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Lots going on/another day with no shale gas fracking in NYS

Unplugged Abandoned Well

I write to bring you up to date on recent shale gas developments. Thankfully, there is still no agreement on permitting shale gas fracking in New York. Every day we keep that from happening is critical. Keep slugging.

First, an update about some key elections in the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions. Dan Lamb and Nate Shinagawa, both signatories to the Withdraw the Revised Draft SGEIS and the Oppose Southern Tier Fracking Demonstration Project coalition letters, failed in their attempts to unseat incumbents Tom Reed and Richard Hanna, who expressed support for properly regulated shale gas fracking. Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, a member of the Hydraulic Fracturing Advisory Panel defeated Julie Lewis, vice-president of the Joint Landowners Coalition of New York Inc. State Senator Thomas Libous, also a member of the Fracking Advisory Panel, defeated John Orzel. Tarik Abdelazim was defeated by incumbent Broome County Executive Debbie Preston. Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton was reelected with no challenger.

The bottom line is that these major elected officials support protection of public health and the environment from potential shale gas fracking hazards. Moreover, in the key Southern Tier region where a limited shale gas fracking demonstration project has been proposed, support for fracking is balanced by equally strong support for adoption of strict safeguards before fracking is allowed. Binghamton Mayor Matt Ryan, Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo and Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton effectively counterbalance State Senator Libous and County Executive Preston as well as Congressional reps Reed and Hanna.


Second, an important NPR piece just aired about unplugged gas and oil well problems in Pennsylvania exacerbated by shale gas fracking. This drives home why the 5,046 unplugged wells in New York must be plugged before fracking is permitted. See overview map below.


Third, an activist just brought to my attention an incredible document obtained from DEC through Freedom of Information. It indicates that there reportedly was discussion among members of the Hydraulic Fracturing Advisory Panel to avoid signing the pledge to maintain New York's shale gas fracking moratorium until all the key concerns documented in the Withdraw the Revised Draft SGEIS have been fully resolved as a matter of consensus among local, state and federal authorities as well as potentially impacted parties.

The key question is whether representatives of environmental groups participated in the reported discussions. They have vehemently opposed signing the Maintain the Fracking Moratorium pledge as well as the Withdraw the Revised Draft SGEIS and the Oppose A Southern Tier Fracking Demonstration Project coalition letters.


Fourth, I will participate in a debate today with Professor Robert Howarth, Energy in Depth, Lenape Resources, a local activist and an energy investor: Thursday, November 15th, 4:30 pm to 6:00 pm, 305 Ives Hall, Cornell University. See live streaming at:

Fifth, a major report was released the other day that reports the USA will become the largest oil producer in the world in five years.

The NYT article about the report makes a key point: "There are several components of the sudden shift in the world’s energy supply, but the prime mover is a resurgence of oil and gas production in the United States, particularly the unlocking of new reserves of oil and gas found in shale rock. The widespread adoption of techniques like hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling has made those reserves much more accessible, and in the case of natural gas, resulted in a vast glut that has sent prices plunging (emphasis added)."


Take Action Today: Request That Governor Cuomo Clean Up All Unplugged and Abandoned Gas and Oil Well Hazards!!!

Until all unplugged and abandoned gas and oil well hazards in New York have been cleaned up, it would be irresponsible of Governor Cuomo to permit shale gas fracking, even on a limited basis. The Revised Draft SGEIS must be withdrawn because it provides no meaningful plan to remediate 5,000+ unplugged wells.

Check out the unplugged and abandoned well overview map and the DEC unplugged and abandoned well database at:

See my letter to Governor Cuomo about this long-standing problem:

Request That Governor Cuomo Restart the SGEIS Permit Guideline Proceeding

See my letter to Governor Cuomo requesting that the SGEIS be restarted to allow public comment on how to expand the scope of that proceeding to address all documented public health and environmental concerns:

Email Governor Cuomo:

Call Governor Cuomo:

Albany: 518-474-8390

New York City: 212-681-4580

Binghamton: 607-721-8367

Twitter the Governor: @NYGovCuomo

Facebook him:


Thanks so much.