Thursday, November 19, 2009

Some sobering facts

  • 21 of 31 states have NO regulations specific to hydraulic facturing.
  • 4 states *do* have detailed regulations guiding the "fracking" process (and PA is not among them)
  • 10 drilling states require that fracturing chemicals be disclosed
  • 0 states require that the volume of hydraulic fracturing fluid left underground be recorded.
Sources: State Oil and Natural Gas Regulations Designed to Protect Water Resources, May 2009, U.S. Department of Energy, office of Fossil Energy, National Energy Technology Lab, and the Ground Water Protection Council

For an excellent rundown of the current issues New York state is facing in the midst of all the drilling occuring right across the border, see Buried secrets: gas drilling's environmental threat 

Monday, November 16, 2009

Area newspaper coverage

If you live in the Tioga County area, you can read all of the stories and editorials written on natural gas drilling by clicking here for info appearing in the Wellsboro Gazette. Read the coverage in the Elmira Star Gazette here. The Williamsport Gazette has a special page on their website devoted to natural gas drilling information.

Better yet: submit your own Letters to the Editor of these or other area newspapers.  

Click here to submit your own Letter to the Editor of the Elmira Star Gazette.

Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor of the Wellsboro Gazette.

Letters to the Williamsport Gazette can be submitted here.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Hear one PA farmer's story

Don't know where to start? Upcoming (FREE!) skills training right across the border!

Right across the border in downtown Ithaca NY, there is a very active grassroots group--Shaleshock--taking action to understand and protect communities from environmental accidents and other effects caused by the natural gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale.  The weekend of December 4-6, they're bringing in The Ruckus Society,--one of the most respected organizations for the development of grassroots organizations--for FREE skills training on what you can do to get yourselves organized to effect change.  

The deadline to register for the training is NOVEMBER 16 so if you want to go, sign up now as space is limited.  Click on the link for "skills training" for more information and to register.  I received confirmation from their organizers that this training is not just limited to just NY residents--there are people already registered from PA but they're encouraging more people to join up.  If you haven't already, join their email list here. 

Think the problem is too big? Too overwhelming?

The following is excerpted from "Wanna Get Some Action?"--a collaborative pamphlet produced by several environmental groups including the Energy Action CoalitionEnergy Justice Network and

What kinda power we got?
Throughout history we can look to examples of how everyday people have used their community-based power to win a more just society in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.  In fact, many of the rights and comforts we now take for granted resulted from people like us getting together and collectively taking action when injustice couldn’t be ignored anymore, like…

  • The 40 hour work week (and weekends!)
  • Voting rights for women, youth (over 18), African-Americans
  • The end of formal slavery
  • Maternity leave
  • Ending child labor / The right to go to school
  • Civil rights
  • The rights of people with disabilities to reasonable accommodation to hold jobs and access businesses....
These social movements faced massive opposition in their time - the power holders put everything they had into maintaining the status quo, and making it seem like there was no alternative. But they were wrong. People used the power of their numbers and, at strategic moments, took bold actions to demand changes, which were eventually put into law by policy makers.

You *can* make a difference.  But you can't wait for someone else to do it for you.  If you're upset, scared, concerned--you need to pull yourself up by the bootstraps and do something.