The Nation: New York’s Fractivists Keep the Heat on Cuomo


“It was a NIMBY [Not in My Backyard] issue at the beginning,” says Ramsay Adams, executive director of Catskill Mountainkeeper, one of the first New York groups to raise the alarm. A couple of years ago, Adams asked McKibben to attend a fracking event and the relationship grew from there. By now, a smattering of New York grassroots activists have formed coalitions that are linking groups from across the country.”

New York’s Fractivists Keep the Heat on Cuomo

Nicholas Kusnetz

September 12, 2012   |    This article appeared in the October 1, 2012 edition of The Nation.

On a hot and breezy August morning, more than 1,000 protesters gathered in Albany calling on Governor Andrew Cuomo to ban the drilling practice called hydraulic fracturing in New York State. Activists chanted anti-fracking fight songs and carried banners highlighting the dangers of the gas drilling practice. It was in many ways like the handful of rallies that had come before it.

But there was one subtle difference that tracked a trend in the anti-fracking movement. The first hint came with one of the first speakers: Bill McKibben, the environmental writer and activist who started the grassroots group to press for action on climate change. Last year, McKibben and his group organized a campaign that took the arcane local issue of an oil pipeline running through Nebraska and turned it into a national story, culminating in one of the environmental movement’s largest acts of civil disobedience ever, when an estimated 10,000 activists circled the White House in a human chain last November. In his speech at the August rally, McKibben called this a “gut-check” moment for Cuomo and suggested that banning fracking would make him a leader on the national, even international stage.

It is Time to March — Join Debra Winger, Josh Fox, and Bill McKibben in Albany on August 27th

United We Stand

Join together with Climate Activist and Co-Founder Bill McKibben, Academy Award Nominated Actress Debra Winger, Academy Award nominated Filmaker Josh Fox, and Leaders From Across New York State on Monday, August 27th to March on Albany


On August 27th, New Yorkers from across the state will be converging on Albany for DON’T FRACK NY, a major mobilization to demand a ban on fracking.

At this event, we will be presenting to Governor Cuomo the “Pledge to Resist Fracking in New York,” a powerful proclamation of our commitment to stop fracking.

Will you join with Mountainkeeper and thousands of New Yorkers in signing the pledge? Click here to sign the Pledge. Currently, there are over 1,300 signatories.

DON’T FRACK NY will be an important moment in the anti-fracking movement. All eyes around the world are on New York – Get on the bus and come to Albany to make your voices heard!

Click here to read the letter from Josh Fox and Biologist Sandra Steingraber on why it is so important to come to Albany on August 27th.

Mountainkeeper will be rallying with Grassroots Leaders, Debra Winger, Bill McKibben, and Josh Fox and then marching to the capitol to deliver the Pledge.

Here are the event details:

WHAT: Don’t Frack New York – Pledge to resist fracking
WHEN: Monday August 27th, 11 AM
WHERE: March begins at the Amphitheater in the Corning City Preserve, Albany, New York.  The Park is located across from the Hudson River Way Pedestrian Bridge, at the corner of Broadway & Pine Street.  Click here for a map

Texas judge rules atmosphere, air is public trust

By Ramit Plushnick-Masti
Associated Press, 7/12/12

HOUSTON — A Texas judge has ruled that the atmosphere and air must be protected for public use, just like water, which could help attorneys tasked with arguing climate change lawsuits designed to force states to cut emissions.

The written ruling, issued in a letter Monday by Texas District Court Judge Gisela Triana, shot down arguments by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality that only water is a “public trust,” a doctrine that dates to the Roman Empire stating a government must protect certain resources — usually water, sometimes wildlife — for the common good.

Adam Abrams, one of the attorneys arguing the case against TCEQ, said Triana’s ruling could be used as a persuasive argument in lawsuits pending in 11 other states.

In Texas, though, a ruling to protect air and the atmosphere has added significance. Republican Gov. Rick Perry is one of the most vocal opponents against widely accepted scientific research that fossil fuel emissions are causing global warming. And the state has refused to regulate greenhouse gases, forcing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to work directly with industries to ensure they comply with federal law. Read more…..


June 26, 2012 – Action Alert: Is Fracking Coming to New York?

Last week Governor Cuomo announced on WGDJ radio in Albany that “we don’t have a hard date, but it will be done shortly”, signaling that the state will adopt a policy on fracking soon. This statement comes days after the Governor’s office leaked a plan to the New York Times (in which Mountainkeeper was quoted) that would allow hydrofracking permits in Broome, Tioga, Chenango, Chemung and Steuben counties near the Pennsylvania border and would give local communities a say in whether or not gas wells would be drilled (Listen to Ramsay Adams interviewed on WBAI NYC Public Radio).

Our response to the Governor’s plan was swift and strong.  Mountainkeeper immediately convened a meeting of the top environmental groups in the state and together we organized a press conference and rally in Albany on June 20th.   We told the Governor that it is unacceptable to sacrifice any area of New York State to fracking.

Whether the Governor plans to drill 5 counties or 62, the danger of fracking is still the same.  In states that are being fracked, water and air are being polluted and most importantly people are getting sick.  And yet, no comprehensive scientific study has been done by the State to determine the impacts of fracking on health.  We have been calling on the state to do a Health Impact Assessment (HIA), (a broad-spectrum scientific review of both the qualitative and quantitative information related to the impacts on health of fracking), for years.  The State Assembly passed a bill to have it done last week, but the campanion bill was blocked in the State Senate, leaving it up to the Governor to order one.  click here to read the rest

We also urge you to join with Mountainkeeper at the Stop The Frack Attack Rally in Washington DC on July 28thThis National Day of Action is aimed at challenging the oil and gas industry’s control over our national policies.  Now is the time for us all to unite and demand no more drilling that harms public health, water, and air.  It is time to put communities and the environment first and to demand an end to special subsidies for the industry.  Visit the website for more information.

Mountainkeeper Featured in New York Times Story on Fracking in New York

Cuomo Plan Would Limit Gas Drilling to a Few Counties in New York
Published: June 13, 2012 link to complete article here:

ALBANY — Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s administration is pursuing a plan to limit the controversial drilling method known as hydraulic fracturing to portions of several struggling New York counties along the border with Pennsylvania, and to permit it only in communities that express support for the technology.

Continue reading

Mountainkeeper and over 100 orgs Present New Yorkers Against Fracking Concert

New Yorkers Against Fracking – All Star Rally/Concert in Albany on Tuesday, May 15

Catskill Mountainkeeper with our coalition partners are pleased to present this important rally and powerful multi-media concert to support a ban on fracking in New York State.  The concert will feature Natalie Merchant, Medeski Martin & Wood, Joan Osborne, the Felice Brothers, Ida, Dan Zane, The Horse Flies, and friends, along with emcees Mark Ruffalo and Melissa Leo. It promises to be a powerful afternoon and evening of political strength, impressive performances from great artists, and sincere testimonies.

The Rally:
Where: The West Capitol Lawn, Albany, NY
When: Tuesday, May 15th at 4:30 PM – 6:00 PM

The Concert:
When: Tuesday, May 15th at 7:00 PM – 9:30 PM
Where: The Egg, Empure State Plaza, Albany, NY 12223
Tickets: 518-473-1845 or CLICK HERE

Tickets will sell out, soon! Cost: $40 Per person with a limited number of “Pit” tickets at $150.
 Get on the bus!


Catskill Mountainkeeper is proud to be a Supporting Partner of the new campaign “Don’t Frack with AnyBody of Water”.   I AM PICTURES in association with I HEART produced a video and photo portrait campaign of 30 + notable New Yorkers including Leighton Meester, Norman Reedus, Zoe Kravitz, Sandra Bernhard and Adrian Grenier, this PSA raises awareness about the dangers of unregulated fossil fuel extraction. Through personable, direct appeals, “ANYBODY of WATER” demands that we take action to protect New York’s water and put an end to hydraulic fracturing (fracking) today.    Watch the video and then share it with your friends.



#DONTFRACK with aNYbody of water @_IHEARTH2O

As the list of known severe short term and irreversible health and environmental hazards caused by the chemicals used to frack grows, energy corporations like Chesapeake and Chevron Hess continue to pollute American drinking water with thousands of toxic chemicals when they mine into our shale bedrock and extract natural gases. What began as an attempt to replace US dependence on coal and foreign oil with domestic natural gas has turned into an unregulated assault on the bodies of land, water and people of today and for generations to come.
If the gas industry prevails, drilling will begin on the first of what could become tens of thousands of wells in the Catskill/Delaware Watershed. This fracking runs the risk of poisoning the drinking water of millions of New Yorkers—once these chemicals (think carcinogens) leak into our water supply, they are nearly impossible to filter out. Now is the time to stop fracking so these chemicals don’t contaminate our water system indefinitely. Because this is ANYBODY of water, this is our only body of water, and if we don’t stand up for it, no one will.
To learn more about fracking and the “ANYBODY of WATER” movement, please read the “Fracking Facts” document, and visit:

“ANYBODY of WATER” is an I AM PICTURES production in association with I HEART H2O Written & Directed by Chloe Domont, Created by Raye Levine, Produced by Zoe Potkin, Co-Produced by Raye Levine, Associate Producer: Emma Levine, Portraits by Alexey Yurenev, Music by Grizzly Bear

In Partnership with: Citizens for Water, Damascus Citizens, Catskill Mountainkeeper, Bone/Levine Architects, NYH2O

For more information contact Catskill Mountainkeeper at 845 482 5400 or email us at