A press release received on Saturday from New York's Catskill Mountainkeepers:
YOU ARE HELPING TO TURN THE TIDE ON FRACKING!
BUT THERE IS STILL WORK TO BE DONE
Last week we showed what could be accomplished by people who are dedicated to protecting New Yorkers from the dangers of fracking. Catskill Mountainkeeper had a key role in organizing a rally during the Governor’s State of the State address that brought thousands to Albany. Our anti-fracking coalition delivered more than 200,000 comments on the problems with proposed fracking regulations to the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), plus CMK and our partners Earthjustice, NRDC, Delaware Riverkeeper and Hudson Riverkeeper delivered another 200 pages of technical comments.
Wes Gilligham with Pete Seeger at the State of the State Rally.
Sean Lenon and Yoko Ono with Ramsay Adams and other Coalition members.
This tremendous level of activism against fracking is uprecedented.
It has been accompished because of the personal commitment of colleages such as Sandra Steingraber, who generated thousands of comments through her website,“30 Days of Fracking Regs”; the all-volunteer group, Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy who delivered 23,000 comments to the DEC; and Chip Northrup who through his blog, No Fracking Way, has made it clear how New Yorkers feel about the problems with the fracking regs.
A huge thank you to the member organizations of New Yorkers Against Fracking who helped to get people to the rally, and to all of you for continuing to actively stand up against fracking in New York. Our collective efforts are having a ripple effect and the tide of public sentiment is changing in our favor. A poll by Siena Research
this week showed that upstate voters now oppose fracking 51% - 38%.
But we are now heading toward a crticial deadline.
By February 13th
, the DEC will need to have finished reviewing, analyzing, studying and taking action on the hundreds of thousands of comments we delivered to Albany on January 11th
, paving the way for fracking to be approved in New York State by the end of February.
To review and respond to over 200,000 comments is a monumental task and virtually impossible to complete in the less than a month that is left. The DEC’s apparent alternative is to do a cursory rush job and ignore the many scientific and technical comments that we have all submitted. Unfortunately this lack of thoroughness and scientific rigor is consistent with how the DEC has addressed comments on other documents.
It has been theorized that New York State is rushing the regulatory process because they can’t face the prospect of having to restart it due to an administrative deadline. Whether or not that is the case, there is no justification for continuing with such a defective, inadequate and incompetent process when the health and well-being of New Yorkers is at stake. Fracking reulations should not be issued until a thoughtful review and analysis of the public and technical comments is completed. The future of New York is at stake.
HERE'S WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW:
Help us convince Governor Cuomo and DEC Commissioner Martens that the only responsible options for them are to ban fracking or extend the current moratorium while they open up the approval process to more scientific input and make the process more transparent. Send a letter to Governor Cuomo and DEC Commissioner Martens
, to ask your Assembly and State Senate representatives to sign on to Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton's letter
asking the Governor to require public participation in the DOH review of the impact of fracking on the public health.
And spread the word -- Forward
this message to your friends, family and neighbors and ask them to forward it on. Get educated, especially about the health issues and threats.
To keep up the momentum we have to keep up the pressure.
Please support Catskill Mountainkeeper. It is highly likely that we will be forced to sue to prevent fracking permits from being issued.
or send a check to: Catskill Mountainkeeper, Box 381 Youngsville, NY 12791