As you probably know by now, historic events are rapidly unfolding that could decide the fate of shale gas fracking in New York. The chips are definitely down.
Yesterday at 7:30 AM, I was barreling along Route 88 on my way to a press conference in the State Capitol when The New York Times broke the story that Governor Cuomo reportedly wants to permit a shale gas fracking demonstration project in the Southern Tier.
You will gag when you check out this slightly expanded version of the original article: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/14/nyregion/hydrofracking-under-cuomo-pla...
I Actually Told You So.
Seven hours earlier, I had written that: "...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." That is exactly what has been proposed.
Legislator Sign-on Letter News Conference
At 10:45 AM, Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton was joined by colleagues in announcing that 76 legislators from both houses sent a bipartisan letter to Governor Cuomo which requests that he fully resolve six critical issues before permitting any shale gas fracking in New York. That landmark letter addresses key issues included in the Withdraw the Revised Draft SGEIS coalition letter.
Sincere thanks to all the signatories, but especially Assemblywoman Lifton (far left), her Assembly colleagues: Robert Castelli, Brian Kavanagh (orange tie), Linda Rosenthal, James Brennan, Robert Rodriguez (behind Representative Brennan), Steve Englebright, Daniel O'Donnell (blue tie), Deborah Glick (far right), State Senator Suzi Oppenheimer (black suit) as well as Assembly Representatives Michelle Schimel and Mark Johns (not in picture).
Things Really Hit The Fan.
We took the first cracks at the Governor's proposal and framed the initial news cycle coverage.
I was quoted in an AP piece that referenced the No Fracking Demonstration Project coalition letter. It ran in papers all across the country. Thank you Mary Esch and Michael Gormley. See below.
Assemblywoman Lifton and the legislators received extensive TV, radio and print coverage. They got more coverage today, including front-page stories in Albany and the Southern Tier. See below.
Take Immediate Action.
I need not tell you that we must respond as forcefully and as sensibly as we can or things will not turn out well.
A. In the short run, please get way more signatories for the No Fracking Demonstration Project Coalition Letter, especially local officials and businesses: http://www.toxicstargeting.com/MarcellusShale/cuomo/coalition_letter/201...
B. Call Governor Cuomo to Oppose Any Shale Gas Fracking Demonstration Project: 518 474 8390
Tell him that unless fracking can be done safely everywhere in NYS, it must not be done anywhere. Tell him to provide equal protection for all New Yorkers from shale gas hazards.
More to follow.
It is worth pointing out that the Governor's reported plan is consistent with NRDC's "'Demonstration Project' Alternative," which they continue to deny is a proposal per se: http://toxicstargeting.com/sites/default/files/pdfs/ene_12011201a-p8-9.pdf
The Governor's plan also reflects the downside of home rule that advocates rarely mention: many communities will use home rule to support shale gas fracking. That is why the home rule strategy never made sense to me.
In short, this is it. Gird your loins.
Front-page in today's The Ithaca Journal as well as the Albany Times Union:
Coverage of Mary Esch's AP piece:
The Times Leader, Wilkes-Barre, PA
The Leader, Corning, NY
Herald Dispatch, West Virginia
The Buffalo News
The Orange County Register (CA)
Wall Street Journal
WPTZ, Burlington, VT
BSL on Arbetter
Starts at about 45 minutes in.