Can You Hear Us Now!!! 200,000 comnents. Tremendous level of concern and effort to stop fracking in New York State.
Ban Fracking Now! Cuomo! What would your mother do?
Bette EK- Mother and Grandmother of
Horseheads, in Chemung County, speaks out about keeping her children and grandchildren safe!
———Letter from Bette Ek to Governor Cuomo—————–
Kate Newbury, Mother/Grandmother Speaks out for her river her children.
Video - Wendy Wall – Owego – Son, Thad, with Asthma
Aug 9, 2012
Wendy Wall of the Village of Owego, in Tioga County says, “My son has asthma. We moved here a couple years ago after looking for a place with clean air and a place for the children to run and bike without so much traffic. Owego is a wonderful place. We want it to stay that way. Fracking is not part of that picture.
To date, 3386 people were canvassed door-to-door and asked if they would like to sign a petition to prohibit shale gas industrialization in the Town of Owego 2336 signed the petition. That’s 69% of those canvassed. 344 (10%) have asked for more information before signing.
Yet after four months of educating our Town of Owego Board about high volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing and requesting that they enact a moratorium, they simply allow the public to speak, without offering a response other than the supervisor saying he favors drilling. Our town board “representatives” clearly are not representing the will of the people, nor looking out for their health, safety and welfare, as promised in their Comprehensive Plan.
Notes from Maura Stephens—————–August 17, 2012
From the ST Blog
Don’t Thank an Antifracktivist
If you sit by and wait for others to stop the industrialization of New York State, we’ve already lost.
A recent thread on a sustainability list-serve ended with the words: “Gratitude to those in direct actions to keep attention on fracking issues.”
I think it’s safe to speak for antifracktivists collectively when I say they don’t want to be thanked.
Don’t thank them. Join them. It’s not enough to do the positive work of protecting our environment, creating a strong local economy, and building a better society. Because those efforts are all endangered by fracking.
Read More Click Here
Taking to the Air Waves to Educate Cuomo
Carol French and Carolyn Knapp, two Dairy Farmers from Bradford County Pennsylvania, speak out in Richmondville- NY about their experience with the Oil&Gas industry.
Three Generations on A Family Farm, Sanford, Broome County, New York
We raised our three children in this town. I often hear people saying that the local children leave as soon as they can and that fracking will keep the youth here. Fracking won’t bring them back. I think the young people leave because of the atmosphere here. Since the debate about fracking started there is rarely a conversation that doesn’t turn to drilling. Often, these end in shouting matches as former friends face off and align with opposing viewpoints. Jobs are a big reason children move away, but how many really want to work in the gas industry? My children did leave the Town after college to be closer to their jobs; they often say they want to return to the Town of Sanford at some point in their lives. If anything, turning theTown into an industrialized zone would be the only thing to prevent them from coming home. They don’t want to return to see drill rigs, tankers clogging the roads, deforested hills, and dead fish floating in streams. They don’t want to return home to take care of ailing parents that breathed the contaminated air and drank from the once pure spring that supplies their home with water. They want to return to the peaceful, healthy place they enjoyed as children.
My goal is to protect: my farm, my town, my state, my country, and my planet from the damage of fracking. My plan was to happily spend the remainder of my life on this property, working in my gardens and beginning to farm again. I did not plan to spend my hard earned retirement fighting fracking, but I will do that as long as it takes because I want my children and grandchild to come home and enjoy this beautiful place as I have. From Kris of Sanford, Broome County
———-New York State United Against Fracking———-———-
More than 1000 people rallied against frackng in Albany on Monday, August 27th, 2012; representing a united front for all New Yorkers-an inspiration for the nation and the world to stand up against this destructive force in our midst.
–-Mothers from Chemung County Speak Out Against Fracking–—-
Tracey L. Davis: As a grandmother, a mother, a nurse, and an individual who depends on water to live- I oppose any kind of natural gas drilling. The gas industry cannot be held accountable in the court of law unless you test your water beforehand, yet nobody has that kind of money to get the test done and whoever pays for the test owns the results. The gas industry is manipulating towns and using financial incentives as bribes over the real truth. This is an outrage. I want my daughters and my grandchildren to have an unpolluted place to live. Natural gas drilling does NOT offer that for them. There are many issues to consider here- none of them good. Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring comes to mind. She said, “Can anyone believe it is possible to lay down such a barrage of poisons on the surface of the earth without making it unfit for all life?” Rachel Carson’s lessons still ring true today. We cannot keep using non-renewable energies and burning fossil fuels. We must invest in renewable energies- natural gas drilling is far from that and will make global warming worse. We need to consider the effects our actions will have on the next SEVEN GENERATIONS.
-Tracey L. Davis, RN, Pharsalia, Chenango County, NY, September 1, 2012
Cindy Brown (holding baby): I am disturbed by the lack of concern of all of our legislators. If one gas well contaminates one water aquifer, it just simply is not an acceptable practice. The other thing that I find disheartening is when I hear a town councilman state “Well I am pre-testing my water” to the tune of hundreds of dollars and there are mostly people living around here that are struggling to put food on the table. When asked what my town government is going to do for them, I am shrugged off like I guess it’s too bad for them. As a mother, a nurse, and steward of this land, I am responsible to make safe decisions. I keep hearing from pro-gas people that there is no proof water was contaminated or that cows became sick from a gas well. All I know is the water was fine, then the gas well was driilled and the water was not fine. There are alternatives and we must always make the safest choice for all the people, not only based on money. There are too many people with no money and our obligation is to protect these low income individuals from greed. I love a cold glass of fresh spring water. Let’s see what Pennsylvania looks like in 15-30 years in the meantime.Cindy Lee Brown, LPN, Pharsalia, Chenango County, NY, September 1, 2012
Melanie Maroney, mother and long time resident of Pharsalia : says: I remember the first Earth Day and the sweatshirts my parents bought my sisters and I. Woodsy Owl telling us “Give a Hoot, Don’t Pollute.” At an early age, I knew it was important to take good care of the Earth and our natural environment. I brought this conviction into the way I raised my children. My wish for them is to live in a clean, healthy, peaceful, rural environment. Above all, we must protect our water. Water is life. There is a finite supply. The issues with the natural gas industry are complex and multi-faceted. Aside from the risk to our water, we will be left with ruined ecological habitat for wildlife, an industrialized landscape, truck traffic causing expensive wear and tear on roads, increased costs for police, firefighters, first responders, and jails, increased health problems and health care costs, declining property values, increased taxes, as well as inability to get mortgages and homeowners insurance on affected properties. This is not a legacy I wish to leave for my children and future generations.
-Melanie S. Maroney, Pharsalia, NY, August 31, 2012
—--Young mom, Logan Adsit, with son Elijah of Chenango county, says:
I am a 23 year old resident of Chenango County. The most important things to me are raising my child in a community free of toxins. In 30 years, I want a place for my child to live without fear that his water is in danger. Natural gas drilling is a huge scam and there is scientific proof that it ruins water sources, decreases natural water in the area, pollutes the air, creates ground level ozone pollution, and SO MUCH MORE. I am against any natural gas drilling and think it should be banned in New York State. In a time with global climate change plaguing us, we’ve already hit peak oil and precious natural resources are being used just as fast- it is time for us to open our eyes to greater possibilities, such as renewable resources like solar and wind power. There are COUNTLESS negative effects natural gas drilling has on our communities and the health and well being of humans. Look to the science and the real life experiences around the country and you will see how natural gas drilling is a chemical genocide that should NOT be tolerated in any way. Once we pollute our water, the damage is irreversible. There is only so much clean water. As a young mother, I am outraged at the thought of this damage coming to my precious town. The gas companies cover up what’s really happening and bribe you with money. Are we really going to let a bunch of greedy selfish individuals do in this whole planet?
————–A Moral Plea to Cuomo from Bette Ek-———-
The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of New York State
New York State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224
Dear Governor Cuomo,
I fervently hope that the decision you make regarding fracking will be consistent with many of the quotations I have gleaned from your Inaugural Address, your 2012 State of the State Address, and your campaign website. I hope that as you make one of the most momentous decisions ever made by a Governor of our state you will first acknowledge that fracking is first and foremost a moral issue. I hope that your decision will reflect not politics but what you believe in, what promises you have made, and what basic moral principles you have no doubt tried to instill in your children. The Governor’s Oath of Office provides little guidance in this situation. It is far easier to see what the right decision regarding fracking would be when it is examined in the context of some moral obligations which few would dispute.
A Governor must be honest and forthright. “Honesty and integrity will be a hallmark of this administration.” “I will lift the veil of secrecy that now surrounds Albany and I will communicate in every way I can, ways never used before, but I need the people to join in.”Governor Cuomo, thousands of people in our state are trying to help lift the veil of secrecy which surrounds fracking. Those who rally in Albany and around the state are trying to spread the truth.This truth is based on science- science which sadly has had to come from sources other than our government officials and agencies. You often use the ubiquitous phrase that fracking decisions “must be based on science, not emotions.”We who fight against fracking have both. Most of us have acquired a vast store of knowledge about fracking and that knowledge is grim. It worries and angers us to think about the intolerable consequences of fracking. We are passionate about preventing them. Our science-fueled emotions are honest and justified.
A Governor must do no harm. Approval of fracking would force upon New Yorkers entanglement with an industry which is very likely to harm them. How can anyone trust an industry which has, among other things, managed to get itself exempted from critical environmental regulations, steadfastly refused to disclose the toxic chemicals it uses, and tried to strong-arm people into extending gas leases which have expired? As Attorney General you accused Fortuna Energy of using “prevalent misleading and deceptive tactics to secure leases and then pressure landowners into extensions, including the threat of obtaining liens against properties.”You reprimanded and fined them. Yet the industries are still trying to use this scam. This is not a very reassuring background check on companies which would be in a position to jeopardize our children’s health and well-being. The economic needs of our state are very real, but they will not be solved by counting onan industry which, in the words of a landowner coalition’s leader, “will try to cheat us anyway they can.”
A governor must stand up to bullies.“Too often government responds to the whispers of the lobbyists before the cries of the people.” “We will be taking on powerful interests and long-entrenched patterns of behavior.” “The special interests who have ruled our government for years must give way to the people’s agenda.” “It is a symbol of a new approach: to reconnect with people, to build back trust, to defeat the power of the special interests with the power of the people.” Governor Cuomo, how can the power of the people prevail if you choose to ignore the thousands of New Yorkers who are engaged in an historic grassroots movement to prevent the destruction of the state we love? Unlike those who expect to profit economically or politically from fracking, we have no self-serving interests. Our agenda involves standing up to the bullies who operate on behalf of those “powerful” special interest groups with their “long-entrenched patterns of behavior.” In the Southern Tier bullying takes the form of unrelenting political pressure on towns, on businesses, and even on individuals to embrace fracking. People are often afraid and therefore unwilling to speak out against fracking. This is not the way democracy is supposed to operate.The position that fracking would occur only in the towns that “want it” is extremely deceptive, since a great many town boards have been pressured into hurriedly passing “frack me” resolutions. In many cases they have done so in a manner ignoring any semblance of public involvement. The position that all the documented impacts of fracking, from contaminated air to increased crime, would be limited to selected communities is ludicrous. It is insulting to people’s intelligence, but when people are desperate logic often fails.
A Governor must demand that agencies whose designated role is to protect us from harm fulfill their obligations. Contrary to the oft-repeated mantra of our elected leaders that the DEC will protect us and give us “safe, responsible drilling” the DEC has clearly demonstrated that it cannot and will not do so. An agency which has consistently failed to consider health impacts cannot fulfill its obligations now or in the future. Your gubernatorial website promises “Making sure health and environmental risks are comprehensively studied before natural gas exploration in New York’s Marcellus Shale formation occurs.”Among the many critical components the sGEIS lacks, the absence of a health impact assessment is most disturbing. Equally disturbing is the failure of the legislature to allocate funds for a thorough and unbiased study of the most worrisome aspect of fracking. The recently-announced plan for a comprehensive health impact study by a partnership between Guthrie and Geisinger Health Systems is welcome. However, to be meaningful it will likely take years and in the meantime, if fracking were permitted in New York, many more health victims would be added to the data base.
A Governor must not allow predators access to their prey. Those with the greatest vulnerability are the ones most commonly preyed upon. Your campaign website promises “greater focus on environmental justice to identify adverse human health effects on racial and ethnic minority and low-income populations and to develop strategies to eliminate practices which have a impact.”Here’s a suggestion for a strategy: soundly reject any plan to sacrifice the economically desperate and therefore vulnerable Southern Tier counties to the predatory fracking industry.
A Governor must not compromise the most sacred duty of parents: To protect their children. The risks to children are not hypothetical, and have been demonstrated even without fracking being permitted in New York. Example: On May 18th a gas pipeline in Woodhull, New York ruptured and forced the evacuation of all families in a 2-mile radius. It took three tense hours to stop the methane flow and allow people to return to their homes. The rural location, competent emergency action, and the grace of God prevented a catastrophe. There are pipelines everywhere, including densely populated areas where lots of children live. If you permitted fracking in New York, pipelines would vastly multiply, as would the potential for tragedy. Would anyone, especially parents, ever forgive a Governor who let this happen?
Governor Cuomo, please remember that ordinary people with no political status whatsoever have changed the world. People like Rosa Parks, Susan B. Anthony, and Rachel Carson. Trust your own words: “A governor’s inherent power is limited. A governor’s potential power is limitless.”Use your potential power in the only way that is moral and just. Issue a total ban on fracking anywhere in our state. Show the nation and the world that New York is a state whose soul is not for sale. Nor is the soul of its Governor.
Bette J. Ek, Professor Emerita, Elmira College -
235 Prospect Hill Road, Elmira, New York 14845