, the buildings won’t meet the City and Town’s Green Building Policy standards for energy efficiency.
Repeating recent history, the City is ignoring these dangers by overlooking Cornell’s legal obligation to disclose methane emissions and kowtowing to Cornell’s demands for fast-track approval. As with other big City projects, the results will be approval based on misleading “facts,” no systematic Environmental Review, public interest in sustainability pushed aside, and a hotter future for us all.
Time for the City to meet its responsibilities and for Cornell to do what’s right.
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