Wednesday, December 17, 2014

New York State to Prohibit Fracking - Quotes from fracking impacted citizens in NY and around the country.

Earthworks et. al.
December 17, 2014

After health review, NY Department of Health commissioner declares he wouldn’t want his children to live near fracking; DEC Commissioner says risks outweigh any benefit

Today New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joseph Martens, and Department of Health Commissioner (DOH) Howard Zucker announced that the state of New York would prohibit high-volume horizontal fracturing of shale after announcing the results of a state-commissioned scientific review of the health impacts of oil and gas development.
“Would I let my child play in a school field near [fracking]?,” asked Health Commissioner Zucker. He continued, “The answer is no.”
In response, Governor Cuomo said, “If you wouldn’t want your children to live near fracking, no one’s children should have to.”
The DEC will include those findings in its own long-awaited impacts document, which will be released in early 2015 with a clear recommendation to prohibit fracking in the state.

Reactions from fracking-impacted communities around the country:

New York statement
"New Yorkers are so fortunate to have decision makers who have listened to the public and the emerging science, and are not willing to sacrifice communities, public health, and local and sustainable economies," says Jill Wiener of Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy and Advisory Council Member for Stop the Frack Attack. "This courageous decision in the face of industry pressure strengthens our resolve to help all our neighbors nationwide who are living with the nightmare of drilling--and who equally deserve protection of their air, water, and health."

California statements
'Congratulations to all of the hardworking communities and activists that worked to protect New York from the many negative impacts of fracking. Let's hope that California's Governor Brown sees the sanity in Governor Cuomo's decision to ban fracking in New York.' -- Paul Ferrazzi, executive director from Citizens Coalition for Safe Community, and Advisory Council Member for Stop the Frack Attack.

“We are thrilled and excited for the win in New York. This is a bold action on fracking, a practice we know well in here California, particularly in the Central Valley. It is damaging and putting residents at risk here. We look to Governor Brown to protect our schools, farms, families, and communities the same way the New York Governor Cuomo has protected the people of NY. Its important to know that 354,000 CA public school students are exposed to the impacts of fracking everyday and this is something NY students will never have to know.” -- Madeline Stano, staff attorney for Center on Race Poverty and the Environment
Colorado statement
'The only path forward regarding fracking industry operations should be to exercise the precautionary principle. It is very clear the fracking industry and the oil and gas regulatory state preemption framework does not conduct itself in a manner consistent with public health safety and welfare.' -- Shane Davis, Executive Director, and Advisory Council Member for Stop the Frack Attack

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Saturday, December 6, 2014

Incredibly Poignant Comment from Audience Member Regarding Fracking Presentation

I gave my 'Inconvenient Proof - a state of failures'  presentation in Timnath, Colorado just two days ago with attorney, Dan Leftwich from  The room was packed, a standing room only, with concerned citizens from the local area and a myriad of fracking industry workers.

I am always looking for the 'opposition' to heckle our meetings as they tend to do so with delight. I personally believe it's amateur at best, that the fracking industry attends our meetings to hand out their public relations garbage with a smile.  A lie with a smile is just a bigger lie. To our delight, there were no handouts of paperwork telling us that fracking fluids are 'found in our birthday cake', 'under our sinks', 'in our ice cream' and of course the morally reckless demonstration from Governor Hickenlooper drinking a citrus based fracking fluid sans the radioactive and carcinogenic chemicals.

After our Timnath presentations were completed I was approached by an audience member who told me that just prior to coming to our meeting he/she had a fracking industry at their doorstep telling them 'If you're going to see the anti-fracking presentation tonight,  it's all lies and you should know we have our own information and our side of the story that you must see too.'

First of all, it's clear the permitting frackers in Timnath are very nervous about us speaking the truth. The frackers send people knocking door-to-door in a feeble attempt to gain community support for their side of the story.  I guess if they are trying to sell the fracking snake oil myth, they gotta do what they gotta do right?

After Mr. Leftwich and I finished our presentations we felt that many people that were 'on the fracking fence' fell to one side. The side of truth and civil rights.  Here is a comment that one particular audience member left for us.  It's as precise as it gets, and a must read.


'First, let me remind everyone that I am not the spokesperson for the "Protecting Timnath" group, or last evenings' speakers. I'm happy to join them, I applaud their efforts, but am not trying to represent them, or take credit for their work. I hope this will be a respectful discussion, but I make no effort to be politically correct. I am a concerned citizen of this community.

I must say again, do your own research. I know this all sounds too impossible to be true, but unfortunately, it is all true. No one thought tobacco was harmful, or believed Erin Brockovich about the pollution by CG&E at first, either. Making snide remarks and insulting the messenger does not alter the facts. 

We were shown maps, pictures, and satellite images of pollution trails, page after page taken from the COGCC's own website of violations, complaints, rulings, letters and emails. This is all public information. It is not the wild ravings of some radical, tree hugging, extremist group, as some would have you believe. Colorado does not have the strongest regulations in the country. This is just the excuse the oil companies use to try to say fracking will be safe. 

Thanks to Dick Cheney, fracking is exempt from all clean air and water regulations. Does this sound safe to you? The very agency mandated with assuring that our health and safety are protected, COGCC, is acting as if it is an arm of the Colorado Gas and Oil Assoc., even allowing COGA to pursue overturning local fracking bans on behalf of the state. Seems unbelievable, right? Look it up. 

Ask local university scientists, biologists and geologists if this process could possibly be done safely. Read the COGCC rulings for yourself, research the communities where fracking has already taken place. Find out how many billions of gallons of water has already been used, which can never be cleaned or re-enter the cycle of use, evaporation, rain, use, etc. 

Learn about the cancer rate spikes in fracking areas. Drive though Weld County and observe storage tanks of toxic waste near playgrounds and in backyards. Read the scientific analysis of what that waste actually contains. If you want to know the position of the industry, simply turn on your TV. 

We are being bombarded with ads claiming how safe fracking is. No one disputes that jobs are created, and energy produced. The problem is the cost to our health, safety, and the environment. You have to ask yourself, do you want your family to be the canary in the coal mine? How many will have to be poisoned before it's finally considered unsafe?

I did a little research and went to this meeting thinking I probably didn't want fracking under our neighborhood elementary school and I certainly didn't want to deal with the noise and lights. I came home believing that fracking will be responsible for a public health and environmental disaster far beyond our current understanding.'

- Pat Watkins

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