Thursday, October 6, 2011

First of Four Fracking Hearings Being Held in Albany Today, as State Government Gives LIP SERVICE to Concerned Citizens

Leave no doubt about it...baring a miracle, the State of New York, its government, its elected officials HAVE SOLD US OUT to the deep financial pockets, the financial donations to campaign coiffures that the Natural Gas Industry, Chesapeake Energy, Exxon and other Hydro Fracturing earth despoilers have been doling out.

It does not matter that most citizens are not buying the propaganda campaign Exxon has been waging in our rural communities, does not matter that the majority of New Yorker's will take fresh, safe drinking water over Natural Gas being sucked out of the ground and exported to China every time, the EPA, our turncoat Governor Cuomo have decided to line their own collective and individual pockets with the same silver with which Judas lined his own at the expense of our health, our clean drinking water, and our pristine rural communities.

Today's Albany hearing is Political Kabuki Dancing at its finest, our politicians putting lipstick on the pig as they sit around looking important, listening to hand picked speakers, knowing that the rubber stamping in favor of the Natural Gas industry wishes has already begun, once again the health and safety of the states citizens being callously sacrificed on the altar of corporate greed. Safe clean drinking water, the health of our children and grandchildren nothing more than collateral damage, our lives, our health an acceptable trade off when compared to the fossil fuels that can be removed from under our lands in the name of a transitional energy source, that under a best case scenario, will only last us another 15-20 years.

Let us be citizen stakeholders a scant 90 days to submit comments on a document that is some 1500 pages in length is woefully inadequate, the comment period being kept deliberately short in an attempt to silence our voices, deny us our opportunity to be plugged into and a part of a decision that will affect in a negative fashion every New Yorker's life.

Let us be CLEAR...scheduling just four public meetings in the entire state of New York is inadequate to give citizens a true opportunity to SPEAK THEIR MIND on this issue...those four public hearings are even more inadequate in scope when you look at how the process of those hearings works. Public Officials, Industry Spokespersons, and local community VIP's are always given the first opportunity to be heard...most of those folks ARE ALREADY BOUGHT AND OWNED by the Natural Gas Industry. The rest of us peons are shuffled to the end of the list, and most of us never get heard, the hearing board announcing, "We're sorry, but we are running out of time, we we will hear four more speakers, then the rest of you are welcome to submit your comments in writing.

If you visit the public comments submission page, you see our rights being further curtailed. We are told that our comments should be supported with scientific support...uhhh...could someone please explain to us AVERAGE CITIZENS how we are supposed to digest a 1500 page document, find scientific support for our comments, and have it all together and submitted to the DEC in just 90 days? We are average lower and middle class citizens for the most part. We have families, we have jobs, and as much as the DEC may disagree, we do have to sleep. The DEC, and every other department of government involved in the writing of this document, every member of the Natural Gas industry have the luxury of working on this document, submitting comments on it as a job, are getting paid...however, most ground zero citizens who will be forced to live with the health risks and quality of life issues from Hydraulic Fracturing do not have that luxury, cannot spend eight hours a day, five days a week study the document, understanding it, and doing the research necessary to make scientifically supported comments for or against Hydraulic Fracturing.

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- The state Assembly is holding a hearing to receive public comment on the Department of Environmental Conservation's permitting guidelines for natural gas drilling in the lucrative Marcellus Shale region of southern New York.

Environmental Conservation Committee Chair Robert Sweeney and committee members will take testimony in Albany starting at 9:30 a.m. Thursday.

Among those scheduled to testify are DEC Commissioner Joe Martens and New York City Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Carter Strickland.

DEC has scheduled four public hearings on the proposed permit guidelines and regulations between Nov. 16 and Nov. 30. They'll be held in Dansville, Binghamton, Loch Sheldrake, and New York City.

I would encourage every citizen to speak their voice on this issue....start by formally requesting an extension of time to comment on the proposed permit guidelines and regulations, asking for additional public hearings in your communities. Contact the folks at Catskill Citizens, volunteer, put up signs in your yards, get bumper stickers, find out where protests are planned and attend them....we here in Sullivan County will be one of the hardest hit communities if companies like Exxon and Chesapeake Energy are allowed to use Hydraulic Fracturing to drill for natural gas they have already sold to China.