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Final Fracking Decision?/Governor Cuomo's top 1,000 Campaign Contributors Asked to Oppose Reported Southern Tier Fracking Demo Project


Troubling rumors continue to swirl that Governor Cuomo could soon make a final decision regarding shale gas fracturing in New York State. There is no way for us to know what might be looming, but our efforts are nevertheless kicking into high gear. It might be now or never.

I am pleased to let you know that activists gained important national and international media attention today by writing to Governor Cuomo's top 1,000 campaign contributors. We respectfully asked them to oppose the Southern Tier Fracturing Demonstration Project reported on 6/13/12 by The New York Times. I guarantee that this effort generated intense consternation.

We received impressive coverage in Binghamton, Ithaca and Elmira newspapers (Thank you, Steve Reilly); AP coverage from New England all the way to California and as far away as Australia (Thank you, Mary Esch and Michael Gormley); local TV and NPR radio coverage throughout the Southern Tier and coverage via CBS News, The Wall Street Journal, CNBC, Business Week and Huffington Post.

See individual news links below.

Read the contributor letter:

Check out the 1,000 biggest contributors:

I Implore You to Call and Email Governor Cuomo today!!! This is super important. Get on it. Don't stop till you drop.

Oppose a Fracking Demonstration Project in the Southern Tier or Anywhere Else in New York.

Say No to the Governor’s Irresponsible and Fundamentally Unfair Fracking Plan.

Request That Cuomo Withdraw His Fatally Flawed, Incomplete and Inadequate Revised Draft SGEIS.

Email: Phone: (518) 474-8390.

In closing, I would like to thank the most honorable Matt Ryan, City of Binghamton Mayor, Ben Perkus of NYRAD (New York Residents Against Drilling), Sue Rapp of VeRSE (Vestal Residents for Safe Energy) and Erin Heaton Meyer of C-CARE (Chenango Community Action for Renewable Energy). It is a privilege to work with all of you.

It has been three years since I began my efforts to prevent shale gas fracking from despoiling my home state. I am so grateful for the thousands of activists who have done so much unrelenting, unstinting and incredibly generous hard work with that goal in mind.

There is still not a single fracked shale gas well in New York, but we have a very long way to go and will face many more challenges.

Stay focused and fired up. Keep at it.

No Final SGEIS, no shale gas fracking.

Thanks so much.



Fracking opponents target Cuomo supporters

8:38 PM, Aug. 1, 2012

Walter Hang, president of Toxics Targeting, speaks at a Wednesday news conference about natural gas drilling in the Southern Tier. Pictured, from left to right, are Ben Perkus of New York Residents Against Drilling, Binghamton Mayor Matthew T. Ryan, Hang, Sue Rapp of Vestal Residents for Safe Energy, and Erin Heaton Meyer of Chenango Community Action for Renewable Energy. / STEVE REILLY / STAFF PHOTO

In an effort to get the ear of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, opponents of hydraulic fracturing in the Southern Tier have penned a letter to 1,000 of his closest friends.

Binghamton Mayor Matthew T. Ryan and others who have concerns about the natural gas extraction technique gathered in front of Binghamton City Hall on Wednesday to discuss a letter they sent to the 1,000 largest contributors to Cuomo’s campaign fund.

“These are essentially many of the most prominent people in New York State politics,” said Walter Hang, an Ithaca activist and owner of environmental database firm Toxics Targeting. “We believe that this is going to force the governor to listen to many of the concerns that have been introduced up until now.”

August 1, 2012, 4:41 p.m. ET

Fracking opponents put pressure on NY governor

Associated Press
ALBANY, N.Y. — Opponents of shale gas drilling that involves blasting chemical-laden water deep into the ground are asking Gov. Andrew Cuomo's top campaign contributors to pressure him to ban the practice in the state.

New York Residents Against Drilling and several other groups sent a letter to Cuomo's top 1,000 individual donors on Wednesday saying Cuomo's reported plan to permit hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in a limited area would "treat Southern Tier residents as second class citizens and unfairly subject them to potentially irreparable hazards."

Environmentalists and other critics say fracking could poison water supplies, but the natural gas industry says it's been used safely for decades.

Cuomo hasn't denied a New York Times report in June that he plans to allow drilling to begin in the area near the Pennsylvania border where the Marcellus Shale is richest in gas and where communities have voiced support for the industry.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation hasn't allowed shale gas drilling since it began an environmental impact review and new regulations four years ago. It's updating regulations to address the potential impacts of new technology including horizontal drilling and high-volume fracking. The review is expected to be completed this year.

Signers of the letter, including Binghamton Mayor Matthew Ryan, ask donors to tell Cuomo to ban fracking until issues such as disposal of drilling wastewater and potential health impacts are fully addressed.

For Cuomo, a Democrat, the issue a bit sticky politically. Some of his base is steeped in the environmental movement. But Cuomo also has made job creation "Job One," and expanding an industry would help him during high unemployment.

Cuomo's biggest campaign donors come from business, which is pushing for fracking as a job creator and a way to reduce high taxes, another goal for Cuomo as he continues to brand himself as a fiscally conservative Democrat.

Walter Hang, who owns a consulting business that tracks toxic sites for property investors and other clients, said he believes Cuomo "listens a great deal to his biggest campaign contributors, many of whom are intensely involved in governmental affairs."

"If he hears from these contributors," Hang said, "it may be a more powerful message than when he hears from ordinary citizens."

The AP article ran in the following publications:

  1. Wall Street Journal
  2. Business Week
  3. CBS News
  4. Huffington Post
  5. Yahoo News
  6. Australian Yahoo Finance
  7. MSN Money
  8. CNBC
  9. Times Union (Albany, NY)
  10. The Post-Standard (Syracuse, NY)
  11. WPTZ (Plattsburgh, NY)
  12. Fox 44 (Plattsburgh, NY)
  13. The Buffalo News (Buffalo, NY)
  14. NY Daily Record (Western NY)
  15. The Citizen (Auburn, NY)
  16. The Post-Star (Glens Falls, NY)
  17. New Jersey Herald
  18. Connecticut Post
  19. Bennington Banner (Vermont)
  20. Ventura County Star (California)
  21. The Republic (Indiana)
  22. Topix
  24. News Whip
  25. Roadrunner