Yesterday, I joined Senators Diane Savino and David Carlucci at a press conference with other environmental leaders at the Capitol Building in Albany to announce that the Senate's five-member Independent Democratic Conference (IDC) had unveiled legislation that would stop the clock on the State's long consideration of the controversial natural gas drilling technique known as fracking....
If the stakes weren’t so high, the way that New York State is conducting its review of fracking's environmental and health impacts would be laughable. Again and again the Governor and the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) have put the cart before the horse and turned what should be a straightforward, science-based process into a convoluted debacle. It’s hard to explain how the DEC could issue the regulations that would govern fracking BEFORE they finished their Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement, the in depth document they have been working on for the last several years....Read more
During this holiday season I hope that you include Catskill Mountainkeeper in your year-end giving for 2012. A significant portion of our operating budget comes from end of year donations and it is a great time to support our work because your contribution is tax-deductible. It is really easy to donate before the end of tax season by using our secure online donation system, by using Paypal or by sending us a check...
Let the Science make the Decision on Fracking
Governor Cuomo has promised that the decision on whether fracking would go forward in New York State would be guided by science, but recent actions by his admininistration are contrary to that goal. The New York State Department of Conservation (DEC) has now put in motion a process for the health review of fracking that does not give the medical experts the Governor appointed the time to do a thorough review and is not open to public comment. The DEC has not given the medical experts that were appointed time to do a thorough review of the health impacts of fracking and has limited public comment. For a quick overview of how we got to this point click here: Peter Mantius: Doctors' fracking concerns being ignored Corning Leader - December 2, 2012 It appears as if the medical experts hired to review the health impact of fracking in New York State are being given just days each to review what the Department of Health (DOH) has already written. One of the experts, Lynn Goldman, made statements to the press that she had a December 3rd, 2012 deadline to complete her work even though she had signed a contract only 10 days prior and at that time had not yet seen the health review. We have learned that the state signed contracts with each medical expert that limits their work to 25 hours each. The actions of the medical experts will not be a comprehensive independent health impact assessment that New Yorkers have been asking for. In fact based on the amount of time they’re being given, they will hardly have time to read the data on the health impacts of fracking that has already been written. Catskill Mountainkeeper and our partners have been advocating for a Health Impact Assessment (HIA) since 2008. Our requests for a comprehensive and rigorous independent HIA that distinguishes itself from other kinds of public health investigations by using quantitative, qualitative and participatory techniques have been ignored.Read more
What’s Behind The Headlines?
This week Governor Cuomo announced that the state is “restarting” the regulatory process that would create the rules under which high-volume hydraulic fracturing (fracking) could proceed. When asked why the state would be doing more work and undertaking a health impact review, he answered that “it will be a stronger review to withstand a legal challenge." Contrary to indications last week that he was likely to back away from fracking, the Governor strongly stated this week, “there is no step back.” It’s unfortunate that the Governor has framed the need for a health review as a legal defense issue rather than as a critical element necessary to protect the public health. None-the-less, now is the time for Governor Cuomo to demonstrate he has a high level of concern for the public’s health by elevating his current plan for an internal health review to hiring an independent entity to lead a comprehensive and rigorous Health Impact Assessment (HIA).Read more
On Thursday September 20, Joseph Martens, Commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced that the DEC will do a review of the potential public health effects of fracking. He said, “only after this evaluation is completed will a decision be made about whether to permit high-volume hydraulic fracturing in New York…Read more
But First We Need to Stop It
Mark Z. Jacobson giving the Keynote at Barnfest 2012[/caption] Mark Z. Jacobson, director of Stanford’s Atmosphere/Energy Program mesmerized hundreds of Mountainkeeper supporters at last Saturday’s Barnfest with a doable plan to forgo fossil fuels and convert the globe to sustainable renewable energy by 2030. Based on the findings of the research he did with Mark A. Delucchi, UC-Davis researcher, he said, “there are no technological or economic barriers to converting the entire world to clean, renewable energy sources....Read more
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....Read more
Major news outlets such as Bloomburg News, Business Weej and Propublica are reporting on a game changing peer reviewed study commissioned by Catskill Mountainkeeper that ppredicts frack fluids can migrate into aquifers, directly contradicting the claim by the gas industry that these toxic chemicals will stay underground forever...
Part of our worldwide effort to halt climate change and why we need to ban fracking and adopt a renewable energy policy
When you are fighting against fracking you are part of a larger global effort to wean the world off fossil fuels and move us toward using renewable energy sources so that we avert catastrophic global warming. You are fighting the same fight as those who are trying to stop mountaintop removal in West VA, the Keystone XL pipeline, which would transport tar-sands oil (whose extraction and refining produces up to 30 percent more greenhouse gases than conventional oil) and dangerous nuclear power...Read more