Wednesday, July 11, 2012

MAJORITIES OPPOSE SHALE GAS Throughout the Southern Tier and the State of NY

Share this link:

Easy share on Facebook:

To: Senator Tom Libous
CC: Governor Andrew Cuomo

Date: Thu May 3, 2012

Throughout the Southern Tier and the State of NY

Dear Sen. Libous:

On 4-21-2012, you were quoted in Press & Sun Bulletin as saying,

"I believe [the Department of Environmental Conservation is] going to look at areas of the state ... where there is potential for drilling ... that are going to be open to it. And I think there are enough areas of the state that would be...."

You also added, "It just doesn't make sense for them to do it elsewhere" Senator Libous, please tell us...

Where are these hypothetical pro-fracking communities in NY?

Research done by members of the Vestal Residents for Safe Energy, Chenango Community Action for Renewable Energy, Owego RAFT, and dozens of other local groups all throughout the Marcellus region are finding such wide majorities who oppose this unsafe process, to call your assertion-- that pro-fracking communities exist-- into question.

"While a few landowner coalitions want to profit from fracking, and are hoping, perhaps naively, that it can be done safely, those coalitions represent less than 10% of the population in any Southern Tier county", said Bill Huston, of New York Residents Against Drilling (NYRAD). "For everyone else, there are only guaranteed harms to our quality of life, and a risk of major catastrophe."

Door-to-door surveys during petition drives are revealing that most citizens of NY State in the impacted region understand this.

Groups all throughout the NY Marcellus region are canvassing neighborhoods with a petition to enact a town moratorium or ban against drilling. All groups are reporting a consistent majorities which are opposed to drilling, and most reporting a SUPER-MAJORITY (greater than 2/3rds) who are against it.

Cecile Lawrence, a citizen working with Tioga Peace and Justice, spoke of the recent Tioga County lease deal: "The coalition claimed that 2000 families control 135,000 acres. But Tioga County's population is 51,000, and the total land area is 335,000 acres. So, 40% of the land area is controlled by 16% of the population (*): Hardly a majority." * This is assuming 4 family members are owners, and assuming there are no corporate owners, which is clearly true in some cases.

Mike Bernhard, a Chenango County activist, said that all leases on file at the Chenango County Clerk's office represent less than 3% of the population. "And between a quarter and a third of the leased land belongs to absentee owners and investment vehicles."

Over 100 local bans and moratoria on fracking have been enacted statewide and 70 more are in the works.

Locally, the city of Binghamton has enacted a ban on fracking, and over 1,000 residents of Vestal have signed a petition asking for a ban on fracking in their town, as have residents of the Town of Owego.

Here is a summary of some of the results we have seen:

  • Town of Milford 76% of those asked were against drilling
  • Town of Guilford 80% have serious concerns about fracking
  • over 1,160 residents of Village of Owego have signed a petition to ban fracking in their town. 68% homes visited signed.
  • almost 1,500 residents of Vestal have signed a petition against fracking in Town Vestal. A majority of those homes visited have signed.
  • Town of Danby 94% in favor of the ban.
  • Town of Enfield (Tompkins County), 55% of all households canvassed so far, 80% of those support a ban
  • Town of Van Etten, NY, almost 3 to 1 (75%) against drilling.
  • Town of Ulysses, canvassers found 80-85% against fracking in 2010. A ban was enacted there in 2011.
  • Survey results in Schoharie County communities indicate an average of 70-80% opposed to fracking.
  • Town of Plymouth, NY we have over 625 signatures on a petition calling for a ban in a town of 1016 registered voters, a number equal to 61% of all registered voters!
  • Town of Hartwick in Otsego County which showed overwhelming opposition to gas drilling. 79% opposed (Pulse Poll)
  • Delaware County 72% against fracking, 69% in favor of Home Rule (Pulse poll)
  • Sullivan County 69% against fracking, 69% in favor of Home Rule (Pulse Poll)
  • Otsego Neighbors reports 81.5% of those contacted expressed serious concerns or were totally against it.
  • Caroline: 71% of residents approached in our petition drive were against fracking.
Residents are concerned about jeopardy to health and well-being, risks to children, home mortgage issues, truck traffic, air and noise pollution as well as the loss of quality of life if drilling is allowed here.

"We don't want our town to be the sacrifice zone for gas drilling," said Sue Rapp of Vestal.

The Press and Sun reports,

"Areas of New York that have been supportive of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas could be the first to get approval if the state Department of Environmental Conservation allows the technique, according to lawmakers and lobbyists."

Groups in Binghamton, Chenango, Union/Endicott, Owego, and dozens of other towns call upon you to show us where these communities exist. Where there is support, it is either from corporate investors, or else poor farmers and flood-damaged families.

Senator, it is cruel and unfair to take advantage of these people in order to push this dirty extractive industry, which will destroy the quality of life for all NY Citizens.

Here is a map of the present local ban activity.

This could also be a map of towns who do not trust the NY Department of Environmental Conservation's ability to safely regulate this activity

Over 170 NY municipalities which have mobilized to enact a local ban or moratorium, due to the clear inability of the DEC to regulate this process, and the many defects with the rdSGEIS. We therefore urge all NY Senators, including you Senator Libous, to support any bill which would PROTECT NY Citizens by banning all forms of Shale Gas Extraction until it can be shown to be safe.

All NY Citizens deserve Equal Protection from this inherently toxic and unsafe activity.


  • Back To Democracy

  • Center for Sustainable Rural Communities (Schoharie County)

  • Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy

  • Owego RAFT

  • Cayuga Anti-Fracking Alliance (Auburn, NY)

  • Chenango Community Action for Renewable Energy (C-CARE)

  • Coalition to Protect New York

  • Committee to Preserve the Finger Lakes- Penn Yan

  • NY CDOG (ChenangoDelawareOtsego Gas Drilling Opposition Group)

  • Concerned Citizens of Ulysses

  • Danby Action

  • Dryden Resource Awareness Coalition (DRAC)

  • ENSAW (Enfield Neighbors for Safe Air and Water)
  • Frack Free New York

  • Grassroots Environmental Education

  • Honeoye Frackabouts

  • Milford Doers

  • Milford NY (Otsego County)

  • NYRAD (New York Residents Against Drilling)

  • NYH2O

  • New York Grassroots Action to Save Our State (NYGRASS)

  • Otsego Neighbors

  • Owego RAFT (Residents Against Fracking Tioga)

  • People for a Healthy Environment, Inc., (Chemung County)

  • Plymouth Friends of Clean Water
  • Residents of Crumhorn, Maryland NY (Otsego County)

  • R-CAUSE (Rochesterians concerned About Unsafe Shale-gas Extraction)

  • SAVE S-VE (Spencer-Van Etten)

  • Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter

  • Sierra Club Susquehanna Group

  • Sustainable Sidney, Sidney NY

  • ShaleShock Action Alliance

  • Skaneateles Citizens Committee on Hydrofracking

  • Sullivan Area Citizens for Responsible Energy Development (SACRED)

  • ROUSE (Residents Opposed to Unsafe Energy, Tompkins County)

  • Shaleshock CNY

  • VeRSE (Vestal Residents for Safe Energy)


New data is coming in since this letter was first drafted.

No comments: