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Rep. Michael Arcuri on WHCU

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Incumbent Democrat Rep. Michael Arcuri speaks about signing our coalition letter.

Arcuri Calls on Governor, DEC to Redo Draft natural Gas Drilling Regulations

From Office of U.S. Rep. Michael A. Arcuri:

Today, U.S. Rep. Michael A. Arcuri (NY-24) called on Governor Paterson to withdraw the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (dSGEIS) because it does not go far enough to protect public health and the environment from potential harm as a result of natural gas drilling in Upstate New York.

Arcuri joins call to withdraw DEC drilling statement

TRUMANSBURG -- Congressman Michael A. Arcuri has literally signed on to an effort activists believe will ensure safer natural-gas drilling in New York.

Arcuri put his name on the "Withdraw the Draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (SGEIS) Coalition Letter," Monday afternoon at the Taughannock Falls overlook. The letter, composed by Toxics Targeting President Walter Hang, was sent to Gov. David Paterson and the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

About a dozen people were on hand for Arcuri's visit, including Hang, Ulysses Supervisor Roxanne Marino, Trumansburg Mayor Martin Petrovic, Tompkins County Legislature Chair Martha Robertson, and a number of environmental activists.

Arcuri, a Utica Democrat seeking a third term from the 24th District, signed the letter because he believes that the SGEIS doesn't go far enough to protect the environment and public from the potential hazards from natural gas drilling, according to a statement from his office. The DEC issued the draft SGEIS in September to analyze the effects of shale gas development using horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing.

More than 10,000 people have signed the letter, which will be re-sent to Paterson with Arcuri's signature, Hang said. He culled through tens of thousands of DEC spill reports and found that fires, explosions, wastewater discharge and water contamination had occurred in areas where drilling and hydrofracking had been done, he added.

Arcuri's opponent, businessman Richard Hanna, said last week the does not support hydraulic fracturing but the decision should left to science.

DEC Commissioner Fired After Criticism of Layoffs Goes Public (VIDEO)


ELMIRA-- New York's chief environmental officer was fired, after a memo critical of layoffs became public.

Governor Paterson's office confirmed the firing of State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Pete Grannis, who's led the agency since 2007. The governor's office instructed the DEC to cut another 209 workers by the end of the year.

VIDEO: Public Hearing on Broome County Gas Drilling Lease

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This was the scene last month's EPA gas drilling hearing in Binghamton, Thursday night it was a much quieter picture as the public gave their opinion on the county becoming the lead agency that will review a generic lease for oil and natural gas drilling.

Actor Ruffalo among anti-fracking speakers at BU event

VESTAL -- Eight thousand it wasn't, but a standing-room-only crowd gathered Monday in Binghamton University's Mandela Room for a discussion on the risks of natural gas drilling featuring some of the loudest critics of the controversial hydraulic fracturing process.

The forum, organized by a BU student group, attracted about 400 people, the majority students with a handful of community activists and landowners.

Video: Students at BU listen to anti-hydrofracking panel

**VIDEO: click the link above to view the video on YNN's web site**

There's been so much talk about hydrofracking in the Southern Tier, but for the most part, students have been left out of the conversation. Monday night was their chance to hear about the issue from some notable names. Our Carmen Perez attended a forum at Binghamton University and has more from the newsroom.

VESTAL, N.Y. -- Monday was a unique opportunity for students to get up to date on the gas drilling debate. About 400 people came out to listen to gas drilling opponents speak their mind on the issue.

Video: Hydrofracking Drama Gets Hollywood Boost


The drama of the natural gas saga in the Southern Tier can often seem like something out of a movie, and tonight someone out of a movie added another scene to the screenplay.

"All I'm saying is if we're going to do this, let's do it safely, because once the cat's out of the bag, there's no getting it back in," said actor Mark Ruffalo.

Hang: Hydrofracking Opposition

Toxic Targeting president Walter Hang discusses the effort to stop the state DEC from moving forward with hydrofracking, and the political climate around the natural gas debate.

Download the podcast from WHCU's web site.

Drilling opponents struggle with choosing a candidate for governor

Cuomo still mostly quiet on the subject, activists say

Andrew Cuomo's stance is too vague.

Carl Paladino? He wants to drill, and the sooner, the better.

With a month-and-a-half to go before the general election, some activists opposed to drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale are not satisfied with the positions the major party gubernatorial candidates have taken, leaving them without a candidate to fully support.

"The candidates have not taken a sufficient stance. No way, no how, not on any level," said Walter Hang, a database specialist from Ithaca and environmental activist. "It's almost all pabulum. They're all posturing. Some have said some nice things, but that's just not good enough."

Drilling opponents, supporters butt heads at EPA Forum

Meeting draws 900 to downtown Binghamton

By Jon Campbell

BINGHAMTON -- About 900 stakeholders and public officials -- a far cry from the 8,000 originally estimated -- came to downtown Binghamton Monday for a daylong meeting that often became a showcase for the controversial natural gas drilling debate.

Two-hundred people got the chance to speak during the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's meeting, which was organized to gather input on the scope of a multi-million-dollar study of hydraulic fracturing.

Shale-Drilling Fight Comes To Head At EPA Forum In NY

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. (Dow Jones)--Hundreds of people gathered as here Monday to debate the safety of a gas drilling method called hydraulic fracturing, with critics campaigning against the industry and urging federal regulators to halt the practice.

Strong positions on either side of "fracking" at EPA hearing

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. - Armed with placards and clever slogans, hundreds of supporters and opponents of natural-gas drilling descended here Monday in a passionate display of just how fractious the process known as hydraulic fracturing has become.

Wearing shirts that urged policymakers to "Pass Gas Now," supporters of Marcellus Shale drilling faced off peacefully with activists who announced their opposition to hydraulic fracturing with chants of "Frack, No!"

'No Fracking Way' serves as theme for anti-drilling faction

BINGHAMTON -- They beat on bongos and shook tambourines as they danced to their own song. Decorations could be seen from down the block.

It wasn't a party, but an anti-drilling rally outside The Forum before and during parts of Monday's EPA meeting.

Their song? "No Fracking Way," which began as a chant but, as the day continued, morphed into a rhythmic melody echoing down Washington Street.

Day 1 of EPA meeting served its point, officials say

BINGHAMTON -- About 200 people spoke Monday during the first day of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's final public meeting on its hydraulic fracturing study, but did the agency get the feedback it desired?

An EPA official said Tuesday it did.

The Binghamton meeting marks the last of four across the country meant to solicit input on the scope of EPA's multi-million-dollar study, which is to take a look at the potential relationship between groundwater and hydrofracking, a natural gas drilling technique.