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Urgent letter to Governor Paterson to withdraw draft SGEIS before leaving office

December 1, 2010


I am writing to all signatories to my withdraw the draft SGEIS coalition letter. We are nearly 11,000 strong. Thank you so much for your help during the last year.

I implore you to sign a new letter to Governor Paterson. It requests him to withdraw the draft SGEIS before he leaves office. The governor is under brutal pressure on Marcellus Shale matters. One more big push might send him over the brink.

The letter addresses Paterson's recent declaration that a Final SGEIS will not be adopted during his administration. It underscores the staffing inadequacies revealed in the internal DEC memo that resulted in Commissioner Grannis' shocking firing. It reiterates the Environmental Protection Agency's grave concerns about the draft SGEIS.

Read and sign the new letter here:

There is extreme time pressure to send this letter ASAP. The Assembly passed a six-month gas drilling moratorium bill on 11/30/10. This bill earlier passed the State Senate. Governor Paterson will have 10 days to sign it into law or veto it once it is delivered to him.

The bill is mainly a symbolic achievement since New York has had a de facto moratorium on Marcellus Shale horizontal hydrofracking for more than two years. Nevertheless, signing the bill into law might reduce the pressure on Paterson to resolve the major shortcomings of the draft SGEIS. That is why it is critical to deliver the letter as quickly as practicable.

Elected officials are hailing the mini-moratorium bill as a "huge victory" even though it is unlikely that any Marcellus Shale horizontal hydrofracking permits would be issued by 5/15/11 even if the six-month moratorium is not enacted. We must keep the pressure on them as well. See below.

A front-page article today sorts out some of the confusion surrounding the bill.

Finally, I urge you to continue to call and email the key players listed below. We have one month to crank up the heat on Paterson to kill the draft SEGIS.

Thank you for your help.

Best wishes,


Call, email and pester the powers that be:

November 29, 2010 Newsletter from Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver

Dear Neighbor:

Tonight the New York State Assembly approved a moratorium on gas drilling in New York City’s watershed, a huge victory for those of us who have been fighting so hard to protect our drinking water from toxic chemicals.

Protecting New York’s environment is at the top of our agenda in the Assembly majority and we will not let anything stand in the way of making sure all New Yorkers have clean, safe water. When it comes to keeping pollution and dangerous chemicals out of our water supply, there is simply no acceptable level of risk.

That is why my colleagues and I resisted pressure from the oil and gas industry and passed this crucial moratorium, which would prohibit the controversial process known as hydrofracking while the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency conducts a safety review.

Our most important responsibility is to keep all New Yorkers safe. By preventing hydrofracking from moving ahead, we have not only protected our water supply today, we have served notice to the industry that we will always put the health and safety of New Yorkers first.

I want to thank everyone who expressed support for this bill and I want to assure you that the Assembly is committed to leaving a safer, greener, more sustainable world for future generations.



Assembly Approves Gas Drilling Moratorium, Ithaca Journal 11/30/10

Assemblyman Robert Castelli, R-Goldens Bridge, Westchester County, said the measure would help protect water quality across the state.

Of course, this is essentially not true since a de facto moratorium was already in effect and no horizontal drilling permits are likely to be issued until after the moratorium expires.

Lawmakers in favor of the moratorium hope the grace period will give the state Department of Environmental Conservation enough time to release its evaluation of the process, but the agency is not expected to release that study before the end of the year.

The bill has nothing to do with this issue. DEC has all the time in the world to adopt a Final SGEIS. There is no deadline to complete the proceeding. The 1992 GEIS took 12 years to adopt.