Schumer:…not enough to protect many communities along the rail lines…many places in upstate NY…

…..These steps are not enough to protect many communities along the rail lines, Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, said this week. This includes many places in upstate New York, like Buffalo, Rochester, Utica, Syracuse and Albany, that have seen higher rail traffic. He compared the industry’s use of outdated tank cars to “a ticking time bomb” and urged federal regulators to quickly retire these older cars, known as DOT-111s, in favor of models built after 2011 that have better protections.

More at NY Times

Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson Cries NIMBY and Sues the Frackers

Rex Tillerson is the chairman, president, and CEO of Exxon Mobil Corporation. Under Tillerson’s leadership Exxon acquired XTO Energy, making Exxon the biggest natural gas producer in the U.S.

Go ahead, look it up.  I’ll wait.  And here is some “About” text from the XTO web site you can confirm:

XTO Energy Inc. was founded in 1986 in Fort Worth, Texas.

Safely and responsibly extracting natural gas from U.S. shale and other tight formations is our principal business. We also produce crude oil and natural gas liquids in the United States.

We’re the nation’s largest holder of natural gas reserves, and we have one of the highest drilling success rates in the industry.

We operate throughout the United States, from the Great Plains to Appalachia. You’ll find us in places such as Montana and Pennsylvania, Utah and Louisiana, and Texas and Ohio. We own interests in approximately 40,000 producing oil and natural gas wells across the country.

XTO Energy Inc. and Exxon Mobil Corporation merged in 2010.

In March 2013, Rex and his wife, in conjunction with five other well-to-do neighboring couples from Bartonville, Texas, filed a lawsuit.  According to petition No. 2012-30982-211 filed in the district court of Denton County, Texas, Rex and Renda live on their Bartonville ranch, named Bar RR Ranches, LLC, which has a fair market value in excess of $5 million.

Whom are they suing?  The defendants are the “BARTONVILLE WATER SUPPLY CORPORATION; ITS GENERAL MANAGER AND ITS BOARD OF DIRECTORS.”

Why? The plaintiffs wish to enjoin the water company from building a 750,000 gallon water tower that “will loom over the Plaintiffs properties at a height of 160 feet – the equivalent of a 16 story building.” And furthermore, the plaintiffs claim the water company intends to “sell water to oil and gas explorers for fracing shale formations leading to traffic with heavy trucks on FM 407, creating a noise nuisance and traffic hazards.”

We certainly are sympathetic to the Tillersons’ and their neighbors’ fears, honest American citizens, Texans moreover, with ordinary sensibilities wishing to simply live their lives in peace, quite, and good health in their own homes/ranches. Or as they most eloquently put it: Continue reading

Film: Drill Baby Drill

Drill Baby Drill

Drill Baby Drill Film coming to Corning and Elmira

The documentary Drill, Baby, Drill, which was filmed in Poland and Pennsylvania, tells the story of Polish farmers who band together to protect their land when unconventional shale gas drilling (fracking) threatens.  It also looks at the effects of ongoing drilling on farmers and their communities in Pennsylvania.

The film has been aired on French and German television Continue reading

Water-Borne Protest on Seneca Lake

flotilla

 

The Flotilla is a water borne protest on Seneca Lake against the proposed Inergy LPG Facility, and fracking. All vessels are welcome (sail, paddle, power). We are pro-clean water and a healthy environment, so join us and take a stand from the seat of your boat! Or just come to the picnic to follow (at about 2pm) and show your support. We are looking for volunteers to get the word out and help form a safety team. Logistical info: marina asks $4 to launch, and please bring/wear a pfd. Contact Pete at peteangie5342@yahoo.com, or facebook him, if you want to volunteer or just share that you’ll attend. Hope to see you there!

Why I am in Jail on Earth Day

LETTER FROM CHEMUNG COUNTY JAIL, PART 2
by SANDRA STEINGRABBER, April 19, 2013:
“Why I am in Jail on Earth Day”
This morning–I have no idea what time this morning, as there are no
clocks in jail, and the fluorescent lights are on all night long–I heard the familiar
chirping of English sparrows and the liquid notes of a cardinal. And there
seemed to be another bird too–one who sane burbling tune. Not a robin–wren?
The buzzing, banging, clanking of jail and the growled announcements of
guards on their two-way radios–which also go on all night–drowned it out. But
the world, I knew, was out there somewhere.
The best way to deal with jail is to exude patience, and wrap it around a
core of resolve and surrender. Continue reading

Common Criminal Michael

Note: Many of us know Michael Dineen the Ovid resident and farm owner who taught us all how to create and carry out successful frack ban petition drives in our towns.  One of “The Seneca Twelve”, he has been sentenced to jail for pleading guilty and refusing to pay the $375 trespassing fine, after their arrest at a protest in Reading of Inergy’s potential liquid petroleum and natural gas storage facility on the banks of Seneca Lake.

Just talked to Michael. This is now Day 2 of them NOT filling his meds (anti-depressants) and that is exactly what I had feared. So I called the Jail Administrator and he is not at work today or tomorrow. I begged the woman at the desk to please do something about this, to help him stay calm.

I visited with him for an hour last night. He was in good spirits but very cold at night and disappointed that he will be in lock-down until Tuesday at the earliest, meaning they won’t let him have anything to write or read. Continue reading

LETTER FROM CHEMUNG COUNTY JAIL

LETTER FROM CHEMUNG COUNTY JAIL, PART 1
by SANDRA STEINGRABBER,
April 18, 2013:

When Henry David Thoreau spend a night in jail for civil disobedience–defining the term in the process–he was served chocolate and brown bread for breakfast. The tray that was slid under my bars at 5:00 am. this morning contained nothing as tasty. In fact, I’d be hard pressed to say what the ingredients were. Packets of instant hot coca (artificial) are available from the commissary for a price–along with ramen noodles, decaf coffee, Jolly Rogers, shampoo, pencils, envelopes and paper. There is no window in my cell. The lights are on all night. The television is on all day. Through the bars that make up the fourth wall of my new living quarters, I have a view of the catwalk, which is patrolled by guards, and then another wall of bars, and beyond those bars is a window made up of small panes of opaque glass. At about seven o’clock, one of the inmates asked for fresh air, and the guard, whom everyone calls Murphy’s Law, cranked open the grid of panes, just a little. Now, I can stand at my own bars, and move my head in different directions–jumping up and down works the best–and see through the scrims of multiple layers of bars– a glimpse of the outside world. There are row houses with windows and no bars–which fact suddenly seems miraculous–and I thought I saw a bird fly by. No trees through; only slinky–like concertina wire. Somewhere, beyond the shouting of the television, there are church bells. Thoreau said, about his own experience with incarceration, that the confinement of his physical self was inconsequential; the freedom was a state of mind. Or something like that. I have neither the book, nor Google, to help me fact–check. But I am very aware of my physical self, and sense that my biological life in jail is part of my message. Even though I am entirely cut off from everything, I know and love my children and my husband, the April return of birdsong and wildflowers and pollination and photosynthesis.  I believe this is the place to speak about fossil fuel extraction in general and fracking infrastructure in specific.

I now inhabit an ugly, miserable, loud and ungraceful world. There are no flowers; no local, delicious food; no tranquil landscapes; and not even coffee or tea. If we do not want New York to become a prison of wellheads, pipelines and compressor stations; if we do not want the violence of climate change instability and mass species extinction; if we do not want to leave our children a diminished world bereft of frog song, bees, coral reefs, sea ice; then coming to a place as far removed from the rhythms of the natural world as a jail cell is not an inappropriate place to say so.

Reading judge sentences three Inergy protesters to jail

http://www.observer-review.com/reading-judge-jails-three-inergy-protesters-cms-3711

Reading judge sentences three Inergy protesters to jail

READING—Three Inergy protesters were each sentenced to 15 days in county jail by the Reading town judge, Wednesday, April 17, for not paying trespassing fines.
A total of 12 people were charged with trespassing,Monday, March 18, following a protest in Reading of Inergy’s plans to build a liquid petroleum and natural gas storage facility.  The April 17 court appearance was for Sandra Steingraber, Trumansburg resident and biologist; Melissa Chipman, Hector resident and business owner; and Michael Dineen, Ovid resident and farm owner.
Each pleaded guilty and refused to pay the $375 tresspassing fines.  Five of the other protesters have already appeared in court and paid the $375 fines with financial support from community members.
Prior to the April 17 court date, Gas Free Seneca and Inergy protesters held a rally at the Seneca Harbor Park in Watkins Glen.  In a prepared statement, Steingraber said Inergy’s plans threaten the Finger Lakes’ environment and community.  She added trespassing was an act of civil disobedience and “I am willing to go to jail.”
Another three protesters will appear in Reading court, Wednesday, May 1.

 

 

Gas Industry Report Calls Anti-Fracking Movement a “Highly Effective Campaign”

Gas Industry Report Calls Anti-Fracking Movement a “Highly Effective Campaign”

A report intended to help the oil and gas industry squash the anti-fracking movement turns out to be full of useful information—and admits that much of what activists are saying is true.
posted Mar 26, 2013

New York anti-fracking rally

Opponents of hydraulic fracturing rally in New York City. Photo by Adam Welz for CREDO Action.

Communities working to stop a controversial gas drilling process are getting what sounds like encouragement from an unlikely source: a report prepared for the oil and gas industry on the risks posed by those communities themselves. Even more bizarre than a risk assessment about grassroots activists is one that basically admits the activists are right. Continue reading