Over a Thousand Businesses Across the State Call on Governor Cuomo to Reject Fracking

Business Leaders Argue Fracking Won’t Create Jobs; Will Harm Food and Water Safety and Existing NY-Based Businesses

(Albany, NY) New Yorkers Against Fracking, a coalition of diverse organizations, including founding member Catskill Mountainkeeper, announced today that over 1,000 businesses had signed on in support of a statewide ban on fracking, joining health groups, political organizations, consumer groups, and environmental organizations.

The businesses noted that fracking had failed to create jobs in other states – with a national report showing that jobs were moving from the gas industry to the oil industry in Texas and Louisiana and West Virginia data showing that shale gas had not been a job boom – and unnecessarily put people’s health at risk. Furthermore, businesses fear that fracking will jeopardize current jobs and reduce job growth in many industries.

“The gas industry makes a lot of claims about jobs,” said Larry Bennett of Brewery Ommegang. “But we have actually been creating jobs in upstate New York and know that fracking will make it harder for us to grow our business.”
Food industry leaders recently came out in opposition to fracking because of its detrimental effect on agriculture, food safety and water. “This goes beyond affecting chefs, it could have a huge impact on those who live in upstate New York,” said Bill Telepan of Telepan Restaurant. “The drinking water, and the land, and the food upstate will be affected – and then all of us will be affected.”
“Our business depends on water,” said Steve Hindy of Brooklyn Brewery. “We can’t take the chance that fracking wastewater contaminates our state’s water supplies.”

“As responsible business owners, it is imperative that we educate ourselves on the harms of fracking,” said Heather Carlucci, Chef at PRINT. “Hydraulic fracturing, or natural gas drilling, can easily damage our water table and food sources and thus harm two of New York State’s great economic strongholds, tourism and restaurant businesses.”

“In the last two years my companies have created over 100 jobs in New York City, so I know something about job creation. This much is clear: fracking isn’t the answer to our economic woes. Study after study shows green energy creates more local jobs than fossil fuel production over the short and long term. We need a real economic development vision for all of New York that includes local agriculture, tourism, and small business support. Governor Cuomo should start working on that and keep New York safe from fracking,” said Guillaume Gauthereau, co-founder and CEO of Totsy.com and 2012 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year finalist.

“Within a generation, western New York will be the major breadbasket for the Northeast,” said Art Hunt of Hunt Country Vineyards. “We have abundant clean water, clean air and fertile soil. We cannot afford to lose precious acres to development that can harm our water and other natural resources if we hope to continue to feed this country in the future.”

Since the possibility of allowing fracking in the Southern Tier was publicly aired last month, opponents to fracking have been raising their voices. Almost 10,000 people have emailed or called Governor Cuomo and New Yorkers Against Fracking has held rallies across the state including Rockville Center (in Senate Majority Leader Skelos’ district), Brooklyn, Poughkeepsie, Rochester, Syracuse and Albany (at the Governor’s office). Major artists, including Yoko Ono, Sean Lennon and hundreds of others, announced their opposition to fracking with the launch of Artists Against Fracking. Just last week, the Senate Democrats held a forum on fracking in NYC that indicated serious ethical impropriety on behalf of the NYS DEC in colluding with the gas industry, and also showed that serious health, economic, and environmental concerns have not been addressed in the DEC’s review of fracking.

Leaders of the effort at the press conference announced that the businesses pledged to continue organizing businesses throughout the summer.

Summer Supper at Neversink Farm

Neversink Farm Presents an Afternoon Supper to Benefit Catskill Mountainkeeper 

Come join Catskill Mountainkeeper for an incredible intimate afternoon supper at Neversink Farm in Claryville, NY.  Tour the farm while sampling cuisine and non-alcoholic beverages sourced from the Catskills – all beautifully prepared by Chef Patrick Connolly.  There will be food stations by the river, the cut flower field, the barn, the pasture, and the vegetable field.  For the kids there will be friendly chickens and donkeys to pet.  The afternoon’s event is sponsored by Main St. Farm and will feature food and beverages that have been sourced from some of our region’s finest producers.  All proceeds go to support the Agricultural Program of Catskill Mountainkeeper.

 Time: Saturday June 30th from 4:00 – 7:00 PM
Place: Neversink Farm in Claryville, NY.

Get your tickets today! Due to a limited capacity, we highly recommend purchasing tickets in advance.


For a mouthwatering description of the event’s inspired food preparation, and to purchase tickets, click here.

For more information, and for directions to Neversink Farm, click here.

 This event is made possible through the generous support of Red Newt Cellars and Main Street Farm

Catskill Edible Garden Project Launches in Sullivan County


For Immediate Release
May 9, 2012

Emily Deans, Catskill Mountainkeeper, 845-482-5400
Denise Frangipane, Sullivan Renaissance, 845-295-2443

Catskill Edible Garden Project Launches in Sullivan County

(Youngsville, NY) – Catskill Mountainkeeper and partnering organizations –Cornell Cooperative Extension, Center for Workforce Development, Green Village Initiative and Sullivan Renaissance – are pleased to announce the launch of the Catskill Edible Garden Project – Growing the Next Generation of Food Entrepreneurs.  The project involves working with area schools and educational institutions to install and maintain edible gardens, and will additionally seek to provide resources to assist in the development and implementation of garden and food-based curricula integration.

“The Catskill Edible Garden Project 
will offer the opportunity for a hands-on youth development experience and exposure to food and agriculture as important aspects of our culture and community, and potential career opportunities,” said Emily Deans of Catskill Mountainkeeper.

The Project will enhance youth understanding of the food web; raise awareness of the components of a local healthy food system and its connection to healthy communities, and increase understanding of food systems as complex and interconnected aspects of community development.  During May, the construction and installation of three gardens will begin; two are located at schools -  Roscoe Central School and the Sullivan West campus in Jeffersonville ; a third will be at Cornell Cooperative Extension in Liberty.  The Cornell garden will promote the CCE “Eat Smart New York” program.

Build days for the gardens are as follows:  Cornell Cooperative Extension – May 14  8:30 AM;Sullivan West – Jeffersonville Campus – May 19 – 8:00 AMRoscoe Central School – May 22 – 1:00 PM.   Community volunteers are welcome to participate! Click here to get involved.

The Catskill Edible Garden Project
 will also feature a summer youth employment program in partnership with the Center for Workforce Development. Select students from each participating school district will be employed to maintain the gardens throughout the summer.  These students will also participate in agriculturally-based community outreach and CCE’s ‘Choose Health Ambassador’ program.

The Catskill Edible Garden Project
 is a collaboration between Catskill Mountainkeeper, Center for Workforce Development, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Sullivan Renaissance, and Green Village Initiative – a Connecticut-based not-for-profit that has been involved in the development of school garden programs throughout Western Connecticut.

Upstate judges rule towns have right to ban drilling

“It’s a huge victory and a huge morale-booster,” said Catskill Mountainkeeper Executive Director Ramsay Adams yesterday.

BY DAN HUST, FEBRUARY 28, 2012 – NEW YORK STATE — In two separate decisions last week, two upstate New York judges ruled that local municipalities are allowed to prohibit natural gas drilling within their boundaries.  The rulings are likely to be appealed, but they mark a new chapter in the ongoing battle over drilling. Significantly, both judges independently came to the conclusion that two prior cases involving the state’s Mined Land Reclamation Law (MLRL) applied to these two cases, which involved the state’s Oil, Gas and Solution Mining Law (OGSML).  The two prior cases had established that townships, villages and counties in New York State retained the right to dictate land uses – under the zoning authority granted them by the state – pertaining to mining.
NYS Supreme Court judges Philip Rumsey and Donald Cerio Jr. said that authority logically applies as well to gas drilling, even though much of the activity is underground.
Thus in a case involving the Anschutz Exploration Corporation versus the Town of Dryden (near Ithaca) and another involving a pro-drilling property owner versus the Town of Middlefield (near Cooperstown), the judges agreed that the respective townships’ zoning bans on gas drilling were legitimate.
“It’s a huge victory and a huge morale-booster,” said Catskill Mountainkeeper Executive Director Ramsay Adams yesterday. “… It established the fact that towns do have the right [to zone out gas drilling activities].”  Though towns may still rack up legal fees in defending such bans in court, Adams felt the rulings reduce the ability of gas companies to recoup alleged losses suffered by such bans. “The ominous threat of the industry bankrupting towns is not there in the way it was before,” he said.
Mountainkeeper played a supporting role in both cases, though Adams gave primary credit to lawyers David and Helen Slottje, plus Earthjustice’s Deborah Goldberg.
“They really were the leaders of this effort,” he stated. “They stuck to their guns … and they won!”
As a result, Adams expects many municipalities to adopt similar bans statewide, possibly before Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) officials finalize new rules on drilling involving fracking.  Locally, Tusten already has banned drilling, with Highland, Lumberland and Bethel expected to follow in the months ahead.
“We believe this is going to become a major part of the effort to protect communities from fracking,” Adams explained of the twin court decisions. “… I think there is going to be a lot of movement in towns now.”
He said Mountainkeeper will be there to help – and will continue advocating for a total statewide ban.  “Fracking is not safe,” he charged. “… And we believe that most people in most towns don’t want it.”  In the meantime, Adams isn’t sure either case will be appealed, saying Mountainkeeper has heard “mixed signals” from the gas industry and supporters.

Group Says Fracking Proposal Deficient

North Country Gazette
January 10, 2012

NEW YORK—Catskill Mountainkeeper,Delaware Riverkeeper Network, Earthjustice, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and Riverkeeper, Inc. have announced that, after extensive evaluation and technical expert review, they have concluded that the state must go back and revisit significant aspects of its revised draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (RDSGEIS) before fracking can move forward.  Click here for the full press release.

Straight, No Chaser – Episode 2 – Hydrofracking with Wes Gillingham

Straight, No Chaser – Episode 2 – Hydrofracking with Wes GillinghamFirst Aired – 10/23/2011 01:00PM

Hosted By

The hydrofracking debate is as important as ever and host Katy Keiffer speaks about our water supply with Wes Gillingham of Catskill Mountainkeeper on the 2nd installment of Straight, No Chaser. Listen in and get caught up with recent developments surrounding flowback water and open storage containers. How long do gas wells last? Will drilling affect our water supply and health? Tune in to find the answers to these questions and more.