Monday, February 18, 2013

Father Roy Bourgeois: A Priest Speaks His Conscience

The Struggle for Justice and Gender Equality in the Catholic Church

First United Methodist Church
Endicott, NY; February 18, 2013

With additional video from the 2008 School of the Americas Watch

This event featured the showing of a video: Pink Smoke Over the Vatican. I don't have the rights to include it here, but you can purchase a copy at the link.

Related Link: Bridget Mary's Blog

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Forward On Climate


Washington, DC; February 17, 2013

At least forty thousand people turned out on a frigid February day to express their concerns about climate change, the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, fracking, and related issues.

The Speakers: Reverend Lennox Yearwood, Bill McKibben, Van Jones, Rosario Dawson, Chief Jacqueline Thomas, Sheldon Whitehouse, Maria Cardona, Tom Snyder, Crystal Lameman, Casey Camp, Michael Brune

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Binghamton Anti-Fracking Rally: Not One Well


Binghamton, NY; February 12, 2013

The Speakers (in order of appearance): Isaac Silberman-Gorn, Matt Ryan, Gerri Wiley, Chris Burger, Logan Adsit, Captain Ray Lewis, Aubrey Clark, Vera Scroggins, Craig Stevens, Renee Vogelsang, Emily Bishop, Sandra Steingraber

Press Release from Isaac Silberman-Gorn of Citizen Action:

Scientists/Health Professionals, Environmental and Grassroots Organizations Denounce Cuomo’s Rumored Plan for Fracking Test Project

Groups will reject proposal for Southern Tier residents to be human test subjects in fracking experiment

Binghamton- Today, Southern Tier residents were joined by local elected officials, scientists, and health professionals, including Dr. Sandra Steingraber, City of Binghamton Mayor, Matt Ryan, Craig Stevens, resident of Silver Lake Township, Logan Adsit, a Chenango County mother, Gerri Wiley, a Tioga County Registered Nurse and Chris Burger, Chair of Binghamton Regional Sustainaiblity Coalition to denounce Governor Cuomo's rumored plan for a fracking test project.

Governor Cuomo is weighing whether or not to allow fracking in New York State with a decision imminent. Rather than undertake a comprehensive health impact assessment of fracking that would involve transparency and public participation, the Cuomo administration instead hired outside experts to review its own secretive health review. The administration has refused to release any substantive information to the public on its review – nearly all information about it has only become known through leaks to the media – and the outside experts have been silenced by non-disclosure agreements. It has been suggested that the Cuomo administration is considering the approval of a fracking test project with up to 40 wells.  

Isaac Silberman-Gorn with Citizen Action stated “Governor Cuomo: Your entire process has been frustratingly opaque. This is unacceptable, given that our health and well-being is at stake. We call for a comprehensive health impact assessment, with public participation at all every step, starting with the scope of the assessment. A true comprehensive health impact assessment would lead you to the conclusion that fracking cannot be done safely.”

“There is an ongoing demonstration project in my neighborhood.” Said Susquehanna County resident Vera Scroggins. “Industry had drilled nearly 9000 wells and has 3000 violations, with one well having 26.”

Logan Adsit from South Otselic in Chenango County stated: "I am a mother to a one year old little boy. Governor Cuomo seems to be unconcerned about the effects of natural gas drilling on my child’s health and future life on this earth. How do I explain to my son that his town board and his own state Governor had the chance to protect him with a ban on fracking but chose not to purely due to financial incentives? 

Niru Anne, MD, FACS.  Board Certified General Surgeon; Fellowship/Specialty Trained Cancer Surgeon. She is one amongst 6 Surgeons in the entire state of New York to be Certified by the American Society of Breast Surgeons in Stereotactic Biopsy Procedures, and stated: "As a Surgeon Trained in the Biology, Diagnosis, Prevention, and Treatment of Cancer, I am requesting that New York State conduct a comprehensive health impact assessment on the effects of Hydaulic Fractioning prior to considering drilling in our communities.  As Physicians and Scientists we are requesting for data which is currently lacking on the Health Impacts of gas drilling". 

Dr. Sandra Steingraber stated: “"The Finger Lakes and the Southern Tier are two branches of the same tree. We share water, air, and food. And, united, we say no to an industry that uses our land as its factory floor, that wrecks our climate, that offers only the fool's gold of temporary riches for a few and permanent ruin for many. United, we proclaim that any industry that relies on secret chemicals and secret health studies has no business in our community. Governor Cuomo: stand with us."

Vestal Residents forSafe Energy issued the following release:

With so much visible and vocal public opposition to fracking, it is unthinkable that Governor Cuomo may go ahead and approve any plan which opens the Southern Tier to this invasive industry. A recent Siena Poll found more people in the Southern Tier than anywhere else in the State would be unhappy if fracking went forward. There have been repeated calls on the Governor for a more transparent and thorough health review. Residents in the Southern Tier call on the Governor to recognize that if fracking is not safe for the NYC and Syracuse watersheds, it cannot be safe here. Vestal Residents for Safe Energy joins Save The SouthernTier and New Yorkers Against Fracking in opposing any test well project here. We demand that the Governor open up the health review to include public participation and comment, to not finalize the sham sGEIS on February 13th and to let the fatally flawed regulations expire on February 27th. 

Monday, February 4, 2013

NYS Legislature’s Budget Hearing on Environmental Conservation

Department of Environmental Conservation Commissoner Joseph Martens testifies before members of the New York State Legislature. The first video, after a short prelude featuring Sandra Steingraber, shows the hearing up through Commissioner Martens' opening remarks, and then shows fracking-related excerpts only. The second video is the rally which immediately followed the meeting.

NO SGEIS – NO REGULATIONS- NO FRACKING NY February 4th, 2013- Albany, NY
It’s the 11th hour in the fight against fracking. We are faced with a February 13 do or die deadline when the revised Environmental Impact Statement (SGEIS) will or will not appear in the DEC’s Environmental Notice Bulletin. The SGEIS legally has to age 10 days in order to issue the final Findings Statement and final regulations (the ones we recently commented on) by Feb 27. We need to voice to the Governor that the power of our movement is growing and that allowing fracking in New York would be the fatal mistake of his political career.

The health review currently underway has been done in secret with no public comment or transparency. The Governor needs to open up the review and allow for public participation. By opening up public participation of the health review, he must halt finalization of the SGEIS and subsequently let the proposed regulations expire - this is what needs to happen to allow science, facts, and public health to drive this decision.

This is why we need you back in Albany on February 4th for the NYS Legislature’s Budget Hearing on Environmental Conservation, where the legislature will be able to question DEC Commissioner Martens on their secretive, dysfunctional and undemocratic process. We need to pack the room and be there when DEC Commissioner Martens testifies, starting at 9am and for the entirety of his remarks. Following the Commissioners testimony we will gather in the Million Dollar Staircase for a rally and a press conference to unite as a united front and demand that this fatally flawed process not move forward. We’re asking everyone to wear blue and bring a jar of the clean water from your tap to hold up as well as signs. Our message to Governor Cuomo is this – we are organized and we will not let up or give up.