Sunday, October 7, 2012


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Today, the Press and Sun Bulletin repeats the COMPLETELY BOGUS Siena Poll numbers that the size of the resistance movement "remains at 40%". Please check the PSB / Pressconnects articles online,  then consider sending a similar letter as this  in your own words.

Contact info (email or phone) is here:

This letter is online here:

Here is my letter:

To: Calvin Stoval, Jeff Platsky, Steve Reilly, Jon Campbell, GANNETT / Press+Sun Bulletin
From: BH
Re: recent news reporting on fracking

First, thank you for responding to the call,
and printing the information about the
many drilling operations going on
upstream of Binghamton.

I hope this story is followed up upon,
because this urgent matter
has caught a lot of NYers by surprise.

Now, a new request:
In today's online Pressconnects, you published
an AP article (no author attribution)

which seems based on this one from Jon Campbell:

First, we note you removed the comment from
Citizens Campaign for the Environment

which said environmentalists have
"cautiously applauded the move to further review health impacts",
and added a quote from Catskill Mountainkeeper which tends to say the same thing.

You should first note that largest NY environmental organization
by membership
is New Yorkers Against Fracking,
which represents a broad coalition of over 100 grassroots groups
across the state, representing at least 10,000 NY York voters:
The principle spokesperson for this organization is Dr. Sandra Steingraber.

Dr. Sandra Steingraber speaks, not just for New Yorkers Against Fracking
but also for the majority of NYers who are actively working to haltthis inherently dangerous and toxic industry from coming to NY.

What Governor Andrew Cuomo has proposed is a review of
EXISTING documents
, largely written by industry sources.

What we are asking for, DEMANDING, is a
comprehensive Health Impact Assessment (HIA)

performed by an independent non-industry-funded source.

(An HIA is the gold standard of scientific health impact statements)

The Governor has repeatedly said he will "trust the science",
so we are confident he will not shy away from this critical study,
since as of now, the science of a comprehensive HIA
does not yet exist

Under NO CIRCUMSTANCE should the state proceed with issuing permits
until such a comprehensive HIA is made.

Only thousands of anecdotal cases of water contamination,
air pollution, and human and animal health impacts presently exist,

  • NEW REPORTS of illegal dumping of fracking fluids and
    drill cuttings in NY streams, roads, fields, and landfills.
  • NEW REPORTS of illegal water taking in NY
    (fleets of water trucks observed along 81 between
    Binghamton and Syracuse)
  • NEW REPORTS of likely water contamination
    in NY from PA drilling operations

So before you go mischaracterizing how environmentals are cheering
the Governor, you should give Dr. Steingraber some column-inches
to report the reality:

Here is our position paper on the matter:

Next, we note that you have added a section
repeating the BOGUS Siena Poll numbers
of 40% opposition to drilling.

(the truth is more like 80%!)

This makes it sound like the LARGEST ENVIRONMENTAL MOVEMENT
in modern history
are outnumbered
by the frackers and people who don't care.

``The detailed breakdown of responses to an Aug. 21 Siena College poll show
a steady trend of 4 in 10 New Yorkers opposed to hydrofracking
while 6 in 10 either support it, don't care, or haven't cared
enough to learn enough about it to form an opinion

This statement may correctly report the results of the Siena Poll,
however the Siena Poll DOES NOT REFLECT REALITY.

The TRUTH is there is a Super-Majority against fracking.
Here is the data:

1: Super-majorites oppose fracking as local towns are canvassed

2: Comments at the 11 hearings on the SGEIS were overall 81% against fracking.

3: Gannett reports DEC comments were 10:1 against fracking.

4: In ONE YEAR, local bans are up 400%, moratoria up 900%!

5: APPEAL TO REASON: Why would you be FOR something
   which provides you no benefit and only risks to your life and well being?

Again, the data is here, sources cited:

A super majority of the registered voters in NY
would be approximately 3 Million registered voters in NY
of the ~4M total.

This is the likely size of the opposition to fracking in NY.

I have noticed the commercial, for-profit media
has a real tendency to do PR work for the Business Councils and Chambers,
(which are controlled by Industry and pro-fracking).

I have observed this with my own eyes.

This is clearly a systemic problem which results from your
funding model (advertisements).

This is unfortunate, yet understandable.

When public safety is at risk,
the repeating of industrial propaganda
is an irresponsible breech of the public trust,
and works counter to the public interest,
and your readership and advertisers.

Gannett has received a state charter and tax abatements
in order to proved a legitimate and necessary function of society,
to the report the truth.

As the only (monopoly) newspaper
in town, you have a CONSTITUTIONAL DUTY to report the truth.

Journalists are supposed to act as the Fourth Estate, to keep
the centers of power in check, not become their servants.

Please be assured that we will call you out when
you print serious errors like this one.

We will not accept your
cutting our actual numbers (80%) in half (40%).

I would very much request that you print a retraction,
and use the REAL DATA about the ban movement:
IN ONE YEAR, Bans up 400%, Moratoria up 800%!

One Year Growth in NY Municipal Bans & Moratoria
July-2011 to 2012

That is a FACT!

Or give me 600 words for a guest editorial to report this.
(Second request, first was on 7/28)

The statement that our numbers are
"a steady trend of 4 in 10
is demonstrably false.

I sincerely hope you correct both of these serious errors and omissions,

1: The Governor's review of industry health impact data
   is NOT supported by New Yorkers Against Fracking
   and is NOT the same as a comprehensive HIA,

   which is what we are demanding, and

2: a) Retract the bogus 40% Siena poll number, and
b) print the truth that
   i) there is a SUPER-MAJORITY against fracking,
   ii) our numbers have quadrupled in the last year.
The statements that the size of the anti-fracking movement
have "barely budged", "remains at 44%", "steady trend", etc.
or that "most people are pro-fracking or don't care"
are DEMONSTRABLY FALSE statements.

Please obey your sacred duty to print the accurate truth,
or we will be filing a complaint with the State Attorney General to
review your charter to operate a business here.

Thanks for your attention to this matter
and for being responsive to prior requests,

Best Regards,
William Huston

May you, and all beings
be happy and free from suffering :)
-- ancient Buddhist Prayer (Metta)

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