Wednesday, May 25, 2011

We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children...Navajo Proverb

Sunday, May 15, 2011

From Frack Alliance...

An earlier increase to the natural gas severance tax, initiated by Governor Beebe and approved by the Legislature in 2008, has fallen short of the anticipated revenue that was projected to meet the needs of the Arkansas Highway Department’s construction projects. Revelation of damage amounting to $455 million to highways by truck traffic serving gas wells with only about $54 million from severance tax to offset this expense has made it necessary to look for additional income. An initiated act proposed by Sheffield Nelson, former President and Chairman of Arkla, Inc., has received clearance by the Arkansas Attorney General and proposes a severance tax increase for the industry to pay plus removal of current exemptions. Nelson will detail this proposal at a press conference 3:00 pm at the Fayetteville Town Center (Mockingbird Room), 15 West Mountain, Fayetteville, AR as to how this expense should be borne by those benefiting from extraction and not the taxpayers.

Knowledge is Power

Sir Francis Bacon once said “Knowledge is power.” To that famous quote, former DISH TX Mayor Calvin Tillman added, “Once you know, you can’t NOT know.”

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Governor Cuomo Is Asking for Your Input!

It is very easy to submit a comment..just a click..please ask him to ban gas drilling with hydraulic fracturing...both vertical wells and horizontal wells..

(If this message is not displaying properly, click here to launch your browser.)
From the Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

The last major reorganization of New York State government occurred over eighty years ago. Since then, our government has grown into a sprawling and expensive bureaucracy.

To rebuild an effective state government, Governor Cuomo has created the Spending and Government Efficiency (SAGE) Commission. This team of business leaders, management experts, and academics will help streamline the government and save taxpayers' money.

Now, through this commission, all New Yorkers have the opportunity to directly contribute to the renewal of our state. Governor Cuomo wants to hear your ideas for cutting costs, finding efficiencies, and doing more with less.

Click here to submit your ideas for fixing your government.

With your help, we can redesign our state government to bring long-term savings and better services to all New Yorkers.

Thursday, May 12, 2011



Fly Creek, NY, 11 May 2010--The Otsego Town Board voted 4-1 tonight to
clarify a long-standing prohibition against heavy industry, including
fracking for natural gas, in the town's land use law. By this vote the town,
which includes most of the Village of Cooperstown, reaffirmed its home rule
right to prohibit uses not permitted by local ordinances.

Though many towns in New York State have similar limitations on permitted
uses on the books, pro-drilling advocates, pointing out that the gas
industry is exempt from local regulation, have argued that towns have no
authority at all over natural gas extraction.

The Town of Otsego action leaves it to the state's DEC to regulate gas
drilling when and where it may occur, but reserves the home rule right to
determine in the first place whether such a use should be allowed or
prohibited in the town. In this case the answer was a resounding NO.

It is the first rural town in New York State to explicitly invoke its home
rule authority to block gas drilling as a type of undesirable heavy industry
incompatible with the town's comprehensive plan. The town acted in response
to the overwhelming sentiment of the enrolled voters in the town opposed to
gas drilling and heavy industry, documented through petitions and surveys as
well as testimony at privilege of the floor and at a public hearing.

A number of other towns in Otsego county and across the state are
contemplating taking similar steps. This gassroots resistance to natural gas
extraction is a remarkable phenomenon. Local citizens are saying no to
fracking for natural gas directly in their communities as too dangerous and
costly and destructive to be tolerated. It is time for state and federal
officials to take notice.

Adrian Kuzminski
Moderator, Sustainable Otsego
Contact: 607-547-8586

Monday, May 9, 2011

Scientists call for more studies on hydraulic fracturing

WASHINGTON — Scientists from Cornell University and Ithaca College briefed congressional aides Friday on what they say is a lack of research on the health and environmental impacts of a natural gas drilling process called hydraulic fracturing.

”Fracking is surrounded by metaphors rather than data,” said Sandra Steingraber, a biologist and scholar in residence at Ithaca College. “Many of the chemicals used in fracking are carcinogens.”

Federal energy officials announced Thursday they will create a working group to study hydraulic fracturing. Energy Secretary Steven Chu wants the panel of scientists, environmentalists and industry representatives to report within 90 days on ”immediate steps that can be taken to improve the safety and environmental performance of fracking.”

Panel members will issue a second report within 180 days, providing advice also to the Environmental Protection Agency and the Interior Department.

But a leading House Republican doesn’t want more studies.

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., issued a statement Thursday saying the panel violates the administration’s pledge to reduce government waste, since the EPA and Interior officials already have studies underway.

“While it might take numerous government agencies to smoke a salmon, there are also too many cooks in the kitchen when it comes to the regulation of our nation’s energy supplies,” Upton said.

The Interior Department is examining whether new leases for drilling on federal land should require drillers to disclose the chemicals they add to water and sand to crack open shale deposits of natural gas.

And EPA has a yearlong study underway on whether federal drinking water laws should apply to hydraulic fracturing.

The three scientists who spoke at Friday’s briefing -- two from Cornell and one from Ithaca -- said the hydraulic fracturing procedure is 60 years old, but its use in shale formations was developed over the last 10 years.

Cornell Engineering Professor Anthony Ingraffea said the technology has been used to drill only about 20,000 wells into shale formations.

”This is not your grandmother’s gas well,” Ingraffea said.

He said hydraulic fracturing in shale formations uses more water and sand, and produces more waste than conventional natural gas wells.

Some drill operators have reduced by 90 percent the fluid wastes produced by the drilling, but many have not, according to Ingraffea.

Robert Howarth, who teaches ecology and environmental biology at Cornell, recently released a study showing that hydraulic fracturing contributes more to global warming than burning coal does, in large part because the process creates methane leaks.

Those leaks increase as wells age, but new technologies can reduce it as much as 90 percent, Howarth said. He said methane leaks also are a problem with natural gas transmission lines. About half the nation’s 3.1 million miles of lines are more than 50 years old.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Fracking: Things Find a Way

Act Now to Protect New York's Precious Water Resources

The New York State Senate is fast-tracking the Water Withdrawal bill (#S3798) which gives away New York's drinking water to the fracking and water bottling industries free of charge. Please act now to ask the bill's sponsor, Senator Mark Grisanti, to pull the bill and make the necessary changes to protect New York's precious water resources. The Buffalo City Council in Grisanti's district voted unanimously to become the first city in NYS to ban fracking. Urge Senator Grisanti not to undercut this initiative by facilitating water withdrawals for fracking. Urge your NYS Senators to vote no on this bill (S3798) , unless it is amended.

This bill by passing, further consolidates the control of NYS water in the hands of the Governor without his, as yet, taking a public position on whether Hydrofracking will be permitted in the State. Water control is an essential component for the hydrofracking industry. DEC is an agency of the state and is under the control of the Governor.

The bill is currently on the senate floor and will likely be voted on early next week Please call your Senators and the sponsors (see the phone list below). Request them to ask Senator Grisanti to pull the bill (S7398)

Talking Points:

1.)This flawed legislation has had no public hearings and will dramatically change the laws regarding your water rights (riparian and common law rights), while allowing the oil, gas and water bottling industries to withdraw billions of gallons of water from New York's lakes, rivers and aquifers free of charge.

2.)The bill is full of loopholes that will make it easier for the oil and gas industries to take the water they need for hydrofracking in New York and in Pennsylvania.

3.)The bill will limit the Department of Environmental Conservation's (DEC) authority to regulate water withdrawals for hydrofracking.

4.)The permits to be issued by the DEC will give priority water rights to large water users, while overriding the statutory and common law water rights for everyone else - homeowners, farmers and wine growers.

5.)And the bill does not affirm local control of water rights and uses.


A phone call and e-mail now to your representative is essential to stop this ill-conceived bill. To find your representative in the Senate, go to:

If you don't get your representative on the phone, leave a message. Ask to speak with the environmental staffer or appropriate person who can convey your views to your representative. Be sure to get their individual email so you can forward support materials (attached) and follow up with a phone call. Also, call the bill's sponsors and co-sponsors listed below. Tell them to vote NO on the Water Withdrawal bills (A5318A/S3798) It's anticipated that the bill will be voted on in the Senate next week in Albany, so please call district offices now.
Thank you.

The Coalition to Protect New York

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Tell the DRBC to Say No to ExxonMobil!

Exxon Wants a Half Billion Gallons of Special Protection Waters for Fracking (Even Though High-Volume Fracking Isn't Allowed!)

Although neither the Delaware River Basin Commission nor New York State permits high-volume hydraulic fracturing, the DRBC is considering an application by Exxon subsidiary XTO to withdraw up to a quarter of a million gallons of water a day from Special Protection Waters to support fracking operations in New York's Broome and Delaware Counties. This "cart-before-the-horse" approach to fracking stunned the environmental community, which was given only two weeks to respond the plan.

The only hearing on the matter will be held on May 11th in West Trenton, New Jersey-200 miles away from the location of the proposed water withdrawal. If you can attend the meeting (see Upcoming Events on our homepage) please do. If not let the DRBC know it should not permit Exxon to turn hundreds of millions of gallons of Special Protection waters into poisonous fracking fluid. Take Action!

Maryland Sues Chesapeake

On Monday, Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler notified Chesapeake Energy that his state would sue the energy giant for violating the Clean Water Act and other federal environmental statutes. The suit was triggered by the April 19th fracking disaster in Bradford County, PA, which spewed hundreds of thousands of gallons of poisonous fracking fluid into the environment. Farmland was contaminated, families were forced to flee their homes, and the fluid contaminated a tributary of the Susquehanna River, which supplies more than six million Americans with drinking water.

"Companies cannot expose citizens to dangerous chemicals that pose serious health risks to the environment and to public health," said Gansler. The AG promised to use "all resources available to hold Chesapeake Energy accountable for its actions."

And CWCWC sues the NYS DEC

On the very next day the Croton Watershed Clean Water Coalition announced that it was suing the New York State DEC to declare that high-volume hydraulic fracturing (HVHF) in state forests would violate the New York State Constitution and applicable environmental laws.

These two lawsuits come just weeks after New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman warned the Delaware River Basin Commission that New York would sue if the DRBC went ahead with plans to permit fracking without first conducting a study to determine how this could affect the drinking water of fifteen million Americans.
For years the gas industry has been telling us that fracking would create lots of new jobs. They never us told many of those jobs would end up going to lawyers.

Save the date! Saturday June 4th

FRACK! (the movie) and music by Marc Black, the Delaware Youth Center, Callicoon, NY

Two out of three people who find out about fracking think the risks aren't worth the rewards.

Public awareness is the key to our success, so spread the word!