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9/29/2011
Lake Ontario residents oppose offshore wind turbines
A controversial plan to build offshore wind turbines in Lake Ontario to produce renewable energy was debated Monday night at the Robach Community Center in Charlotte.

Energy leaders believe wind power can reduce dependency on fossil fuels and ensure cleaner air for the future, but many residents oppose the idea. "It's not a sound scientific solution to our energy problem," said Mary Kay Barton of the Citizen Power Alliance.

The New York Power Authority, NYPA, proposed its plan to construct offshore wind turbines in Lake Erie and Lake Ontario in April of 2009. Officials believe the turbines can help renewable energy make up 30 percent of the state's energy portfolio by 2015.

Barton was one of four panelists who presented alternative viewpoints on the potential impact of offshore wind turbines. She said wind is an unreliable source of energy because when it doesn't blow, backup power is required. "It's like having to have a second car in the driveway because the one you got maybe works about 10 or 20 percent of the time," argued Barton.

Mary Isselhard is part of the group Great Lakes Concerned Citizens. She and her husband own a lakefront home in Huron, Wayne County. That's one of the locations where NYPA is considering offshore wind. "This is not my backyard," said Isselhard referring to the lake. "This is my frontyard and I am very concerned about property values."

NYPA's plan would call for up to 166 turbines to be constructed. They would rise 450 feet out of the water, two miles offshore. Isselhard said that would destroy any view from the shoreline. "Two miles, that's like the Xerox Building rising out of the lake right here," she said.

Those against the offshore wind turbines are encouraging people to do their own research on the subject. Dave Bell of Greece did just that. At first, he thought the offshore turbines were a good idea. Now he believes they will only help line the pockets of those who build them. "In states where the renewable energy standard has been in effect, energy costs have gone up to consumers by 40 percent on average," he argued.

Bell said the cost of constructing offshore wind turbines is twice as expensive as those built on land. Just last week, the Buffalo News reported NYPA is considering shelving its offshore plans for Lake Erie and Lake Ontario due, in part, to construction costs.

To date, there are no freshwater wind turbines in the United States.
9/28/2011
DEC assesses facilities in Broome, Steuben for gas drilling
Anticipating an influx of natural gas drilling in the Southern Tier, the state Department of Environmental Conservation is looking to expand a pair of offices in the region the industry is expected to target.

The DEC estimates it will have to spend $1 million annually for additional office space in Kirkwood in Broome County, and Bath in Steuben County, when it begins permitting high-volume hydraulic fracturing, according to a document obtained through a Freedom of Information Law request.

Gannett's Albany Bureau first reported some of the details included in the document earlier this month. The complete paper gives an inside look at the amount of resources the agency believes it needs to regulate the natural gas industry.

"When we've come up with the number of staff we need ... a lot of the staff would be in the regions where they get the permit applications, and they're kind of the front lines in terms of reviewing them," DEC Commissioner Joseph Martens said Monday. "That's where most of the staff would be necessary."

(Click to read the entire article)
Massive Wind Farm Sought Off Long Island
Efforts are under way in New York to develop one of the biggest offshore wind power plant ever proposed in the United States. The New York Power Authority has filed a preliminary lease application with the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) to develop an offshore wind plant 13 to 17 miles off the coast of the Rockaway Peninsula and Long Island.

The application is the next step for the Collaborative, which has already conducted preliminary economic, environmental and technical studies and visualization simulations. The project’s economic impact assessment shows that the proposed wind farm, with a capacity of up to 350 megawatts (MW) – potentially growing to 700 MW – could generate up to $2.7 billion in economic activity. The study also found that the project could create 2,300 to 4,700 jobs during construction, and 85 to 170 permanent jobs, depending on the project size.

The application for the plant was filed on behalf of the Long Island-New York City Offshore Wind Collaborative, consisting of Consolidated Edison Company of New York (Con Edison), the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA), and the New York Power Authority (NYPA).

During the initial Request For Information, over 30 wind developers and technical firms indicated an interest in developing the project. The Collaborative has also obtained letters of support from numerous environmental groups, the New York City Mayor’s Office, New York State Governor’s Office, and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. By applying to secure the lease, the Collaborative hopes to streamline the process for developers, and reduce unknown variables that will be raised through the lease review process.

(Click to read the entire article)
9/27/2011
Power Authority decides against off-shore wind turbines
The New York Power Authority formally voted today to end its push for off-shore wind turbines in Lake Ontario or Lake Erie.

At a meeting at the authority's Westchester County office, NYPA's trustees voted unanimously to shelve the idea. "This was not an easy decision to make," trustee John Dyson said.

Cancellation of the so-called Great Lakes Offshore Wind project was widely expected. Decision-making on the project was months behind schedule, and critics were insisting it would not make financial sense.

NYPA staff agreed. "We’ve decided we are recommending it’s not fiscally prudent at this time to proceed," Jill Anderson, a renewable-energy executive for the authority, told trustees.

(Click to read the entire article)
DEC assesses facilities in Broome, Steuben for gas drilling
Anticipating an influx of natural gas drilling in the Southern Tier, the state Department of Environmental Conservation is looking to expand a pair of offices in the region the industry is expected to target.

The DEC estimates it will have to spend $1 million annually for additional office space in Kirkwood in Broome County, and Bath in Steuben County, when it begins permitting high-volume hydraulic fracturing, according to a document obtained through a Freedom of Information Law request.

Gannett's Albany Bureau first reported some of the details included in the document earlier this month. The complete paper gives an inside look at the amount of resources the agency believes it needs to regulate the natural gas industry.

"When we've come up with the number of staff we need ... a lot of the staff would be in the regions where they get the permit applications, and they're kind of the front lines in terms of reviewing them," DEC Commissioner Joseph Martens said Monday. "That's where most of the staff would be necessary."

(Click to read the entire article)
9/26/2011
Corporate Cronyism: Solyndra and Evergreen Solar
If pleading the "Fifth" smells, the Solyndra drama will prove the stereotype applies in this instance. A good old-fashioned scandal in an election year pumps up the media juices. The timeline on Solyndra tells only part of the history. The linkage of corporate cronyism dodges the real world result of "Green Energy" frauds. These shams can be traced back to the Enron schemes, especially their industrial wind model that defrauds the public.

The miserable record from the shovel ready stimulus spending should alarm every American. The distorted idea of using public funding as seed money for private startup companies goes against every aspect of free enterprise. Heretofore, such government nepotism for campaign and climate change supporters was reminiscent of a fascist economy. Now it is sold as a post-industrial initiative to save the planet.

(Click to read the entire article)
9/25/2011
Contact Cuomo and demand a moratorium on industrial wind in NY
Sierra Club is doing a big push to contact Cuomo and support his support of industrial wind. We need a bigger push against it. PLEASE email the Governor and demand a moratorium on industrial wind and a full investigation of all existing wind projects.  Please ask everyone fighting wind to do the same.
www.governor.ny.gov/contact/GovernorContactForm.php

This is what I said.

We need a moratorium on industrial wind. I demand that NY fully investigates all current wind projects before any more of my money is given to the wind industry.

NY need laws to protect us against these industrial machines, NY need a moratorium on wind to create laws that protect citizens who are forced to live in proximity to these huge industrial machines and have health issues as a result.

NY need to demand proof from existing wind projects of the amount of  power that went to the grid and how much power was used by the turbines, at what cost, with proof that reductions in emissions have occurred as a result of turbine operation.  How much of a reduction and from where.

NY needs proof of the number of NY citizens who have actually been employed as a result of these projects.

Jobs are overstated, benefits are overstated, harm is understated. 

NY needs  investigations of existing wind projects and convictions of town board members who have accepted payments (bribes)  for their support of wind projects.

Nancy Wahlstrom
LPG faceoff set for Tuesday
The plan to store up to 88 million gallons of liquid petroleum gas in underground depleted salt caverns on Seneca Lake is either the beginning of the end for the Finger Lakes wine and tourism industry or a sure-fire plan to ensure stable pricing and supply of propane and butane throughout the Northeast.

Stakeholders on both sides of the debate will have their say on Tuesday when New York's Department of Environmental Conservation will hold a long-awaited public hearing on the environmental impact statement prepared by Inergy Midstream LLC.

The statement lays the groundwork for the transformation of a former natural gas storage facility in the Town of Reading into an LPG storage and transportation depot.

Inergy, based in Kansas City, Mo., acquired a 576-acre parcel on the western side of Seneca Lake from New York State Electric & Gas Corp. for about $65 million earlier this year.

(Click to read the entire article)
NYPA Sucks
Kudos to Bill Ross, Renae Kimble and John Ceretto for basically telling the New York Power Authority to take their proposed rate hike and stick it up their ass at a public hearing yesterday. It is time Gov. Cuomo turn both barrels on this Authority, eliminate the layers of six figure jobs and make the place run efficiently.

Chairman Mike Townsend should be immediately fired. He led the way in agreeing to let New York State pillage the Power Authority for $550 million and had the gall to say it wouldn't really impact NYPA. Now, Chairman Mike whines that NYPA needs rates increases to generate $480 million to be used to make the nebulous "improvements" at the power plants that we always hear about. (I think improve means hire more cronies, but I could be wrong.)

Hmmm, I'm no fancy, big city lawyer like Chairman Mike, but let's try this logic. If I didn't give New York State $550 million, stolen from the Power Projects in Niagara and Massena, I probably would have the $480 million I need to upgrade these facilities since $480 is less than $550. Makes sense to me. Perhaps they don't teach that in law school.

NYPA should eliminate the layers of patronage in PR, marketing, security guards who really don't secure anything other than a fat paycheck while eating donuts at the front counter, etc. (why does a power company that already has a market for all of its power and is a government agency need any of that) before it asks for another nickel.
9/24/2011
Local officials briefed on water withdrawals, gas drilling issues
There’s enough water to accommodate a possible shale gas drilling boom in the Southern Tier, but it must be managed carefully, representatives from the Susquehanna River Basin Commission told Chemung County officials during a visit to the area Friday.

The amount of fresh water used for high-volume hydraulic fracturing is one of the more contentious topics in the raging debate over allowing the technique to be used by drillers in upstate New York.

The Friends of the Chemung River Watershed arranged for the SRBC to give a presentation on the issue Wednesday morning in the conservation log cabin at the Chemung County Fairgrounds.

It was attended by, among others, officials from the county’s Water Quality Coordination Committee, Storm Water Coalition, Environmental Management Council and Executive’s Advisory Commission on Natural Energy Solutions.

(Click to read the entire article)
A Government shutdown looms and that means OPPORTUNITY for us!
The House passed CR 2012 (Continuing Resolution 2012) before going home to their districts for a week.

This latest CR is needed to fund the government until November 18.

On Friday (Sep 23) the Senate voted NO complaining the bill took DOE loan guarantee money to fund FEMA disaster relief. DOE loans guarantee Solyndra and your local wind projects.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN

The Senate's 'NO VOTE' WAS NOT ABOUT DISASTER RELIEF

The Senate's 'NO VOTE' WAS ABOUT KEEPING DOE's LOAN GUARANTEE PROGRAM FUNDED

-- even after the SOLYNDRA debacle --


WHAT WE NEED TO DO

Call -- Email -- Fax your SENATORS' Washington offices. Demand they support the House version of CR 2012. If they don't listen, tell them to COME HOME so you can explain it to them in person.

Call -- Email -- Fax your REPRESENTATIVES' home district offices. Ask them to hold firm on CR 2012 and Cut the Administration's pet loan program.

Please share this e-mail with others.
This is an opportunity we can't afford to pass up!
9/23/2011
Local officials briefed on water withdrawals, gas drilling issues
There’s enough water to accommodate a possible shale gas drilling boom in the Southern Tier, but it must be managed carefully, representatives from the Susquehanna River Basin Commission told Chemung County officials during a visit to the area Friday.

The amount of fresh water used for high-volume hydraulic fracturing is one of the more contentious topics in the raging debate over allowing the technique to be used by drillers in upstate New York.

The Friends of the Chemung River Watershed arranged for the SRBC to give a presentation on the issue Wednesday morning in the conservation log cabin at the Chemung County Fairgrounds.

It was attended by, among others, officials from the county’s Water Quality Coordination Committee, Storm Water Coalition, Environmental Management Council and Executive’s Advisory Commission on Natural Energy Solutions.

(Click to read the entire article)
9/21/2011
You can do what you want with your property if and only if...
it's compatible with what the oil and gas companies want to do with it

That seems to be the message of the career of Thomas West, the "Super Lawyer" who announced that his firm would be bringing a lawsuit against the Town of Dryden last week. (I didn't originally mean to single out West, but he's proud of his work and appears at many of the most important places where gas drillers demanded that everyone else bow down before their power.)

Do you ever wonder how compulsory integration, which basically lets drillers force their way under up to 256 acres of a 640-acre drilling unit, could have happened?

Yep - New York's delightful combination of a sleepy legislature and sleazy lobbyists frequently adds up to a not very funny joke. For all the complaining industry does about the cost of doing business in New York, we sometimes sell ourselves cheap.

As that article notes, West's firm also delivers the notices that your mineral rights are being taken from you at a low bargain price with pretty awful options. It's not clear if that same firm is leading Anshutz's charge to countersue people in Big Flats who dared take legal action when their water turned black and smelly.

(Click to read the entire article)
9/20/2011
Wind Turbines in Charlotte? Debate Powers Up
Dozens of people gathered in Charlotte Monday night to voice their concerns about a proposed project the could bring up to 144 wind turbines to the waters of Lake Ontario.

"The decisions are being made out of the public eye," says Dave Knak, whose house sits right on the edge of the lake in Greece.

The New York State Power Authority first started spinning the idea of an offshore wind farm in 2009, but since then, lakeshore residents have stood up almost unanimously against the idea.

"I understand the need for energy. But to import these turbines from China doesn't make sense," Knak adds.

On Monday evening at the Robach Community Center in Charlotte, the recently formed Great Lakes Concerned Citizens group met to discuss the plan. Among their biggest concerns: what the turbines would do to the view, where the electricity generated would go to and the environmental impact of the structures.

"They wanna put this project two miles out in the lake, that's nothing, that's like the Xerox building rising up from the lake in front of my house," said Mary Isselhard who heads the group.

No one from NYSPA was at Monday's meeting and so far no final vote has been made on the plan already shot down by a handful of other communities.
DEC commissioner disputes scientists’ argument on fracking
State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joseph Martens today disputed an argument used by scientists who said in a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo last week that municipal drinking water filtration systems aren’t equipped to handle hydrofracking chemicals and contaminants. Hydrofracking, which is on hold in New York as Martens’ agency conducts an environmental review, involves pumping water, sand and chemicals deep into the ground to unlock gas in shale formations.

Robert Howarth, an ecology and environmental biology professor at Cornell University, said in a statement that filtration systems “simply do not provide protection for the sort of toxic contaminants that shale gas produces. If the risk from shale gas is too high for the watersheds of New York City, then it is too high for any of the watersheds in the state.”

Martens said that’s not the reason the state has proposed exempting the New York City and Syracuse watersheds from hydrofracking. Just the prospect of hydrofracking taking place in those watersheds would be enough to trigger a review by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency of its “filtration avoidance determinations” for the two watersheds. That could lead to a requirement that those two systems filter their water. In the case of New York City, that would cost $9 billion, the commissioner said.

The state is protective of all of its drinking water supplies, Martens said, and the “rigorous regulations” being proposed for hydrofracking will protect them. ”It’s not our concern about spills, it’s our concern about construction activities, if we allowed construction activities, that would happen if we were to allow drilling in those two watersheds,” he said.

(Click to read the entire article)
Pa. DEP reorganizes amid state's drilling boom
The Corbett administration is apparently making changes to the state agency that primarily regulates Pennsylvania's booming natural gas industry.

Sen. John Yudichak, the ranking Democrat on the Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, said Monday that an administration official told his office that it is elevating the status of the Bureau of Oil and Gas Management.

That would make it an office with its own deputy secretary inside the Department of Environmental Protection.

Department officials declined comment, although spokeswoman Katy Gresh denied a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette report that there would be layoffs elsewhere in the department.

The Post-Gazette also reported (http://bit.ly/qYLZ8p) that Secretary Michael Krancer e-mailed employees to say the reorganization is designed to boost efforts to protect human health and the environment, while ensuring statewide consistency in oil and gas regulation.

(Click to read the entire article)
9/19/2011
Meeting set on NY gas drilling guidelines
Gas drilling guidelines by the state Department of Environmental Conservation will be the focus of a public meeting 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the Community Room at Steele Memorial Library in Elmira.

The program is sponsored by People for a Healthy Environment and the League of Women Voters of Steuben County.
9/16/2011
First lawsuit filed challenging local hydrofracking bans
An Otsego County farmer filed suit today against the tiny town of Middlefield to overturn the town's ban on gas drilling.

Jennifer Huntington said in her lawsuit that the town law that prohibits gas drilling violates her right to extract gas beneath her land. She claims that state law forbids municipalities from adopting laws that ban gas drilling. Huntingon has signed leases with Canadian drilling company Gastem to extract gas from her 300-acre farm.

More than 20 municipalities in Upstate New York have enacted laws aimed at limiting or banning the controversial gas drilling practice known as hydrofracking. The suit against Middlefield is the first in the state to challenge drilling bans, said Huntington's attorney, Scott Kurkoski. He said he anticipates the case will ultimately be decided by the state's highest court.
9/15/2011
Public meeting to review effects of wind turbines on Lake Ontario
Irondequoit, N.Y. — A public meeting, hosted by the Great Lakes Concerned Citizens, will address the economic, environmental and social issues of industrial offshore wind plants.

The New York Power Authority has initiated the Great Lakes Offshore Wind (GLOW) project, but some say that offshore wind plants can have a serious effect on quality of life issues. one location that may be a candidate for a plant is near Charlotte.

The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 19 at the Roger Robach Community Center at Ontario Beach Park.The meeting will present information on the GLOW initiative and details on wind energy effects, with time for a question and answer session.
Gas company to sue Dryden over town's drilling ban
In what could be a precedent-setting case for municipalities statewide, a Denver-based natural-gas company will file the first lawsuit against a local drilling ban in New York, the company's attorney said Tuesday.

Anschutz Exploration Corp. plans to file a lawsuit this week in state Supreme Court in Tompkins County to have the town of Dryden's ban struck down, according to Thomas West, an Albany-based attorney representing the company.

With the state moving toward allowing high-volume hydraulic fracturing - a technique used with gas drilling - Dryden has been among more than 15 municipalities or counties across the state that have altered zoning regulations or passed legislation meant to ban the activity, either temporarily or permanently.

But state Department of Environmental Conservation Joseph Martens has said a court will likely have to decide whether those bans hold up under state law. New York's environmental conservation law includes a two-sentence clause adopted in the 1980s giving the state power to regulate the oil and gas industry, though it allows municipalities to regulate the industry's use of their roads.

(Click to read the entire article)
9/14/2011
Mother Nature vs. fracking
Nature keeps complicating state officials' attempts to end a moratorium on high-volume hydraulic fracturing. | First, Hurricane Irene delayed the release of the state's environmental statement on the process; officials needed to focus their immediate attention on damage from the hurricane. | Now, the double-punch of Irene and Hurricane Lee may cause the state to rethink where it allows fracking. | Much of the hurricane-related flooding occurred in the heart of the state's share of the Marcellus Shale, around the Binghamton area. | Kevin Cahill, chair of the State Assembly's Energy Committee, says the state should update maps to show which Shale areas are susceptible to extreme flooding. The state wants to prohibit fracking in those areas, known as 100-year floodplains, because of the potential to spread pollution and cause other damage. | A spokesperson for the State Department of Environmental Conservation told North Country Public Radio that a taskforce will examine the floodplains issue. She also said that the DEC wouldn't delay its review of the environmental statement released last week. The public has until December 12 to comment on the document, which can be found at http://www.dec.ny.gov/energy/75370.html.
9/13/2011
DEC not short-circuiting hydrofracking rules, Martens says
Speaking for the first time after the state released its latest report on hydrofracking, Department of Environmental Commissioner Joseph Martens defended the department’s decision to move forward with proposed regulations and an Environmental Impact Statement at the same time, despite claims from conservation groups that it is fast-tracking the process.

The DEC last week said it would put out a set of proposed regulations in October that when finalized would govern high-volume hydrofracking in New York, and that a comment period on the document would run in tandem with one on the department’s Environmental Impact Statement.

The regulations will include the recommendations made in the impact statement, which the DEC has been developing for three years. From an enforcement standpoint, formal regulations have more teeth than the impact statement, holding the same force as state law.

Martens said holding the comment period concurrently increases efficiency, and said the regulations are being developed specifically because the environmental groups asked for them.

(Click to read the entire article)
9/12/2011
When it comes to fracking, focus shifts to new document
As the state looks at the effects of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas, all eyes have been on an environmental impact statement meant to serve as a blueprint for the controversial technique to move forward in New York.

But with the release Wednesday of the Department of Environmental Conservation's latest 1,537-page draft came this news: The agency will release a new document in October that could be even more important as the state inches toward allowing high-volume hydrofracking.

The DEC will move next month to put out a set of proposed regulations that would give its enforcement efforts more teeth, but it has environmentalists concerned that the state is moving too quickly.

The regulations, which DEC officials say will include all of the recommendations included in the agency's environmental impact statement, would have the same force as law when finalized. As it stands, the current document includes guidelines to follow if the agency permits high-volume hydrofracking, but not hard-and-fast rules that must be followed in any circumstance.

(Click to read the entire article)
9/11/2011
DEC to look at fracking in flood areas
New York's Department of Environmental Conservation says it may now reconsider which areas in the Marcellus shale are deemed flood plains, in the light of recent catastrophic flooding. But the department says it will not delay the environmental review of fracking over the issue. (see related story)

The response comes after Assembly Energy Committee Chair Kevin Cahill pointed out that what’s known as 100 year flood plain maps may be out of date, in light of extreme flooding over the past two weeks, and other record flooding in recent years. The DEC wants to prohibit fracking in areas susceptible to flooding, for fear of water contamination from fracking wastewater.

“The definition of flood plains, as we know them from our maps are antiquated,” said Cahill. “We need to re- map our flood plains.”

DEC Spokeswoman Emily DeSantis responded in a non- committal manner to Cahill's request, saying, "The recent extreme weather and flooding bring a host of issues to the forefront. Commissioner Martens is participating in the Storm and Flood Recovery Task Force that will look at how to address these issues including flood plains.". She says the DEC will not be delaying the environmental review process, though, over the issue of remapping flood plains.
DEC released hydrofracking report, will hold hearings
A major report on the impacts of high-volume hydraulic fracturing on New York's environment and economy will be subject to four public hearings and a 97-day comment period, the state Department of Environmental Conservation announced Wednesday.

The DEC released a new, 1,537-page draft review of natural gas drilling technique on Wednesday, focusing largely on the potentially significant economic effect drilling could have on long-depressed regions of New York, particularly the Southern Tier.

The release started the clock on a public-comment period, which will continue through Dec. 12. The agency initially announced on its website that public hearings would be held in Broome, Steuben and Sullivan counties, but quickly backed off.

Instead, four public hearings will be held in "counties within the Marcellus Shale region" --which encompasses the Southern Tier and a portion of the Hudson Valley -- and New York City, DEC spokeswoman Emily DeSantis said. They will be held in November, but exact locations and dates won't be announced until October, she said.

(Click to read the entire article)
9/09/2011
NRDC Recognizes Threat Posed by Hydro-Fracking
Where do you stand on hydro-fracking issue? THIS ARTICLE makes an attractive appeal which promises job creation and a nice bottom-line to New York’s potential revenue streams. Although I don’t necessarily agree with the idea of global warming, the National Resources Defense Council’s (NDRC) review of New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s draft appropriately states:

The draft study provides very limited protection, if any, to the critical aqueducts and tunnels that carry water from our reservoirs. From a public health and emergency preparedness standpoint, allowing risky drilling activities to occur near aging and vulnerable water supply infrastructure is an unreasonable risk.

My whole opposition to hydro-fracking is based upon the irreversible effects of an aquifer that becomes contaminated/compromised indefinitely. We are talking millions upon millions of water that will sustain life, agriculture, and land. Hydro-fracking not only presents a risk to the surrounding environment and water supply, but it also utilizes millions of gallons of water in the process of drilling wells. Oh, and the almost 600 chemicals used in the drilling process are not legally required to be disclosed…I strongly recommend viewing the movie GASLAND. It’s not sensational and has plenty of facts which raise plenty of questions.

The whole debate about sustainability, environmental accountability, and stewardship does not revolve around “global warming.” My concern in this topic centers on potentially compromising and destroying natural water cycles…after all, our posterity will be stuck with the consequences of our short-sightedness, or they will become the benefactors to our forward-thinking accountability and ingenuity. The choice is ours, now.
9/08/2011
Chesapeake CEO takes on anti-drilling 'extremists'
The chief executive of one of the top U.S. natural gas producers delivered a blistering rebuke of critics of shale gas drilling on Wednesday, calling them fear-mongering extremists who want Americans to live in a world where "it's cold, it's dark and we're all hungry."

Speaking at an industry conference in Philadelphia, Chesapeake Energy Corp. CEO Aubrey McClendon said that gas drilling has been done safely for decades using a process called hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking."

Environmental activists say that fracking and the drilling boom it's created have led to polluted air and tainted groundwater and made people sick.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is studying the issue.

(Click to read the entire article)
9/07/2011
Hydrofracking study to be released today
The state Department of Environmental Conservation says an updated version of its environmental impact study on natural gas production in the Marcellus Shale region is ready to be released for public comment.

Spokeswoman Emily DeSantis says the 1,000-plus page document will be released late Wednesday morning. DEC officials have said there will be a 60-day public comment period following the release, although environmental groups and some politicians have called for a 180-day comment period because of the technical complexity of the study.

The report outlines New York's rules for natural gas drilling using high-volume hydraulic fracturing, which injects chemical-laced water at high pressure into a well to crack surrounding shale and release gas.

Permitting has been on hold for three years while the study was being done.
9/06/2011
New gas drilling dispute: Fracking or fracing?
The Marcellus Shale natural-gas industry has gotten tripped up by the F-bomb.

Not that word.

"Fracking has become almost a dirty word," said Brian McDermott, spokesman for Gregory FCA Communications, an Ardmore, Pa., public relations firm that has measured popular sentiments associated with various resource-extraction terms. It found fracking lacking, scoring even lower in positives than strip-mining.

Fracking, of course, is short for hydraulic fracturing, the controversial natural-gas recovery process. The word -- harsh, threatening and vaguely profane -- has become a linguistic weapon in the shale-gas culture wars.

The fracas over fracturing will be on full display in Philadelphia this week as the Marcellus Shale Coalition holds a two-day conference to promote the industry.

(Click to read the entire article)
9/05/2011
Schneiderman a fracking foe who might have to defend it
When Attorney General Eric Schneiderman was on the campaign trail last year, he released an environmental agenda with seven major initiatives he intended to take up in office.

In red type, the document listed his priority when it comes to protecting New York's land, air and water: "Sue to Prohibit Hydrofracking."

"He will make sure that no drilling took place until it was deemed to be safe and regulated by the DEC (state Department of Environmental Conservation) and EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)," the document reads, citing his "proven record of fighting against this new and unproven technology."

Fast forward to 2011, and Schneiderman now will likely face the task of defending a set of regulations proposed by the DEC that would allow for high-volume hydraulic fracturing, with a bevy of restrictions, to move forward in New York.

(Click to read the entire article)
9/03/2011
Jefferson County Board of Legislators oppose Albany siting of power projects
State siting of electric generation facilities is not good for local jurisdictions, says a resolution recommended by the Jefferson County Board of Legislators’ Finance and Rules Committee.

Tuesday’s resolution opposes the Power NY Act, passed this year, which reinstated a state siting board for all generation projects of 25 megawatts or more. Members of the board have said the act infringes on home rule. The full board will vote on the resolution Tuesday night.

Fenner, NY Wind Turbine Collapse



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