Friday, April 29, 2011

Ever wonder how the rest of the world views fracking?

Fracking is a threat to many countries in the world. Recently Quebec Province in Canada, France and South Africa have put brakes on the process.

A group from England took a look at developments in Pennsylvania and produced the following report. Please spend less than 20 minutes to view this well directed video.

Morris is yours to preserve or lose. Please consider carefully.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Land Stewards of New York

The Land Stewards of NY: Mission Statement

We are a non-profit citizen action coalition of landowners, farmers, business owners, and most importantly, tax paying constituents of the State of New York who own, manage and live in areas targeted for natural gas production including the process known as hydraulic fracturing or “hydrofracking”. We are united by our common interest to protect the lands we steward. Our lands include farms, forests, wetlands, lakes, and streams. Many hamlets, villages, towns, and cities depend upon the natural resources contained within this land we steward, especially our pristine water resources. As good stewards, we often put the protection of our land ahead of our own interests for the benefit of all who reside within the boundaries of New York State. We solemnly accept this responsibility because we know we are safeguarding our lands and natural resources for future generations.

Our Mission

We, the Land Stewards of New York, respectfully request our elected and appointed officials do the following:

1. Immediately Repeal Compulsory Integration, a form of Eminent Domain, enacted into law in 2005 at the behest of the gas exploration, drilling and extraction industry, which allows drilling and removal of natural gas by means of hydraulic fracturing from privately owned land without landowner consent.

2. Enact a Landowner’s Bill of Rights to include, but not be limited to, a requirement that all representatives of gas exploration, drilling and extraction companies seeking to lease private lands are subject to an enforceable statewide solicitation permit; Gas industry agents seeking to obtain leases must provide detailed well site information including: size, scope, vertical & horizontal distances, duration of production; a “Material Safety Data Sheet” as required by Federal law for all chemicals, proprietary or otherwise, being used on the drilling site in any capacity; a detailed hazardous materials disposal plan for all waste associated with drilling including liquid, solid and radioactive; to advise landowners of the importance of baseline water testing of all potable water sources on their property targeted for a proposed gas lease; and a bonded reclamation plan as required by the Federal Bureau of Mining.

3. Establish a Compensation and Remediation Fund to be maintained by the State of New York and funded by all gas exploratory, drilling, and extraction companies who conduct such activities within state boundaries. The fund will be used expressly for remediating damages incurred by landowners and municipalities as the result of gas drilling including hydraulic fracturing for natural gas.

Propane Fracking?

What’s all this about propane fracking?


From Ron Bishop, 4/11/2010:

“A few “eco-friendly” fracturing schemes are out and about, but they all come with some* issues.”

“Propane is a gas at ordinary pressures, but can be fairly easily liquefied with pressure. It is, of course, a fossil fuel itself. Using propane would get around using millions of gallons of water, but would not deal with some real technological challenges. First, in order to suspend sand or other proppants, liquid propane needs to be thickened, typically by foaming agents like peroxide. Using peroxide requires the addition of even more corrosion inhibitors than when water is used, and biocides are still required to control microbe growth. (I’ve heard misinformation that fracking with propane requires no chemical additives; that’s just not true.)

“The use of propane introduces new problems with controlling a pressurized liquid that quickly turns to a gas when the pressure is released. It’s not easy or cheap, and a lot of gas escapes into the atmosphere. This is a greenhouse gas, though not as potent as carbon dioxide (another [so-called] “green” fracking fluid candidate) or methane.

“And none of these exotic “fluids under pressure” help with the toxicity of the deep brines that still flow out of gas well bores. These brines continue to be among the greatest waste problems faced by the industry.”


Some further observations:

  • The only benefit of propane fracking would be the apparent elimination of water usage for the hydraulic fracturing phase of well development.
  • Water would still be required for parts of the drilling phase.
  • Frequently, one of the key problems caused by gas extraction, groundwater contamination, takes place during the drilling phase, prior to fracking. There are multiple opportunities for groundwater contamination to occur during the drilling phase, starting with the very first stage, which necessarily takes place with no casing in place yet as the lengths of casing can only be inserted as sections of the borehole are drilled out.
  • Regardless of the method used to complete (or ‘frack’) a well, the overall footprint of industrial impacts on the landscape, and on future options for land use, remain the same: the same number of pipeyards/chemical storage sites, access roads, well pads, compressor stations, pipelines, and gas processing units.


merely reducing the amount of water hauled to the site for fracking
would leave in place most of the major problems
associated with petro-methane extraction.

Keep your eye on the big picture, New York:
hydro (i.e. water) fracking is only one of many ways
petro-methane extraction can ruin us.


*Ron specializes in understatement.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

NY College Students:10,000 Signatures Presented to Gov. Cuomo

(04/27/11) College students from around the state concerned about the natural gas extraction process known as hydro fracking presented Governor Andrew Cuomo's office with petitions to study the practice more carefully. From Albany, Karen DeWitt reports.

The students, organized by the New York Public Interest Research Group, gathered over 10,000 signatures from New Yorkers who are concerned about potential hydro fracking in the Marcellus Shale, which stretches across the southern tier of New York State and into the Catskills.

Brendan Woodruff, NYPIRG’s Hydrofracking Campaign Organizer, says he wants Governor Cuomo and his State Department of Environmental Conservation to conduct a “comprehensive” analysis of the potential dangers of the gas extraction process when it conducts an updated review later this year.

“The DEC has yet to prove that horizontal hydro fracking is safe,” said Woodruff.

Comments from Registered Voters on Fracking Prohibition Petition Returns

No Drill, No Spill, No Mess!
I'm against any hydrofracking, drilling or mining in this area!
My main concern is not to harm our precious groundwater!
I'm against drilling!
This process harms our environment. We need to find alternative energy sources for our country.
No fracking!
Let me know how I can help.
We do not want this in the Town of Morris!
We have enough cancer in Morris!
We'll do this together!
No! No! No! No! No! No!
Water is essential to life as we know it; natural gas is not. Find a safer way, leave water alone.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Fracking Ban Is the Only Acceptable Outcome

Statewide Grass-Roots Leaders Meet:
Agree a Fracking Ban Is the Only Acceptable Outcome

Nearly 70 grass-roots activist leaders from around New York State met in
Binghamton on Saturday, April 16, to confer on ways to institute a statewide
ban on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. That polluting and energy-intensive method of extracting "natural'' gas has been causing water pollution and health problems in other states where it has taken place.

The training/conference heard from lawyers, veteran electoral organizers, entrepreneurs, faith leaders, and experienced local organizers that have developed support for local laws to ban the practice. Participants examined ways to institute a ban on hydrofracking, rather than following the usual regulatory route of mitigating harm after it happens.

Among the initiatives discussed were efforts to ban fracking by local towns
through land use and zoning or other local ordinances. Such efforts are
underway in towns in Otsego, Sullivan, and Tompkins Counties.

Monday, April 25, 2011

From a Sustainable Otsego supporter....

In New York, you could pollute a groundwater well just by drilling next to it. No blowout required.

The health, safety and welfare of the people are the proper purview of local zoning, not of some DEC bureaucrat in Albany.

Local zoning trumps drilling regs -- this is not a gray area - no legislative clarifications necessary. . .
If there are drilling supporters on the town board, "frack" them out of office!

Acres can't vote. Gas leases can't vote. People vote!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Fracking Well Blowout in Bradford County PA

Youngsville, NY (April 21, 2011) - On Tuesday, at 11:45 pm, a major blowout occurred during a fracking procedure at a Chesapeake Energy-owned natural gas well in Bradford County, PA, spilling thousands of gallons of chemical-laced water into a nearby stream that flows into the Susquehanna River.

Seven families have already been evacuated from the area, and officials have advised farmers against allowing livestock to drink from the surface water. Despite concerted efforts of crewmembers, tainted water continued to flow from the site as recently as Thursday morning.

The blowout has left many unanswered questions, and public safety officials have said it will be days or even weeks before they are able to gather a better understanding of how this leak will affect surrounding areas.

News reports indicate serious environmental damage headed toward the Susquehanna River Basin, and Catskill Mountainkeeper has filed a FOIA request with EPA Region 3 for the release of further information.

“The disregard the industry has demonstrated with regards to the oversight of their fracking operations is criminal," says Catskill Mountainkeeper Executive Director, Ramsay Adams. “We cannot stand by while big natural gas corporations - like Chesapeake - persist in the utilization and promotion of the same sorry, unsafe drilling practices, which once again here have proven to be unsafe. The continued implementation of such methods endangers the health and sustainability of our lands, water, and community.”

Another Town Passes Municipal IQ Test

Dryden Resource Awareness Coalition
PO Box 1094
Dryden NY 13053

DRAC announces the results of a petition drive to ban fracking, calls on the Dryden Town Board
to pass a protective zoning ordinance;

Town Board unanimously passes resolution to move
forward with drafting an ordinance.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Change is the only constant in life. Change is inevitable--and is often perceived as threatening by some. Here in Morris, we are not immune to change. We do not live in an insular world--never changing, never growing. Despite the hopes and wishes of many, Time does not stop here.

All around Otsego County towns and villages are making preparations to meet the threat of gas drilling head on. We have heard recently that the eyes of many of these towns and villages--and the county itself--are, in fact, turned toward Morris, hoping that we can recognize the urgency of this situation and the importance of taking immediate action to protect the health and safety of our citizens. Without the protective measures being implemented in municipalities throughout our county, it will be "open season" for the drilling industry here in Morris.

Water Wars

Future wars, it's being said, will be fought over water. Water will be the "gold" of the future. Already, around the globe, corporations and states are working fast and furiously to privatize/own water resources. In some places it's illegal to catch rainwater (even in places here in the US!).

Here, in New York State, we sit atop a resource far more valuable than shale gas, and we must not permit industry to remove or contaminate that resource. Water is essential to ALL life.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter

In a recent letter, the Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter reminded members that New York faces a singular and powerful threat and announced their plans to file suit if the NYS DSGEIS is significantly flawed. "Predatory natural gas corporations are determined to mine the Marcellus Shale formation that underlies almost half the state. The industry's "fracking" technology would irreversibly contaminate much of the state's water, including the watershed that supplies all of New York City. Gas drilling would industrialize residential areas, fragment forests and farmland, degrade air quality, and send convoys of tanker trucks through once peaceful towns while devastating wildlife, rural roads, real estate values, and tourism." (Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter 3/28/11)

The Beautiful Butternut Valley

There's much being said these days about the beauty of the Butternut Valley. No matter where my work has taken me in Otsego, Chenango or Delaware County, co-workers and colleagues have often spoken of their appreciation for the picturesque, well-maintained little village of Morris. It's my sincere hope and prayer that we will be able to preserve our little bit of heaven here in Morris--our rural, peaceful way of life.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Advocates for Morris - working for a good future for our community

With any community there are multiple possible futures.

Some are planned. Some are accidental. Some are due to neglect.

Let's look as far ahead as we can and decide to work for the best future that we can have.

What are the things that make Morris appealing to you?

Are any of those things in danger?

Many of them may be. Industrial development could change the look and feel of our community forever.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Water for Life

Water is one of our most precious resources in our beautiful town and village. In "Trashing the Planet for Natural Gas" author Karen Charman said: "Water is essential for life. No living being on Planet Earth can survive without it. Earth has an essentially closed hydrological cycle. This means virtually all of the water that has ever existed on our planet is all the water that will ever exist here. And it's the same water, just recycled over and over, down through time...globally, fresh water supplies which comprise only about 3% of all water on the Planet are in crisis."