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No Fracking Demonstration Project Coalition Letter coverage/Hold onto your hats


I write to thank the more than 2,350 signatories to the new coalition letter which requests that Governor Cuomo: a) withhold permitting for any horizontal hydraulic fracturing "demonstration project" in the Southern Tier or anywhere else in New York and b) fulfill the mandates of Executive Order No. 41 without further delay.

As you will see below, the coalition letter received extensive press coverage last week, including regional newspaper coverage with a photo as well as multiple TV stories. Please keep beating the bushes for a couple hundred more signatories:

This letter is extremely important because I believe there is no longer any doubt that Governor Cuomo would like to permit horizontal fracking in New York using a divide and conquer strategy that starts with a demonstration project in the Southern Tier and later expands to surrounding areas.

The head of a national enviro group reportedly said that "this is the best deal that we can get." Extreme heavy lifting will be required to thwart that unfair plan.

After four years of hard-fought effort, it remains miraculous that not a single Marcellus Shale horizontal gas well has ever been fracked in New York. So long as DEC does not lift the fracking moratorium by adopting an inadequate Final SGEIS, our state will remain protected from fracking. That goal must remain the focus of all our efforts.

The legislative session should end in a week or so. Groups have been pushing a fracking ban, a drilling moratorium, home rule, an independent health investigation and many other initiatives. A heavy dose of harsh political reality will be administered when every single one of those initiatives is killed.

Activists also continue to advocate local bans and moratoria that might or might not perform as hoped. A legal challenge was recently initiated against Binghamton's moratorium, the only local drilling prohibition in the Southern Tier:

The fate of those efforts has yet to be decided. As a result, relying on local zoning as the first line of defense against fracking is risky to say the least.

Finally, national pressure to maximize fracking is intensifying in breath-taking fashion. Daniel Yergin wrote an opinion piece in The New York Times the other day. As you will see, he references Governor Cuomo:

Mr. Yergin earlier won a Pulitzer Prize for his epic book about the oil industry. I have excerpted a section that sounds eerily similar to what we are currently experiencing with fracking:
In conclusion, we are in for an extraordinarily challenging fight as DEC tries to adopt a Final SGEIS and we try to send it back to the drawing board yet again. Hold onto your hats.

I wish to thank everyone who participated in the media release last week: Binghamton Mayor Matt Ryan, Sandra Steingraber, Ben Perkus of NYRAD, Sue Rapp of Vestal Residents for Safe Energy (VeRSE) and Chris Burger of the Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter. Your efforts were commendable.

All of us are in this together. Steady at the helm. Much more to come shortly. Every day is a political eternity.

Onward and upward.


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We also received extensive tv coverage:

As pictured from left, biologist and author Sandra Steingraber, Binghamton Mayor Matthew Ryan, president of Ithaca-based Toxics Targeting Walter Hang, Ben Perkus, and former county legislator and Sierra Club member Chris Burger gather in downtown Binghamton on Tuesday afternoon to announce a letter to Gov. Cuomo requesting that he oppose any gas fracking demonstration projects in the Tier or anywhere else in New York State. / CASEY STAFF/ Staff Photo