A lot of us wonder what we can do besides sign some petitions, write some letters, etc (Although all of those things are good and necessary.)
One thing we can do is let our friends know about the predicament the gas industry and it’s cronies are putting us in, and how that predicament will soon be coming to a town near them.
A good way is to cut and paste the following message into an e-mail and send it to your intelligent out-of-state friends and family:
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For a lot of people, the promise of “free money” doesn’t raise the red flags that it should. People want to believe in Santa Claus, and that they can win the lottery, even if they lose thousands of dollars buying lottery tickets year after year.
If someone offered those people all the thousands back that they had squandered, they’d take them in a minute (and probably throw them away again on more lottery tickets!)
The point is, that early on, people find all the reasons they can to convince themselves that something is good, even though they really know better.
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The title is a little misleading. What we are trying to do is ban unconventional (high-pressure horizontal hydraulic fracturing) of shale deposits like the Marcellus and Utica deposits (or what the gas industry likes to call “plays”) in New York State.
The following is from the EarthJustice site. Please read it and click the link to go and sign their petition to the DEC to extend the public comment period on the Draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (SGEIS) to 120 days.
The gas drilling industry is at New York’s doorstep, clamoring for access to underground reserves and demanding the right to blast millions of gallons of chemically-treated water into the earth to extract the gas.
And we’re facing the fight of our lives to keep them at bay while we determine how to keep New Yorkers safe from the toxic chemicals used in the drilling.
We’d hoped state officials would help. But they seem just as eager as industry to start the drilling—giving New Yorkers just 60 days to weigh in on the state’s plan to oversee what’s poised to be an unprecedented scale of industrial activity.
Among the deficiencies we’ve identified so far with the state plan: in the entire 800-page document there’s not a single rule that industry will have to follow. The state’s proposal gives state officials unbridled discretion to decide whether and when to impose protections. Without rules that are transparent, consistent, and enforceable, you better believe that drillers will lobby for exceptions at every turn.
Tell Governor David Paterson and the state Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Pete Grannis to extend the public comment period to 120 days. And while you’re at it, tell them we need the gas drilling industry to be following rules—not the toothless, piecemeal permitting approach outlined in the plan.
We’ve seen what happens when the government tries to speed up the approval process. Next door in Pennsylvania, drilling has ramped up quickly, with more than 1,100 permits in the first eight months of 2009. Last month, the state shut down one company’s operations after three chemical spills at one drilling site in less than a week.
At stake is the water we drink, the air we breathe, the soil in which we grow our food and the scenic landscapes that feed our spirit. Before the rigs move in from Texas, we need time to make sure these precious resources are protected.
Tell Governor David Paterson and DEC that industry doesn’t get to dictate the timetable for drilling—the people do.
Sign the petition here.