Sean Lennon Speaks Out Against Fracking

New York Times, August 28, 2012

Op Ed Article by Sean Lennon

On the northern tip of Delaware County, N.Y., where the Catskill Mountains curl up into little kitten hills, and Ouleout Creek slithers north into the Susquehanna River, there is a farm my parents bought before I was born. My earliest memories there are of skipping stones with my father and drinking unpasteurized milk. There are bald eagles and majestic pines, honeybees and raspberries. My mother even planted a ring of white birch trees around the property for protection.

A few months ago I was asked by a neighbor near our farm to attend a town meeting at the local high school. Some gas companies at the meeting were trying very hard to sell us on a plan to tear through our wilderness and make room for a new pipeline: infrastructure for hydraulic fracturing. Most of the residents at the meeting, many of them organic farmers, were openly defiant. The gas companies didn’t seem to care. They gave us the feeling that whether we liked it or not, they were going to fracture our little town.   For the full article, click here….

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 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.

Debra Winger to Host Barnfest 2012! Saturday July 14, 3pm-7pm

Catskill Mountainkeeper is excited to announce that three time Academy Award nominated actress, fracking activist and public health advocate Debra Winger will host Barnfest 2012 at The Hills Country Resort in Callicoon Center on Saturday July 14, 2012 from 3pm to 7pm.

Stanford University Professor Mark Jacobson

Our Keynote Speaker is world renowned Stanford University Professor Mark Z. Jacobson whose pioneering research has helped us to understand better severe atmospheric problems, such as air pollution and global warming, and develop and analyze large-scale clean energy solutions to them.

Admission and beverages at Barnfest are FREE.

Incredible local food will be available for purchase and there will be an art auction, penny social and other fun activities for the entire family including incredible live musical perfomances including Bethany and Rufus and the Raddyos.

Last year in torrential downpoars more than 500 people celebrated with us including Mountainkeeper Board Member Mark Ruffalo and his wife Sunrise, renowned food advocate Fred Kirschenmann (Stonewall Farms), and best selling author Anna Lappe (Diet for a Hot Planet).

NY DEC Gives Exclusive Regulatory Access to Gas Industry


New York regulators granted natural gas industry representatives exclusive access to shale gas drilling regulations as early as six weeks before they were made public, according to documents obtained by Environmental Working Group (EWG) through requests filed under the New York State Freedom of Information Law.

In at least one instance, a representative of Oklahoma-based Chesapeake Energy Corp., one of the nation’s most powerful drilling companies, used this exclusive access to try to weaken rules restricting discharges of radioactive wastewater… click here to read the full story.


AP: Groups call on Cuomo to reject ‘fracking’ plan

Groups call on Cuomo to reject ‘fracking’ plan

June 20, 2012 15:25 GMT
link to article here:

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A coalition of 100 environmental, health and community groups is calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to reject any demonstration project for shale gas drilling using hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.”

The groups are issuing a statement in response to a report last week in the New York Times that the Cuomo administration was considering allowing fracking in limited areas where towns welcomed it. Opponents of fracking are gathering at the Capitol for a rally Wednesday, the day before the Legislature adjourns for the summer.

The statement notes that the Department of Environmental Conservation is still working on its environmental review. It said any decision on drilling should wait until health, environmental, and community impacts are assessed.

The coalition includes Catskill Mountainkeeper, Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club and others.

Catskill Edible Garden Project launched

The River Reporter

Sullivan West School Garden 5/2012

May 16, 2012 —SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY — Catskill Mountainkeeper and partnering organizations Cornell Cooperative Extension, Center for Workforce Development, Green Village Initiative and Sullivan Renaissance have launched a project called “Catskill Edible Garden Project – Growing the Next Generation of Food Entrepreneurs.”

It involves working with area schools and educational institutions to install and maintain edible gardens, and will seek to provide resources to assist in the development and implementation of garden and food-based curricula integration. It includes a youth employment component.

“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.

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.

There will be a build day at the Sullivan West Jeffersonville Campus on May 19 starting at 8 a.m. and at the Roscoe Central School on May 22 at 1 p.m. Community volunteers are welcome to participate. Link here

Medical records could yield answers on fracking

NPR, May 16, 2012
Jon Hamilton

A proposed study of people in northern Pennsylvania could help resolve a national debate about whether the natural gas boom is making people sick. The study would look at detailed health histories on hundreds of thousands of people who live near the Marcellus Shale, a rock formation in which energy companies have already drilled about 5,000 natural gas wells. If the study goes forward, it would be the first large-scale, scientifically rigorous assessment of the health effects of gas production.  Read More…..

How Chemicals Affect Us

New York Times, May 2, 2012

Scientists are observing with increasing alarm that some very common hormone-mimicking chemicals can have grotesque effects.

A widely used herbicide acts as a female hormone and feminizes male animals in the wild. Thus male frogs can have female organs, and some male fish actually produce eggs. In a Florida lake contaminated by these chemicals, male alligators have tiny penises.  READ MORE…..


New York Times, April 26, 2012
By Clifford Krauss

There is a growing chorus of criticism about the risk-taking management style and compensation of Aubrey K. McClendon, Chesapeake Energy’s audacious chairman and chief executive. On Thursday Chesapeake announced that it was phasing out his contentious compensation plan that allowed him to borrow heavily, with loans currently of $846 million, to finance his participation in an unusual compensation plan that allowed him to invest alongside Chesapeake in every well that it drilled, sharing in both the profits and the expenses. READ MORE….

EPA Caps Emissions in Drilling for Fuel

New York Times – April 18, 2012

U.S. Caps Emissions in Drilling for Fuel

WASHINGTON — Oil and gas companies will have to capture toxic and climate-altering gases from wells, storage sites and pipelines under new air quality standards issued on Wednesday by the Environmental Protection Agency.

The rule is the first federal effort to address serious air pollution associated with the natural gas drilling process known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, which releases toxic and cancer-causing chemicals like benzene and hexane, as well as methane, a powerful greenhouse gas.

The standards were proposed last summer in response to complaints from citizens and environmental groups that gases escaping from the 13,000 wells drilled each year by fracking were causing health problems and widespread air pollution….