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Foreign Correspondent: Meet the Frackers 02-28-12

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Sunday, March 11th,
12:30-5:00 pm
Delaware Youth Center
Callicoon, New York
A workshop by Joanne Sheehan.
To register, and for further information email
Beverly Sterner at [email protected] or call 570-729-7068.

A Gas Lease Workshop for Current, Potential and Expiring Leases

Sunday, March 18, 2- 4 PM
Sidney Fire Department
74 River Street
Sidney, NY

A Million Fracking Letters

Tell Governor Cuomo to say “No!” to fracking. Use this link to send a prepared letter, or better yet, write one of your own.

Governor Andrew Cuomo
State Capitol Building
Albany, New York 12224

And don’t forget to call too!

(518) 474- 8390

A Million Fracking Letters

New Items in Learn More

Organizations Respond to Obama’s State of the Union References to Natural Gas
    Organizations representing more than three million members and supporters respond to President Obama’s commments on shale gas in the State of the Union address. March 5, 2012.

Strengthening Toxic Chemical Risk Assessments to Protect Human Health
    Authors: Sarah Janssen, MD., PhD, MPH; Jennifer Sass, Ph.D; Ted Schettler, MD MPH; Gina Solomon, MD, MPH, Prepared for NRDC and SEHN Feb, 2012

Economic Impact of Shale Gas Drilling

Read Selected Documents Authored by Jannette M. Barth, Ph.D.

Please donate to Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy by clicking on the button below.

EPA Tip Line

Report suspicious drilling activities
to the EPA

If you see suspicious activity, such as possibly unauthorized water withdrawals, illegal wastewater dumping, or other questionable activity, call the EPA’s Eyes on Drilling line at 1-877-919-4372 (toll free), or send a message to [email protected].

If an emergency is observed related to a well drilling operation, call the National Response Center at 1-800-424-8802.

NY DEC Tip Line

In New York State you can also contact the DEC at


WellWatch is a web site that allows citizens to better cope with natural gas facilities on their properties or in their communities. It allows them to find out information about companies or wells, and to record notes or complaints about facilities and enter them into the public record.

Take The Pledge – Sign an Agreement to NOT lease your land!

Sign an agreement not to lease your land for natural gas drilling using High Volume Horizontal Hydrofracture.

CCSE Updates and Press Releases

CCSE Update 02/22/2012
CCSE Press Release 02/10/2012
CCSE Update 01/17/2012
CCSE Update 01/06/2012
CCSE Update 12/30/2011
CCSE Update 11/02/2011
CCSE Update 10/10/2011
CCSE Update 9/29/2011
CCSE Update 9/13/2011
CCSE Update 8/30/2011
CCSE Update 7/21/2011
CCSE Update 7/6/2011
CCSE Update 7/1/2011
CCSE Update 6/28/2011
CCSE Update 5/12/2011
CCSE Update 5/05/2011

Speak Up!

Tell President Barack Obama how you feel about federal exemptions from the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act for gas drilling companies.

Energy & Environment — Of the People, By the People

Sullivan County
Town Meeting Schedules

Welcome to Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy

Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy is an all volunteer grassroots organization working to prohibit dangerous hydraulic fracturing (fracking) since 2008.

Take Action!

TAKE ACTION!  The Assembly has voted to close the toxic waste loophole enjoyed by frackers -tell the Senate to act!

TAKE ACTION! Tell Governor Cuomo not to short circuit the legal process by greenlighting fracking this spring!

(Because these Action Alerts are being sent to NYS officials, they can only be acted on if you use a NYS address.)

Courts determine Anti-fracking Zoning Ordinances are Legal

On February 21st, State Supreme Court Justice Phillip Rumsey upheld fracking prohibition ordinances recently enacted in the Tompkins County Town of Dryden. Just three days later, Acting Supreme Court Justice Donald F. Cerio, Jr. dismissed a similar lawsuit that sought to overturn zoning prohibitions in the Otsego County Town of Middlefield. These two decisions were the first court tests of New York’s notorious Environmental Conservation Law 23, which gives the state power to regulate the oil and gas industry, but not the ability to override local zoning ordinances. In rendering his decision, Justice Rumsey wrote “Nowhere in the legislative history… is there any suggestion that the legislature intended… to preempt local zoning authority.”

The NYS Assembly Votes to close the Hazardous Waste Loophole!

Last week the NYS Assembly overwhelmingly passed A7013, a bill that will close the loophole in the law that permits the oil and gas industry to dispose of toxic drilling wastes as ordinary industrial waste.   This law will protect the public and our drinking water supplies by requiring the industry to properly dispose of hazardous waste – and by requiring the DEC to report toxic spills like those that occurred in Le Roy, New York.

One hundred and five Assembly Members voted for the bill; thirty-eight voted to preserve the loophole.   Coincidentally, one of these legislators recently wrote to Catskill Citizens to explain to us why the DEC didn’t need to report the toxic spills schoolyard grounds in Le Roy, New York – where more than a dozen students have recently come down with a still unexplained illness.    In response, we wrote an open letter to the Assembly Member tracing the connection between the hazardous waste loophole and what went wrong in Le Roy. 

Threatening Noises from the Governor’s Office

Unfortunately, significant gains in the courts and in the Assembly have been overshadowed by indications that Cuomo Administration is considering going around the law and permitting fracking in New York State even before the DEC has had a chance to properly evaluate and respond to the 61,000 comments it received on the Revised Draft SGEIS – and before it has conducted a health impact assessment.   The Governor recently told the editorial board of the Syracuse Post Standard that the decision to permit fracking is just “a couple of months away“.

Take Action!

What Do You Mean by “Safe”
Mr. President? 

Millions of people who listened to President Obama’s State of the Union speech last Tuesday found themselves speechless after hearing what he had to say about shale gas extraction.  His remarks were by turns reckless, suspect and flat out wrong.

Flat Out Wrong:  “We have a supply of natural gas that can last America nearly 100 years.”

In fact, America’s proven gas reserves (272 trillion cubic feet) are only enough to last around eleven years at the current rate of consumption (24 tcf per year).   Even the much more speculative estimate of “unproved technically recoverable reserves” (482 tcf according to the US Department of Energy) is only enough to last around twenty years.

Suspect:  “Experts believe this [the natural gas industry] will support more than 600,000 jobs by the end of the decade.”

Apparently the “experts” the president is referring to are industry shills, not staff at the Bureau of Labor Statistics which predicts that the oil and gas industry will employ only 136,000 people by 2018.   And the president, like the industry, fails to estimate how many jobs will be lost as other economic sectors such as agriculture and tourism are crowded out by high-impact industrial development.

Reckless:  “America will develop this resource without putting the health and safety of our citizens at risk.  Development of natural gas will create jobs and power trucks and factories that are cleaner and cheaper, proving that we don’t have to choose between our environment and our economy.”

No Frack!

There’s no way around it.  We do have to choose – between a sustainable, healthy future and a destructive industrial practice that will fuel climate change, contaminate drinking water and leave American taxpayers on the hook for uncounted billions in environmental cleanup and health care costs.  

The science is in Mr. President, there is nothing “clean” about shale gas; it’s not a bridge fuel, it’s a bridge to nowhere.

Latest News

Search All News Items

Mar 8, 2012
Why Not Frack?
New York Review of Books
Bill McKibben

In one sense, the analysts who forecast that “peak oil”—i.e., the point at which the rate of global petroleum extraction will begin to decline—would be reached over the last few years were correct. The planet is running short of the easy stuff, where you stick a drill in the ground and crude comes b…  [Full Story]

Mar 5, 2012
Sullivan farmer: Sustainable living could be an answer to climate change
The Times Herald Record
John Sullivan

A post-climate- change world will ultimately require people to do with less: Less money, less food, less energy — less everything, advocates say. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it will be a world we can’t survive, says Dick Riseling, a Sullivan County farmer and educator. For years, he has …  [Full Story]

Mar 5, 2012
Fracking could be harmful to nearby ecosystems, study reveals
Click Green

While the ecological impact of shale gas exploration and extraction on groundwater has received considerable attention, the implications for surface water and terrestrial ecosystems is often overlooked, according to a new US study. Although more data is needed, preliminary results suggest that r…  [Full Story]

Mar 5, 2012
EPA heightens scrutiny of Pa.’s Marcellus Shale
US News
Michael Rubinkam, Assoc. Press

DIMOCK, Pa. (AP) — Tugging on rubber gloves, a laboratory worker kneels before a gushing spigot behind Kim Grosso’s house and positions an empty bottle under the clear, cold stream. The process is repeated dozens of times as bottles are filled, marked and packed into coolers. After extensive test…  [Full Story]

Mar 5, 2012
China vigorously promoting shale gas exploration, development
Oil & Gas Journal
Guo Jian-chun & Zhao Zhi-hong

Shale gas exploration and exploitation in China is still at an early stage. Natural gas accounted for 4% of China’s total energy consumption in 2010. The natural gas share of total world energy demand was nearly six times that, according to the BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2011. In th…  [Full Story]

Mar 5, 2012
EPA testing in Dimock, Pa., feeds drilling debate
CBS News

DIMOCK, Pa. — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s testing of scores of water wells will give residents of a small northeastern Pennsylvania village a snapshot of the aquifer they rely on for drinking, cooking and bathing. The first EPA test results, expected this week, are certain to provi…  [Full Story]

Mar 5, 2012
North Branch Land Trust opens door to drilling
Citizens Voice
Elizabeth Skrapits

In a turnaround from its earlier stance, the North Branch Land Trust has opened the door to natural gas drilling beneath the Wyoming County property the trust pledged to conserve. The trust’s executive director says the change allows the nonprofit organization to keep drilling companies off the …  [Full Story]

Mar 5, 2012
Natural Gas Eyes Decade Low
Wall St. Journal
David Bird

NEW YORK—Natural-gas futures prices dropped 4% early Monday, as the latest weather forecasts show above-normal temperatures spreading across most of the U.S. into the second half of March. Prices also were under pressure from data showing big noncommercial players, such as hedge funds, increased…  [Full Story]

Mar 5, 2012
The Natural Gas Fracking Bubble & Scam (Fracking Ponzi Scheme?)
Clean Technica
Zachary Shahan–Opinion

Rolling Stone, which is, surprisingly, one of the best mainstream publications around when it comes to environmental and energy matters, in my humble opinion, published a knock-out piece on the natural gas fracking boom… and “bubble”/”scam” that has taken the U.S. (and other countries) by storm in r…  [Full Story]

Mar 5, 2012
109 Organizations Take Issue With Obama’s Support for Fracking
Environmental Working Group
Press Release

More than 100 organizations – including environmental, religious and public health groups – expressed concern about President Obama’s endorsement of hydraulic fracturing and shale gas drilling in his recent State of the Union address. “Amid mounting evidence of the harm and significant costs asso…  [Full Story]

Mar 4, 2012
Sullivan landowners stand by mineral rights Millions of dollars at stake
Times Herald-Record
Steve Israel

BETHEL — Landowners say they could lose millions of dollars for the mineral rights beneath their land when towns like Bethel ban gas drilling. That’s why the Rural Bethel Landowners Coalition has already put the Sullivan County town on notice that it plans to “take legal action” when it bans dril…  [Full Story]

Mar 4, 2012
EDITORIAL: ‘Let them drink fracking brine’ in the Great Up There
Daily Freeman

WE’RE not political podiatrists, but we’re guessing New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has very small feet. For one thing, his footprints have not been spotted within the Upstate watershed from which his city draws its water. In absentia, thank you very much, he’ll take the water and leave …  [Full Story]

Mar 4, 2012
Speaking of games
The Times Union
TU Editorial Board

Our opinion: Gov. Cuomo wants more power over the budget. That can’t be a way to proceed with hydrofracking without the Legislature’s approval. Tired of the manipulative ways of state government, Governor Cuomo? Fed up with the legislative gimmicks employed to achieve what otherwise might not be …  [Full Story]

Mar 3, 2012
Pa. study: If you get a shale check, will you stop milking?
Farm & Dairy

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — There may be a link between natural gas development and a drop in dairy production in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale region, but the exact reasons for the decline are unclear. According to researchers in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, anecdotal evidence has …  [Full Story]

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