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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

.

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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Click on image for video:

Albany, NY, January 25, 2010 (see previous posts below): While approximately 500 people were inside the Convention Center (under The Egg), a group of demonstrators paused on the New York State Capitol Building’s steps — despite the rain and 40 mph gusts — demanding a “STATEWIDE BAN” on unconventional gas drilling.

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The 01/25/2010 Albany West Capitol Park Rally of over 500 people
opposed to unconventional gas drilling was moved inside, under the Egg

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DEC workers supporting 01/25 people’s protest of the DEC’s dSGEIS (door Stop Giving Extraction Industry Shelter)… The dSGEIS  concluded that cumulative effects of tens or hundreds of thousands of toxic waste production sites would not have a cumulative effect worth considering.
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Demonstrators chanting “No fracking way!” and “Statewide ban!”
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Joan Tubridy (CDOG) speaking, with Chief Oren Lyons (Onondaga Nation) by her side. Both support a statewide ban on unconventional gas drilling. Chief Lyons called upon political leaders to consider the impact of their decisions upon the next seven generations. When Tubridy finished her listing of reasons why we should have a statewide ban, those assembled at the rally loudly chanted “Statewide ban!” for a full minute.

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The Washington Post reports:

Oil Group’s ‘Citizen’ Rally Memo Stirs Debate

Firms Asked to Recruit Employees, Retirees

By David A. Fahrenthold
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, August 16, 2009

A petroleum industry trade group is asking oil companies to recruit employees and retirees to attend rallies attacking climate-change legislation, an approach to grass-roots politics that resembles strategies used recently by some opponents of health-care reform.

In a memo this month, American Petroleum Institute President Jack Gerard detailed plans for “Energy Citizen” rallies to be held in 20 states during the final two weeks of Congress’s August recess. Gerard wrote that the intent was to put a “human face on the impacts of unsound energy policy,” including a climate-change bill passed by the House in June.

“Please indicate to your company leadership your strong support for employee participation in the rallies,” Gerard wrote in the memo, saying that contractors and suppliers should also be recruited.

Environmental groups on Saturday criticized the rallies, which they described as manufactured events intended to pass as organic assemblies of concerned citizens. Greenpeace activists said they saw parallels to the health-care debate, where opponents of reform — including some organizations that receive heavy funding from industry groups and individuals — have organized efforts to shout down lawmakers at “town hall” meetings.

“It’s the most powerful among us, masquerading as grass-roots outrage to stifle debate on global warming,” Michael Crocker, a spokesman for Greenpeace, said of the oil group’s plans. “These are manufactured concerns, and the people who get involved in this are paid to put on this theater.”

The memo, obtained by Greenpeace, was first reported on by the Financial Times Saturday.

Kert Davies, another official with Greenpeace, said the group opposes the climate bill, too, deeming it too lenient on polluters.

. . . . .

The House bill calls for a 17 percent reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions, measured against 2005 levels, by 2020. It would also require polluters to buy “allowances” for each ton of emissions and allow them to exceed their allotted share of pollution only by buying more allowances.

Democratic leaders in the Senate have said they will use the House bill as a model for their version of the legislation.

The oil industry seems divided on the issue. Shell Oil and BP America, both members of the American Petroleum Institute, are also members of the U.S. Climate Action Partnership, which has supported a “cap and trade” approach. Spokesmen for both companies said yesterday they would not participate in the “Energy Citizen” rallies.

And former vice president Al Gore’s group, the Alliance for Climate Protection, is part of an effort to hold rallies attended by people who have — or would like to have — jobs in the renewable-energy sector. Their economic prospects might improve if a climate bill passes.

Alice McKeon, a spokeswoman for the group, said she did not think attendees were being recruited through their employers, in the way the oil group aims to do.

“They’re reaching out to the businesses directly and getting their people involved in it, as employees, and that’s not something that we’ve used as a tactic,” she said.

Complete story at:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/15/AR2009081502698.html

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…You wonder if they wondered why.

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Smells like… astroturf, don’t you think?

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___________________Credit all photos Cecile A Lawrence (c)____________________

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It’s a media miracle.

Like water into wine, like the loaves and fishes, somehow there were more people at the rally than arrived or left – even resorting to adding those 2 figures together.  This handful of people who attended a coalition rally in Bainbridge on August 23 were, through the magic of reporting, turned into “two thousand.”

These pictures were taken at the height of the attendance, not early in the day.

On the evidence, it could easily be concluded that most of the people there were family members of organizers  – or selling something.  Look at all the company and bank reps standing around with no one to peddle their wares to.

It’s hard to conclude that in real terms, this thing was anything other than a bust.  But when you can get the media to report that 2000 people showed up, and then you can take the newspaper article with the bloated figures to your politicians to pressure them to betray the majority population of their constituencies, suddenly, the sow’s ear becomes a silk purse.

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Kudos to the voice of caution – who evidently wasn’t standing alone on the fringe of the field, as reported by the media.

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___________________Credit all photos Cecile A Lawrence (c)____________________

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