I write to thank the more than 1,300 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, the signatories represent an impressive and powerful coalition of elected officials, environmental and civic organizations, businesses, academics, physicians, health professionals and concerned citizens from all over New York: http://www.toxicstargeting.com/MarcellusShale/cuomo/coalition_letter/201...
I commend the NYRADians (New York Residents Against Drilling), who have worked so long and hard to safeguard their communities in the Southern Tier, as well as Binghamton Mayor, Matt Ryan, whose commitment to protecting his constituents from environmental harm is second to none.
Please allow me to point out that most petitions are so vague and general that they are virtually useless for serious political purposes (e.g. I support clean water for all New Yorkers).
In contrast both this new coalition letter and the Withdraw the Revised Draft SGEIS coalition letter are meticulously detailed and request that Governor Cuomo take specific actions that he can be held accountable for. As a result, these coalition letters play a crucial strategic role in preventing Marcellus Shale gas fracking in New York State.
The letters are also extremely useful for identifying precisely who "stands with the grassroots" in this fight and who is unwilling to cross swords with the powers-that-be. Use the handy signatory search box for that purpose.
I also urge you to review the language of Executive Order No. 41. See below. It provides an incredible set of bullet-proof, legally-binding requirements. Thank you Stu and Peter.
Finally, I note that the proposed "demonstration project" is consistent with a "home rule" policy that might permit fracking in communities that want it. DEC Commissioner Martens recently said that the local land-use rules would "continue to be a consideration" during the permitting process. That might not necessarily be a good thing for many areas.
Broome, Tioga and Chemung Counties are Region A in the Revised Draft SGEIS. That is where fracking "is expected to be initially concentrated." There are no local bans in that area and only the City of Binghamton has a moratorium.
In contrast, all the fracking/heavy industry zoning bans and other moratoria in New York State are outside Region A. Those are the areas where fracking is not expected to be initially concentrated.
Fortunately, this issue is moot so long as DEC's statewide shale gas fracking moratorium remains in-place.
Thanks, again, for all your assistance.
Please scare up more signatories for both coalition letters. Beat the bushes. Every day is a political eternity.
Onward and upward.
Highlighted below are the key provisions of Executive Order No. 41 referenced by the coalition letter:
NOW, THEREFORE, I, David A. Paterson, Governor of the State of New York, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the State of New York, do hereby order as follows:
1) The Department shall complete its review of the public comments, make such revisions to the Draft SGEIS that are necessary to analyze comprehensively the environmental impacts associated with high-volume hydraulic fracturing combined with horizontal drilling, ensure that such impacts are appropriately avoided or mitigated consistent with the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA), other provisions of the Environmental Conservation Law and other laws, and ensures (stet) that adequate regulatory measures are identified to protect public health and the environment (emphasis added);
2) On or about June 1, 2011, the Department shall publish a Revised Draft SGEIS, accept public comment on the revisions for a period of not less than thirty days, and may schedule public hearings on such revisions to be conducted in the Marcellus shale region and New York City; and
3) Recognizing that, pursuant to SEQRA, no permits may be issued prior to the completion of a Final SGEIS, the Department, subsequent to the conclusion of the public comment period, shall report to the Governor on the status of the Final SGEIS and the regulatory conditions that are necessary to include in oil and gas well permits to protect public health and the environment (emphasis added).