Friday, December 9, 2011

Hydrofracking is a Suicide Pill for America
is a Suicide Pill
for America

a photo essay in 12 frames

by William Huston

10 Dec 2011

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Part of the problem
with documenting a time like this
is dealing with
the sheer volume of material.

In November,
I shot 40 hours of video.

We are looking for universities
which will make a permanent archive
of this historic material.

We have 4 editors working
to get this material online ASAP.
But does this have value?
Will anyone watch all 40 hours?

Yes people will find little treasures, and share and remix these.

And there are many, many treasures in this material.

Here, I present such a treasure.

Normally I try to condense 90 mins down to 7 min of finished video.

Here, I have condensed 40 hours into 12 frames of video.

Gov. Cuomo did not go to any of the DEC hearings. Neither did Commissioner Joe Martens.

All of the biggest proponents of Fracking NY were Missing In Action.

NY State Senator Tom "Safe Drilling Now" Libous? Nope. No-show. Absent. Not present.

Do you find this interesting?

In their place they sent their next two highest ranking officials, Deputy Commissioners Steve Russo and Eugene Leff. I saw these two gentlemen at all four hearings.

I actually feel sorry for these men. I have compassion for them.

Each is caught 1/2 way
between Gov. "Drill Baby Drill!" Cuomo,
and We ("No Fracking Way!") the People.

It must be a really tough job.

Cover page photo:
"Lead Agency Contact: Eugene Leff"

Before the DEC hearings in NYC, I was setting up on stage, and happened to run into Deputy Commissioner of the DEC, Eugene Leff. His name is actually on the cover page of the SGEIS document:

So after the amazing testimony at both Binghamton and Dansville, where the people made it very clear...


...So, I was wondering, what could Cuomo, Martens, etc.
be thinking or feeling now?

So I approached him for an interview.
He seems like a very nice and gentle man.

I was polite and courteous.
I do not judge any man (or woman).
I have compassion for all beings.

He asked what I wanted to know.
I replied, what's the mood inside DEC now?
A lot has been said at these hearings.
What are you personally feeling about what you have heard?
He referred me to his Press Secretary, Emily DeSantis,
who basically ran interference for the Deputy Commissioner.
She directed me to the technical aspects of the process.

I did not then, nor do I now
wish harm or humiliation or shame
upon the Governor or anyone at DEC.

But I did want to look deeply into his eyes
and try to get a reading.
The eyes are the window into the Soul.
I wanted to touch Eugene's Soul
just for a moment.
I wanted his heart and my heart to connect.

He looked away.
He didn't want me to see what he was feeling.

Later in the evening, I got my wish.
I got to look deeply into Eugene Leff's Soul.

I was a little embarrassed.
I felt like a voyeur.

Eugene and I attended every meeting.
Very few people have done that.
Perhaps a dozen.

I looked over at Eugene Leff
sitting in the audience
during David Publow's amazing speech.

The following are individual frames,
with the text of Dave's words

One of my favorite bits about this sequence, which you can hear if you listen to the video, is hearing the young woman off in the audience saying this line with passion.

(@ 1 min, 5 sec. in the video: )

I wonder of Mr. Leff has daughters? Perhaps he heard the voice of his own daughter in the young woman's clear and powerful voice. Hearing that woman's voice, and seeing my camera looking his way seemed to send waves of anguish through his body.

This is the point where Mr. Leff looked over at me.

@ between 1 min. 14 sec. and 16 sec.

What are his eyes saying?

My reading is something like:
"Oh shit."

I could see it in his face.
He wanted to disappear.
He wanted to hide,
perhaps from shame and guilt?

This is Satyagragha at work.
Gandhi called it "Truth Force"

Now he knows he is being watched.
He looked away, be he knew I was there... looking... looking to touch his Soul.

He could sense my camera lens getting closer,

He knew I was watching him.
He knew this was on the record.

He immediately started squirming in his chair.
His head was rocking side to side.

The muscles in his face seemed to start convulsing.

Dave Publow saying:
"Hydrofracking enriches gas companies..."

Just then, Eugene bit his own tongue.

Then, his face squeezed tight
which looked to me like a
grimace in pain.

He looked extremely distressed,
anguished, uncomfortable. perhaps even physically ill.

You could see he wanted to disappear....
to crawl away and hide...

He dove for a bottle of water

Isn't this all about water?

And the greatest irony is
these plastic water bottles
are made of methane.

The Corporate Shale-Gas Frackers
destroy our water,
to get methane
to make plastic bottles
in order to sell us water.

This is to profit
from both the creation of the disease
and the provision of the cure.

In capitalism, this is called a "Double Play".

Just then, Mr. Leff took a big drink
as Dave read these lines:

"Hydrofracking is a

Just then, Mr. Leff took a big gulp. and what's up with this guy???

Most of us probably view Mr. Eugene Leff
has being a successful man, a powerful man.
A man of great influence.

Yet, in this moment, he seemed terrified,
sick, weak, trapped,
desperately wanting to find a way out.

Mr. Leff, I wish that you
find your way out.
A peaceful way out.

Mr. Leff, I wish that you
and all beings
find happiness and freedom from suffering.
and all beings
have access to clean drinking water.

I wish that you have great strength
to do something bold and courageous
in order to save this land
for future generations.

I would say certain good choices would be to

  • a) withdraw the draft SGEIS

  • b) take the "no action alternative"
    mentioned in section 9.1 of the SGEIS (meaning, declare a ban),


  • c) resign.

It's time for really bold action now.

I send you wishes for happiness, compassion, strength, and courage.

Peace -- Nya:Weh -- Namaste

TEXT of the speech:

Governor Cuomo! DEC!
We are here today to stop hydrofracking in New York.
We are here today to demand that you uphold the public trust.
We speak for many. The SGEIS process is a sham.
The mission of the DEC is written:
"To conserve, improve and protect New York's natural resources and environment
and to prevent, abate and control water, land and air pollution,
in order to enhance the health, safety and welfare of the people of the state
and their overall economic and social well-being."
The DEC violates itʼs own charter by allowing fracking at all.
Hydrofracking spreads toxins into our air, water, and soil.
Hydrofracking enriches gas companies, but ruins the health, economy and future of the people.
Hydrofracking is a suicide pill for America.
We will not allow this to happen.
We will not allow this dangerous industry to poison us.
We will not allow Big Money to hijack our democracy.
We will not allow you to IGNORE the facts to advance the interests of the few.
You have forced us to take this stand.
The DEC claims it will protect NYCʼs watershed.
But we know, the DEC will not protect any part of New York State.
The DEC has ignored the public health impacts of drilling.
The DEC has not measured the cumulative impact of drilling.
The DEC has issued regulations before public comment on the draft EIS has even been completed.
The DEC allows toxic waste in open pits, spreading volatile toxins for hundreds of miles.
The DEC allows toxic wastewater to be spread on NY roads.
The DEC leaves New Yorkʼs floodplains, farmland, and towns, vulnerable.
It ignores faultlines, earthquakes, and extreme weather.
The DEC has not banned any toxic chemicals from the fracking process.
The DEC knows that there is no safe way to dispose of fracking waste.
The DEC allows the gas industry itself to monitor its own waste disposal, despite a history of abuse.
The DEC is understaffed, and cannot manage an unmanageable industry.
We will not allow you to ignore the lethal reality
of what has happened EVERYWHERE fracking has been done.

Governor Cuomo!
We demand that you ban fracking in New York State!

Governor Cuomo!
If you move to allow fracking in NY State, we will remove you from elected office.

Governor Cuomo! DEC!
If you continue on this path, we will take direct action, and we will shut you down.

Lionk to the video:

Remix and republish under
Commercial terms may be available.

William Huston
Binghamton NY Phone: 607-321-7846

Binghamton-area discussion; spirituality topics:
Binghamton Public Access TV is Open-To-Everyone!

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