|Hundreds of New Yorkers say NO to Fracking Infrastructure
On Wednesday, October 30, hundreds of New Yorkers from across the state came to Albany to expose Governor Cuomo and the Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) proposed Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) regulations for what they are: fatally flawed, a danger to public health and our wellbeing, and supportive of a massive fracking infrastructure build out.
For some background, New York has had a ban on LNG facilities since 1973, when a horrific explosion in Staten Island killed 40 workers. Now the natural gas industry is lobbying to lift the ban, and the DEC has come out with a new 8-page regulatory framework based on an antiquated 1976 law. Publicly, the DEC and the gas industry claim that the regulations are just to allow for small-scale truck fueling stations and have nothing to do with fracking, but the new regulations go well beyond DEC’s stated goals. The truth is that they would give a green light for the oil and gas industry to potentially build out a massive infrastructure for fracking, including enormous import/export facilities.
Noting this contradiction, the gross inadequacies in the regulations, and that expanded natural gas infrastructure is not in New York’s best interests, the New Yorkers Against Fracking coalition has called on Governor Cuomo and the DEC to withdraw the regulations. See the letter here.
October 30 marked the one and only public hearing on the proposed regulations. The hearing took place at DEC’s headquarters in Albany at 2:00 PM. Preceding it, at 12 noon, hundreds of New Yorkers rallied outside, demanding that the regulations be withdrawn and that New Yorkers want a renewable energy future, not fracking or its dirty infrastructure.
At 1:00, we lined up outside of the DEC’s office to enter the hearing and testify against the proposed regulations. As the media reported, within minutes the 125-capacity room was filled beyond capacity, with many left waiting outside on the street, unable to enter.
Dozens delivered crippling testimony, demonstrating that the regulations are not based in science, do not protect public health and the environment, and that the only basis for them comes from a “study” done by a LNG company that directly stands to significant benefit – a stark conflict of interest.
In short, New Yorkers came in force and showed that the proposed regulations must be thrown out.
Because of everyone’s amazing work, this critical message was carried across the state and the nation in the media. Here are just a few of the news stories:
Associated Press: No-fracking groups pan NY liquid natural gas plan - http://online.wsj.com/article/AP1ff2b29926d94310af2cdd0b4b72682f.html
“DEC and Governor Cuomo are not being honest with New Yorkers,” said John Armstrong of New Yorkers Against Fracking. “They talk only about these small fueling stations, when in fact these regulations open the door for the elephant to come in.”
Albany Times Union: Natural gas rules draw critics’ heat - http://m.timesunion.com/tu/db_41998
“These vague rules are a Trojan Horse to allow for large facilities, under the guise of clean transportation fuel,” said Russ Haven, legislative director of the New York Public Interest Research Group. “It would drive up demand for fracked gas.”
Gannett News: LNG hearing draws interest from anti-fracking, business groups http://www.ithacajournal.com/article/20131030/NEWS10/310300084/LNG-hearing-draws-interest-from-anti-fracking-business-groups?nclick_check=1
“You don’t protect the public by using vague, useless terms in a set of regulations,” Wes Gillingham, program director for Catskill Mountainkeeper, said at a pre-hearing rally. “There’s no size limits, no limits on the types of facilities and no clear reason as to why we need to go forward with this right now.”
YNN: Protesters show up at DEC hearing - http://hudsonvalley.ynn.com/content/news/702841/protesters-show-up-at-dec-hearing/?ap=1&MP4
Keith Schue said, “What we could see happening in New York is facilities of any size, not just truck fueling stations, but also the larger things. Production facilities that could exist at gas wells and pipelines.”
Capital New York: Fracking fight shifts to liquefied natural gas facilities - http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/politics/2013/10/8535281/fracking-fight-shifts-liquefied-natural-gas-facilities
“Environmental engineer and fracking opponent Keith Schue pointed out that extracting natural gas and storing it used a considerable amount of energy and could cause significant pollution.”
Albany NBC News: Protesters rally against Liquefied Natural Gas proposal - http://www.nbcnews.com/id/53418294/ns/local_news-albany_ny/#.UnJTevmsiSo
“Like the gorilla through the gate, this would allow all sorts of LNG facilities, which would support fracking and expand the natural gas infrastructure, which is the wrong direction for New York,” said John Armstrong.
Capital Tonight: Fracking Opponents Explain Objection to LNG - http://www.nystateofpolitics.com/2013/10/fracking-opponents-explain-objection-to-lng/
Politics on the Hudson: LNG hearing draws more-than-capacity crowd in Albany - http://polhudson.lohudblogs.com/2013/10/30/lng-hearing-draws-more-than-capacity-crowd-in-albany/
“The hearing was held inside of a conference room at the DEC’s headquarters in downtown Albany. It had a capacity of 125, which was met within minutes of the agency opening its doors.”
Meanwhile, New Yorkers have until December 4th to submit comments, which is important to expose how the proposed regulations are fatally flawed and to show the breadth and depth of our opposition.
Join the effort to make comments by participating in the ’30 Days of Fracking Regs’ project that dissects one part of the regulations each day, provides the science to make an informed comment, and makes submitting your comment easy. It just takes a few minutes each day. Participate at www.30DaysOfFrackingRegs.com.
You can (and should) also easily submit a series of comments through this easy tool from our friends at Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy: http://org2.salsalabs.com/o/5952/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=15588
Thank you, everyone!