Editor,

A May 13 article reporting on a ‘press conference’ that said $11.5 million generated last year from natural gas production in the Town of Smyrna will be handed over to officials presented misleading and factually incorrect information.

Gas production may have generated $11.5 million, but that is revenue for Norse Energy, not Chenango County, the Town of Smyrna, or Sherburne-Earlville [School District].  No amount of money was “handed over” to anyone during the orchestrated gas drilling promotional presentation, nor will any money be turned over to any of the noted entities (Town of Smyrna, Chenango County, or the Sherburne-Earlville School District) at any time in the future.

While Norse Energy will pay roughly the amounts stated in taxes(Smyrna, $83,312; Chenango County, $151,019; and Sherburne-Earlville School District, $264,569) the implication, and likely the perception of many of your readers, is that the Town, County, and School District will receive an unexpected windfall.  These entities (school, town, county) annually develop a budget and determine the tax levy based on their budget.  Only the amount of the levy will be collected from taxpayers, no more, no less.  Based on the stated $11.5 million revenue this year for Norse Energy, they will pay only about 4 percent of that in local taxes.  While this is a benefit to other local taxpayers, it does not increase revenues for the district, the town, or the county.

The expansion in gas drilling, particularly the hydro-fracturing technique proposed for extraction of natural gas from the Marcellus Shale formation (which is really what that show was all about), is not without controversy.  The financial benefits of drilling versus the cost in the environment will be the subject of debate for some time to come.  The handing out of over-sized fake checks may be good theater, but participating in the show implies endorsement of drilling and contributes to the false perception of windfall revenue for schools, towns and counties.  Our Board of Education has made no such endorsement, and I’m sure the issue will be extensively debated in that forum before consensus is reached.

Tom Strain
Assistant Superintendent
Sherburne-Earlville Central Schools



First read the Texas Observer article linked in the 5/29 post just below.
Then watch this WFAA report.

An excerpt from the transcript:

Last January, John Sadlier, deputy director of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, appeared before the Fort Worth City Council with what sounded like good news: Eight air samples analyzed in Fort Worth found no traces of benzene, the toxin that — over time — can lead to leukemia.

“Benzene is non-detect on all the slides,” Sadlier said during the January presentation.

But what he didn’t tell Council members was that the analysis equipment that TCEQ used in the field wasn’t sensitive enough to detect lower levels of benzene — the levels that TCEQ’s own scientists say can lead to cancer if sustained over a period of years.

Full story at http://www.wfaa.com



Forrest Wilder reporting in Texas Observer, May 26, 2010:

Agency Of Destruction  

Texas’ environmental commission serves its customers well.
Too bad they’re not the public.

When Texas citizens meet their environmental agency, they’re often disappointed. The stories of environmental battles—told in these pages countless times—frequently follow a similar plot.

First, citizens band together to beat back (fill in the blank: a coal plant, industrial feedlot, uranium mine, or something else of your choosing). New to activism, they educate themselves on the rules, laws and politics. At some point, they probably contact an overwhelmed organization such as Public Citizen or the Sierra Club for help. They form a group with a snappy acronym, print literature, create a website, hold meetings and write their Congress member. After a time, they realize that the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is holding the cards. A permit must be stopped or penalties assessed to deter misbehavior. Surely the commission, an impartial arbiter, will weigh the facts and side with the people.

More times than not, a bitter reality sets in: The TCEQ is not the people’s friend, but another obstacle. There’s a “well-founded perception that [the public] can’t get in the process or, even if they get in, it’s just a token effort, and it won’t make any difference,” Soward says.

In TCEQ’s internal lingo, “customers” are the companies the agency regulates. In serving its “customers,” TCEQ has allowed itself to be overrun by powerful interests, shown disregard for both science and the law, and cast aside public opinion.

For complete expose’, please visit:

www.texasobserver.org

This, of course, is a familiar story.  In New York, we know it well from first-hand, long-term experience with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.



…subtitled,
How to ignore data and come to the predetermined conclusion the real bosses order
:

When I first decided that we needed to have some biological testing accomplished here in DISH, TX, I was cautioned against getting our state health department involved.  Most figured that they would run up here and began covering the back side of the oil and gas industry like they have done so many times before.  However, I also have some very smart and nationally recognized people who help me in these decisions and we decided that if they would take our input on the testing, we might be OK.  So we asked the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) to test the air and a tentatively identified compound test in conjunction with the tests they were running.  But they ignored the request from a nationally recognized scientist, who has more scientific recognition in her little toe, than anyone who works for the DSHS will ever have.  Therefore, their report subsequently has turned out more political than scientific.
.

As one well known citizen who lives in the Barnett Shale has stated, “Everything you hear from the natural gas industry is either a lie, or half truth”.  Here in DISH, we are used to the paid liars from this industry coming in and feeding us the normal lines like “what good neighbors they want to be.”  However, when you get this from your state agencies that are sworn to protect you, it does not set as well.  Many people believe everything these people say, and they are never held accountable when they are wrong…or deceitful.  The DSHS showed up just like many of the other paid liars, thinking that they would blow smoke up the rear ends of a bunch of country bumpkins that didn’t know any better, and just like the other paid liars, they left with their tails between their legs.  Country bumpkins typically recognize the smell of BS pretty quickly.
.
After thinking about this, and doing some research into the matter, it was clear that no matter what was detected, the DSHS would have found a way to say there is nothing wrong.  They have a history of doing just that;  please see the following link, where they failed to protect the public interest in Texas once again.
.
In this ”investigation” the community was worried about water run-off from a former refinery (hmm, same industry), and subsequent surface water contamination.  However, the same characters who came to DISH decided the surface water didn’t need testing.  The soil and sediment were tested and both exceeded the Health Based Assessment Comparison for aluminum, arsenic, BaP TEQ (benzene derivative), and vanadium.  Conclusion – “no apparent public health hazard”.  In my line of business we call people like this “hacks”.
.
In our case, they were looking hard for criticisms from us before the meeting, so that they could prepare to answer them.  I made some comment to the media about the number of folks who had toluene and xylene in their systems, and oddly enough they came up with statistics that show we are actually lower than the rest of the United States; this was not in the report, just the presentation.  At this point I started getting that familiar smell that we have grown accustomed to here in DISH… and not the natural gas smell.  I then asked for the source of the statistics they used to determine this and they sent me to NHANES, said “Just Google it”.  Maybe that was their joke, because I and others searched for hours with no success finding this data.  I did find a statement that said VOCs are present in most everyone at some level, but it would not be in detectable levels in everyone, so that may have been one of those “half truths.”
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During my several hours of research, I did find that the 95th percentile used in the DISH study appears to be a number hand-picked by the “hacks” and likely hand-picked for a purpose.  Apparently, you do not need a percentile reference number, but when one is used the 90th percentile seems to be the number used by real scientists.  If 50% of the households in DISH were above the 95th percentile for chemical exposure, I wonder how many are over the 90th percentile.  However, if they would have figured that, it is likely that they would have that trend they were looking for, and we damn sure wouldn’t want that, now would we?  I think similar lying with statistics was accomplished in Flower Mound as well.  If they start finding problems, the boys and girls in Austin would not get those critical campaign contributions they have grown accustom to.  In my business we look for trends, and I am starting to see a trend with these “hacks.”
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If the above blatant failures were not enough to show what a joke this was, you must hear the rest of the story.  Dr. Bradford admitted when questioned that the study was not a scientific study. However, they came to a very solid conclusion, with this non-scientific study.  The conclusion goes something like…we see exposure but have no idea where the exposure is coming from, but it damn sure ain’t coming from that compressor station that we smelled those horrible odors from.
.
They then admitted that they did not know how close any of the citizens lived to the compressor sites, nor did they know the number of males vs females that were tested, and did not even know the age range of those who were tested.  You would think they would have known the answers to the easy stuff if they wanted to appear believable.  The data that they used for comparison in DISH was seven years old.  Outdated data is something they also used in Flower Mound to help them reach their objective.  I guess they figured they had this one in the bag like all the others before; too bad the country bumpkin’s weren’t buying.
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Children were not tested as part of this “investigation.” There apparently was no data to compare the results; however, in my wild goose chase that Dr. Bradford sent me on, I found several studies that referenced children.  The one mentioned above showed how these chemicals affect children differently than adults…and yeah, it is much worse.  She avoided the question during the meeting when asked about how children are affected differently than adults.  Frankly, I believe that they were sent here to not find anything and they would likely find exposure in our children.  If they find toluene and xylene in kids they would not be able to blame it on smoking.  Even us country bumpkins don’t let our five year olds smoke.  They would not have been able to give us the “half truths” that they did, and people don’t play when it come to their kids.  If us nice country folk knew our kids have BTEX chemical exposure, we may not be so nice any more.  I am hopeful that the light will shine on some of the roaches who are responsible for these illusions, and I think there is another facility I would rather see them at, and it is located in Huntsville, Texas.
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The house of cards they built came down very quickly.  I am extremely disappointed that these folks did not take their oaths seriously, and are allowing the public to continue being put at risk.  I had originally felt sorry for those who were likely on the puppets for the higher-ups, but it is all too apparent that this is not their first deception, so they should have moved on to something else if they weren’t committed to covering things like this up.  They have actually offered to come back for another round of testing.  I think I would rather see if the Chesapeake or Devon environmental department is available; they are much better liars.
.
In closing I would like to say that this “investigation” brings more questions than answers, and it is time for us to demand a stop to the social injustices that these state agencies are allowed to impose.  Many people have no other options than to take their word for it, and no recourse when they are wrong.  We apparently have not only been sacrificed for the good of the shale by these companies, but also the State of Texas.  It is time for us to hold these paid liars accountable for their actions.  Please let me know if you have any skills to help me investigate similar injustices.
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Fortunately, the last state agency that left the DISH town hall with their tails between their legs was shamed into installing a permanent air monitor.  Frankly, I am delightfully surprised by the improvements in our air quality over the last month.  I am certainly not calling all clear, but it may be that we don’t even need more testing, but I know that another community will face the same situation if there is not something done.  If this industry would just do it right, we would not have many of these problems.  The Gulf would not be becoming the dead sea and our children would not be exposed to cancer causing toxins.  Please post on your blogs and websites.
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See report here:
.

Calvin Tillman
Mayor, DISH, TX

“Those who say it can not be done, should get out of the way of those that are doing it”



From: Chesapeake Climate Action Network
Subject: Prison time for activist over green jobs banner? We’re not kidding
Date: Wed, 19 May 2010 16:00:26 -0400

Dear Friends,

Despite the Gulf disaster, no one from BP has been arrested and sent to jail. Despite safety violations at coal mines, no one from Massey Energy has been handcuffed. But today I write to inform you that one of America’s best global warming activists is probably facing several months of jail. He’s been convicted by a D.C. jury, and now he awaits sentencing on July 6th. Why? Because he peacefully dropped two banners on Capitol Hill that said: “GREEN JOBS NOW” and “GET TO WORK.”

I’m not joking. Ted Glick of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network was convicted by a jury May 13th of peacefully dropping the banners inside the U.S. Senate Hart Office Building last September. The DC U.S. Attorney’s office clearly has decided to make an “example” of Ted because of his previous two — count ‘em, two — convictions related to peaceful acts of climate civil disobedience. Can you believe it? You can see a three-minute video of Ted’s September “crime” right here. He’s the guy toward the end simply lowering the banners. Period.

Now Ted is facing up to three years in jail. Based on the judge’s comments last week, it really does appear that he will be incarcerated for at least a month or two.

So here’s what you can do:

First, please write a respectful but firm snail-mail letter to Judge Frederick H. Weisberg telling him why you think Ted should not go to jail. The judge’s address is below. Just type something up, print it and mail it off. Explain why only a suspended sentence is fair, especially given all the real injustices out there on global warming. There is reason to believe that that a large number of thoughtful, well-reasoned letters to the judge could bring leniency.

Second, take an action right now that will help create a world where global warming is no longer such a threat and people like Ted won’t have to drop banners and get arrested in the first place! Sign the “Windmills, Not Oil Spills” petition to stop new offshore drilling in America and promote clean energy alternatives instead.

Thanks for your support, your activism, and your prayers as CCAN fights to keep a morally innocent staff member out of jail during this time of great global crisis.

Sincerely,

Mike Tidwell
Director, Chesapeake Climate Action Network

Here’s the judge’s address:

Judge Frederick H. Weisberg
DC Superior Court
500 Indiana Ave., NW
Washington, DC  20001

**Please keep in mind**

The letters should be respectful. Suggested topics include:

  • If you personally know Ted and have shared experiences with him, tell the judge;
  • Describe the urgency of the climate issue and the need to pressure our government to take action on it;
  • Give your views on what would be a justice-based approach by the legal system toward nonviolent actions of the kind Ted took part in.

Please let other people know about this campaign. And it would be helpful if you could send us a copy of your letter to Judge Weisberg, or if you could let us know that you have sent a letter. You can email Ted at ted@chesapeakeclimate.org, or you could send by regular mail to Ted’s attention at CCAN, P.O. Box 11138, Takoma Park, Md. 20912.


Mike Tidwell
Director, Chesapeake Climate Action Network
www.ChesapeakeClimate.org



Anne Marie Garti writes:

The FRAC Act would remove the hydrofracking exemption to the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), but the proposed bill will not protect most of the land area of the US because many aquifers, especially in the northeast, do not flow into a PUBLIC water supply of 25 + users, and whether they would be capable of supplying municipal water in the future is open to interpretation.  The required flow rate is not defined anyplace, and needs to be so that there is a uniform standard across the US.

Specifically, the Underground Injection Control (UIC) section of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) needs to include a definition, or standard, of  the following phrase:  “sufficient quantity of ground water to supply a public water system”

“Sufficient” needs to be defined in the FRAC Act so that the flow rate of individual homeowner’s water well or spring is covered.  It should be a federal standard, not open to different interpretations by Courts in every region of the EPA.  The Atlanta or Georgia region of EPA uses a 1 gallon per minute flow rate.

Some people have suggested that one gallon per minute may be a sufficient flow rate for water wells, but I’m not sure if that’s true for springs.  As water resources diminish as a result of climate change, a much lower standard might be reasonable.  Even a trickle of clean water could keep you alive in the future, and those trickles, when combined, add up to rivers in some places.

I am not proposing that the entire SDWA be amended to include the springs and wells of homeowners.  The required change in language should only apply to the UIC section of the SDWA.

Some background information from the EPA:

http://www.epa.gov/OGWDW/sdwa/basicinformation.html
“The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) was originally passed by Congress in 1974 to protect public health by regulating the nation’s public drinking water supply. The law was amended in 1986 and 1996 and requires many actions to protect drinking water and its sources: rivers, lakes, reservoirs, springs, and ground water wells. (SDWA does not regulate private wells which serve fewer than 25 individuals.) ”

The UIC (Underground Injection Control) program includes 5 classes of protection:
www.epa.gov/safewater/uic

Here’s more specific information:
http://www.epa.gov/ogwdw/uic/basicinformation.html

And this is the specific area that needs adjusting:
http://www.epa.gov/ogwdw/uic/basicinformation.html#what_is_a_usdw

Quote from the EPA:

What is a USDW?

An underground source of drinking water (USDW) is an aquifer or a part of an aquifer that is currently used as a drinking water source or may be needed as a drinking water source in the future.  Specifically, a USDW:

  • Supplies any public water system, or
  • Contains a sufficient quantity of ground water to supply a public water system, and
    • currently supplies drinking water for human consumption, or
    • contains fewer than 10,000 mg/l total dissolved solids (TDS), and
    • is not an exempted aquifer



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GAS DRILLING RESOLUTION for Tompkins County Legislature, May 18, 2010

Calling on the Governor and the Legislature of the State of New York to Ban Hydrofracking Pending Further Independent Scientific Assessments to Determine the Risks, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, and Social and Economic Costs Associated With Hydrofracking

WHEREAS, recent disasters in West Virginia’s coal mines and at the drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico highlight the dangers inherent in extractive mining, with particular concern about thepossible role of methane (the main component in natural gas) in these events, and

WHEREAS, even before these incidents, residents of New York State have raised significant concerns about the safety of high volume, slickwater hydrofracking with horizontal drilling, as proposed for the Marcellus Shale and in the future, the Utica Shale, and

WHEREAS, New Yorkers’ concerns include questions about the ability of the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, with its current staffing levels and its proposed regulations, to protect our natural resources and prevent permanent damage to our environment, and

WHEREAS, the Tompkins County Legislature has passed resolutions stating its concerns about gas drilling on December 3, 2008, May 19, 2009, and December 15, 2009, and

WHEREAS, based on experience in other states where this drilling has been underway for years, the concerns include but are not limited to:

air pollution (ground level ozone and smog) at and near drilling sites;

threats to groundwater and surface water supplies from accidents on the surface, as well as subsurface failures of casings and the hydrofracking process itself;

depletion and degradation of New York’s lakes, rivers, streams, and wetlands;

long-term consequences from infusion of potentially toxic chemicals into the ground;

dangers from drill cuttings and flowback water, which may be unsuitable and unsafe for disposal in New York’s landfills and wastewater treatment plants;

deleterious effects of noise and light from 24/7 drilling on the natural habitat of our region and our residents’ health and quality of life;

significant damage to roads and bridges, resulting in loss of mobility and economic activity even if drilling companies eventually rebuild the damaged infrastructure;

fragmentation of our landscape, with loss of vital habitat for wildlife and significant increase in “edge” habitats which stimulate growth of invasive species;

damage to existing economic sectors, including agriculture, hunting and fishing, tourism, and higher education;

social disruption, including increase in crime rates and demand for emergency medical services, and greater disparity between high- and low-income households;

economic costs to residents and local governments, including higher inflation, increased pressure on housing and consequent homelessness, and precipitous drop in property values; and

WHEREAS, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2007), methane is 72 times more potent than carbon dioxide in heating the planet over a 20-year time horizon. Therefore when all greenhouse gas emissions are calculated, including emissions from the drilling activity and from the distribution process such as leaks in pipelines, natural gas is not a “cleaner” fuel than other fossil fuels and in fact it might be far more damaging in terms of climate change than coal; and

WHEREAS, rigorous scientific investigations of these issues are just beginning, including a study of the full life-cycle emissions of shale gas (R. Howarth, Cornell University), the social and economic costs and benefits of the industry (S. Christopherson, Cornell University), and the EPA’s study of potential relationships between hydraulic fracturing and water resources; and

WHEREAS, the Council of Scientific Society Presidents, representing 1.4 million scientists in more than 150 scientific disciplines, went on record on May 4, 2010 calling for adequate scientific analysis before implementing untested energy “solutions,” using corn ethanol as an example, and specifically stating with respect to the Marcellus Shale: “Prior, thorough science-based studies are required to evaluate the impact of massive shale development on rural land uses, water supply and quality, and full-life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions;”and

WHEREAS, New York State has acknowledged the dangerous potential for negative impacts with its determination that, at the very least, individual permits will be required for any wells in the New York City and Syracuse watersheds, and

WHEREAS, New York State has so far not committed itself to a course of action with respect to shale gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale or the Utica Shale, and it could continue to use the “precautionary principle” to guide policy on this issue, now therefore be it

RESOLVED, that the Tompkins County Legislature hereby urges New York State to ban hydrofracking operations pending further independent scientific assessments, including the EPA study, research on the life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions of shale gas, and the social and economic impacts of the industry; and, be it further

RESOLVED, that the Tompkins County Legislature hereby supports passage of A.10490/S.7592 (Englebright/ Addabbo, attached) titled “An act to establish a moratorium upon conducting hydraulic fracturing pending the issuance of a report thereon by the federal Environmental Protection Agency”; and be it further

RESOLVED, that at the very least, the same standards should be applied to all of New York State that the DEC has indicated it will apply to the New York City and Syracuse watersheds, by requiring individual environmental assessments for each individual well, and be it further

RESOLVED, that copies of this resolution will be sent to Governor David A. Paterson, Congressman Michael Arcuri, Congressman Maurice Hinchey, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Senate Leader John Sampson, NYS Health Commissioner Richard Daines, DEC Commissioner Peter Grannis, NYS Dept. of Agriculture & Markets Commissioner Patrick Hooker, the NYS Association of Counties, State Senators James Seward, George Winner, Michael Nozzolio, Antoine Thompson, Joseph Addabbo, Darrel Aubertine, and George Maziarz; Assemblymembers Barbara Lifton, Kevin Cahill, Steve Englebright, Robert Sweeney, and James Seward, George Winner, Michael Nozzolio, Antoine Thompson, Joseph Addabbo, Darrel Aubertine, and George Maziarz; Assemblymembers Barbara Lifton, Kevin Cahill, Steve Englebright, Robert Sweeney, and James Brennan; and Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.



Text of the speech that received the most enthusiastic response from the rally crowd on January 25, 2010, in Albany, New York:


GAS DRILLING AFFECTS THE ECONOMY

Because the estimated potential gain of $22 billion from gas drilling in NYS over the next 20 years not only pales in comparison with the estimated gains during the same period from outdoor recreation, agriculture, and tourism, but it also threatens the future of these very enterprises … we call for a statewide ban.

Because municipalities, which have been deprived of their traditional powers to control local industrial development only in the case of oil and gas extraction, will face new costs of baseline-testing for water pollutants, of emergency response, of health department monitoring of complaints, of property tax assessment changes, of building and repairing roads, of waste water treatment facilities, and of demands on school systems…

Because the severance taxes on gas production will not be dedicated to the localities suffering from gas extraction, and are usually proposed to remediate corporate harms…

Because the Permitting Program relies on localities to enforce floodplain and wetland protections, which most localities are financially unable to do, and are preempted from so doing by Environmental Conservation Law 23…

Because history tells that the exploitation of energy resources leads to widening gaps between rich and poor, to corruption of public offices, to the transformation of public wealth to private profit…

Because the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) will not insure loans for houses within 300 feet of a leased property, which property itself may be unleased or Compulsory Integrated, thus reducing the value of homes on unleased properties…

Because the extraction industry’s invasion of temporary workers, occupying the affordable housing that’s in short supply, will push our working poor into the streets, increasing the number of homeless here as it has in Bradford and Susquehanna Counties, Pennsylvania… we call for a statewide ban.

——————————————————————————————-


GAS DRILLING AFFECTS THE ENVIRONMENT

Because of our concerns that environmental and health damages lasting long beyond our lifetimes will extend across New York… we call for a statewide ban.

Because the global warming effects of methane in natural gas are many times greater than the global warming effects of carbon dioxide…

Because the subsidies granted to oil and gas drilling promote the use of fossil fuels and undermine the development of conservation, efficiency, and renewable energy sources

Because the DEC allows “centralized impoundments”, pits up to five acres in size, holding up to sixteen million gallons of toxic fluids connected by pipes to well pads as far as four miles away…

Because samples of flowback fluids in PA and WV have shown concentrations of cancer-causing chemicals that weren’t even included in the list of DEC’s fracking chemicals, and that in some instances the concentration of a single one of these carcinogenic chemicals exceeded 0.5% of the fluid – which is the purported total concentration of all chemicals in fracking fluid…

Because studies reveal that exposure to the components of hydrogen sulfide-containing natural gas and its condensate by women working in gas processing in Russia adversely affected their reproductive health…

Because West Virginia’s former mountaintops, Louisiana’s Cancer Alley, the war in the Niger Delta, and the ruination of the Ecuadorian Amazon have more to tell us about this industry than all the neat cartoon drawings of the hydrofracking process…

Because clean water and clear air are more important than gas… we call for a statewide ban.

——————————————————————————————–


GAS DRILLING AFFECTS PEOPLE’S RIGHTS

Because thousands upon thousands of leases were signed by landowners who didn’t understand what they were getting into, but which leases will be nonetheless enforced by the state which failed to alert its landowning citizens to the significance of subsoil leases… we call for a statewide ban.

Because no current lessor signed a lease with an awareness of the possibility of an injection well or a compression station on their property, or even what those words meant…

Because the state legislature changed the spacing rules to allow for 640-acre Marcellus units and Halliburton fracking technology after people had already signed leases…

Because municipalities that urged a withdrawal of the dSGEIS are forbidden by law to enforce their responsibility to protect their residents and citizens…

Because the FRAC Act before the Congress would forbid the underground injection of fracking fluids into aquifers serving public water systems, but not private wells serving the majority of households in rural New York…

Because the impact of gas drilling is so widespread, the doctrines of property rights should give way to the doctrine of participatory democracy… we call for a statewide ban.

——————————————————————————————–

GAS DRILLING AFFECTS THE INTEGRITY OF THE DEC

Because until August 2008, the DEC was claiming the “Marcellus shale fracing operations in New York State use fresh water, sand, nitrogen, and a diluted soapy solution to fracture the shale.. not benzene, toluene or xylene”, and thereby fixed the evidence around the policy and showed itself to be an agent of the gas corporations… we call for a statewide ban.

Because for 5 years the DEC has been clear-cutting forest land, upgrading and widening dirt roads within state land, constructing parking areas, and requiring loggers to make roads that connect one logging job to another

Because the DEC, the state agency that so vigorously promoted hydrofracking before Governor Patterson, that will issues permits, enforce whatever regulations it can’t weaken, and unitize owners into wells will be controlled by the industry, compromised, and marginalized as environmental cops…

Because the ten thousand signatures on anti-drilling petitions are dwarfed by the number of New Yorkers who aren’t participating in this movement because they know that regulatory agencies are always captured by the industries they regulate…

Because leaks, spills, and the uncontrolled release of natural gas wastewater only become public if reported by drillers, and because ten more or fifty more inspectors can’t adequately provide independent monitoring of these problems…

Because the reality in Dimock, Pennsylvania, in Garfield County, Colorado, of Dunkard Creek, and of DISH, Texas gives lie to the bureaucrats that their regulations guarantee the safety of the people …we call for a statewide ban.

——————————————————————————————–

GAS DRILLING CREATES A CORPORATE STATE

Because the leasing coalition members, who represent only 2.5% of the population and 12.5% of the land surface in the Marcellus Shale region, have an undue influence on local officials, and serve as a conduit of gas corporation influence… we call for a statewide ban.

Because the compulsory Integration process, which can include as much as 284 acres per Marcellus 640-acre units, is the theft of private property…

Because permits to “examine, prepare, maintain, operate and protect…an underground gas storage reservoir” are accompanied by powers of eminent domain …

Because we have seen that in Pennsylvania top regulators have gone through a revolving door into cushy corporate jobs…

Because leases ostensibly five or ten years long, will be held open for generations by construction or rates of production determined by the drillers…

Because the state has opened the people’s state forests, the people’s state parks, and the people’s state university land to the gas corporations…

Because pending legislation calls for state revenues to be used to construct gas distribution lines in so-called “underserved areas”, and because the state has already spent millions providing pipelines for this highly profitable industry even before the SGEIS has been finalized

Because the state has shown no interest in plugging the gaps created by the “Cheney exemptions” from overarching federal environmental legislation like the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Clean Air Act, and so forth…

And finally, because regulatory processes create the possibility, if not the assurance, of the division of the state into Exclusion Zones and Sacrifice Zones…
WE CALL FOR A STATEWIDE BAN.

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New York,

S I G N  T H I S  P E T I T I O N

&

T H I S   O N E

Pennsylvania, this one’s for you

P E N N S Y L V A N I A N S
A G A I N S T  G A S  D R I L L I N G

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