One day the people who live in a small village located in far eastern Poland near the Ukrainian border, an ecologically pristine agricultural area called the lungs of Poland discover that Chevron, the world’s fourth largest energy corporation, plans to build a shale gas well in their village..
Utica native and filmmaker Lech Kowalski was there to film the first ever farmer rebellion against Chevron.
Please join us for,
The American premiere of Lech Kowalski’s new documentary film, “Drill Baby Drill.” On Saturday March 16, 4 PM at The Uptown Theater, Utica, NY.
Mr. Kowalski, a residing in Paris, France will be present for the screening and for the discussion and question and answer period that will follow the 84 minute film.
Mr. Kowalski has won wide renown over his 35-plus years as an independent filmmaker whose large body of work has won awards and been the subject of retrospectives at several major international film festivals.
“Drill Baby Drill” was shown recently in the French Senate, on French and German television (earning high ratings) and will be shown to the European Parliament in April, prior to its theatrical release.
The film, made in Poland and in Pennsylvania, tells the story of a small group of Polish farmers who band together to protect their land from shale gas extraction (hydrofracking). It examines the effects that ongoing drilling is having on farmers and their communities in PA. Its subject matter should be of strong, immediate interest to citizens of New York where energy companies are leasing land with similar plans. The film raises important questions about corporate power and its effect on
democracy and about the tensions between our need for new energy sources and the need to protect our land and water. The film’s power derives in part from its refusal to provide easy answers to the questions it raises.
Admission is $5. Proceeds from this event will go to support The Uptown, The Other Side and Hydro Relief Web. For more information call The Other Side at 315 507-2093 or email us at email@example.com
The words NOT SO FAST seem to be operative in my life these days.
They sprang to mind last week when my son announced, “Mom, I’ll do homework later; I’m going outside to shoot arrows.”
They sprang to mind last November when the New York Department of Conservation released draft regulations for fracking in advance of the science on which those regulations were to be based. (The January 10 delivery to the DEC of 204,000 public comments successfully underscored the problem with that plan.)
And they were the words inside the thought bubble above my head when I read that Missouri-based Inergy Midstream has now asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to fast-track its application to expand natural gas storage along the west bank of Seneca Lake in Schuyler County—on the grounds that it will have virtually “no impact on landowners or the environment and therefore there will be no public opposition.”
So sure is Inergy that its latest plans for the massive industrialization of our Finger Lakes home will be approved that new construction equipment is already arriving on site.
Here’s where we come in. I’m inviting you to join me, and our friends at Gas Free Seneca, in a mighty demonstration of public opposition. Let the world be our witness.
At 5 pm on Monday, March 18, come to a rally at the Watkins Glen Gorge. From the gorge we’ll be walking down to Seneca Lake—the source of drinking water for 100,000 people and a source of imperative beauty to us all. Our unifying message to DEC, FERC, and all our elected representatives is this: defend our home and keep it safe or we will defend it ourselves.
Here is why we need to act: Inergy’s plan is to repurpose the old, abandoned salt caverns on the west bank of Seneca Lake for the storage of millions of barrels of propane, butane, and methane from the fracking fields of Pennsylvania. Only these gases won’t be stored in barrels. The containers will be the caverns themselves. And they will be transported through our communities by rail and truck, filling our rural, scenic byways and rickety train trestles with rolling tankers full of explosive materials.
To do this, Inergy is siphoning out the brine inside the caverns and replacing it with the liquefied petroleum gasses (LPG). This requires brine pits and powerful formaldehyde-emitting compressor stations.
Already in possession of the old U.S. Salt Company property, Inergy has now purchased the nearby NYSEG storage facility next door, calling it “Arlington gas storage,” as though it were an entirely separate entity from its other LPG storage plans.
Recently released documents reveal strike-slip faults in the geological formations of the area and document the unsuitability of salt caverns for the storage of toxic, explosive gases. Indeed, of the fourteen catastrophic failures at gas storage facilities since 1972, every single one of them has involved a salt cavern.
Happily, we are not alone in our belief that the lovely shores and vineyards of our home should not serve as the fracking depot and transportation hub for the entire Northeast. Senator Michael Nozzolio—representative of Seneca and Ontario counties—wrote a recent letter to DEC Commissioner Joe Martens saying that Seneca Lake is not an appropriate site for this facility. The Seneca County Environmental Affairs Committee has followed suit.
Now it’s our turn. The theme of our rally is the abundant, sustainable bounty of the Finger Lakes that is the foundation for both our health and wealth. Yvonne Taylor of Gas-Free Seneca asks that we bring with us an object that represents that bounty for each of us—because nothing says, “I refuse to stand idly by while an out-of-state company turns the Finger Lakes into a gas colony” like a brick of locally made cheese waved in the air. Or a pair of swimming goggles. Or a jug of maple syrup. Or a fishing pole.
I myself will be waving aloft the birth certificate of my son, Elijah—shooter of arrows and shirker of homework, born August 2001 in Montour Falls, and the best thing I ever brought home from the shores of Seneca Lake.
If you can’t get there by 5 pm, catch up with us along the route. Just come. Just show up. Just be part of the most powerful social movement to sweep over the Finger Lakes of New York since abolition and women’s rights.
No public opposition to the transportation and storage of explosive, toxic vapors beneath and beside our beloved lake? Not so fast.
to the unfractured future,
Sandra Steingraber, founder New Yorkers Against Fracking
Shaleshock Strategy Meeting:
Tuesday, January 15th 6:00 – 8:00 pm
Quaker Meeting House
120 3rd Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
“Parking & Entrance is on Madison Street, look for signs”
Over the past several years, the anti-fracking movement in NY has worked hard. We have written letters, researched, attended hearings, marched, protested, written songs and gone door to door. Our movement has reached out, educated, brought the issue of fracking to the national discourse and we have held the fossil fuel industry at bay for years with our collective effort. As the governor’s decision looms ahead, is the playing field changing? How resilient and adaptable are we in our analyses, strategy, and tactics? How can we best tap our collective strengths and creativity? How do we involve people meaningfully when our political context is in flux?
You are invited to explore these questions with other passionate and committed people on Tuesday, January 15th, 6:00 – 8:00 pm at the Quaker Meeting House, 120 3rd Street. We will use an innovative facilitation method known as World Cafe to explore these issues as a group. The discussion will also serve as a training in the facilitation of the world cafe method which we have found to be a powerful method for tapping group creativity. Typically used in corporate settings, it was appropriated into activist settings by the wildly successful Transition Town movement in the UK. We feel that the conversation as well as the event format both have a lot to offer our local movement.
Last year, New Yorkers sent a record-breaking 60,000 comments to the DEC that sent the fatally flawed sGEIS back to the drawing board. It’s time for us to do it again!
We’re asking all concerned New Yorkers to join us in submitting “a comment a day” for every day of the comment period. With a thousand participants working together we can generate 30,000 comments in 30 days! Visit http://www.thirtydaysoffrackingregs.com/
Marcellus Shale Rock: Shaleshock.org to Release Fracking Protest Song by Liquid Me Saturday
Campaign with Shaleshock Alliance Aims to Raise Awareness About Hydraulic Fracturing Dangers, Lies, Facts
ITHACA, NY – The environmentalist group Shaleshock Action Alliance will release a new, anti- fracking anthem, by Marcellus-Shale-dwelling, punk rock band, Liquid Me, this Saturday, Dec 15, on its website: www.shaleshock.org. “Wrong,” will be released with accompanying video.
The single “Wrong” will be available as a free download via shaleshock.org, in an effort to help inform about dangers inherent to current “fracking” gas extraction methods, which may soon be starting up in New York State.
From the Liquid Me band official statement on facebook: “… we hope to help get more people informed about fracking: shaleshock.org is a comprehensive, timely resource on hydraulic fracturing (New York and beyond).”
“We also hope that this campaign will help generate donations for Shaleshock Action Alliance,” the Liquid Me statement continues. “They are a great organization, dedicated to keeping us informed, and to fighting this essential fight. They are non-profit, and the fight costs money. Please donate to them.”
The band has licensed its unreleased anti-fracking song, “Wrong,” to the Shaleshock Action Alliance environmental group, in an effort to help the organization raise the awareness, and funding, needed to fight against hydraulic fracturing in New York. Donations to the all-volunteer Shaleshock Action Alliance organization will be utilized to help protect upstate New York from exploitative drilling in the Marcellus Shale.
“We oppose the extractive, profit-driven gas industry, and their boom-and-bust model,” Shaleshock Organizer, Ryan Clover-Owens, explained. “Our solutions are all local, involving participation, and community power.”
Shaleshock Action Alliance is a member of the Americans Against Fracking national coalition, which includes Josh Fox, Natalie Merchant, Mark Ruffalo, and Sandra Steingraber as members of its Advisory Board.
“We work to connect different groups and people,” continued Clover-Owens. “This project with Liquid Me helps us connect lots of new people, in a new way.”
“Wrong” was produced by Jeff Da Bella (Mansion Audio Recording Studios, Johnson City, NY), recorded by Arthur Scott Verner (DMS Studio, Clarksville, NY), and mastered at Music House Mastering, NYC.
“We are increasingly concerned about fracking in upstate New York,” explained Liquid Me producer, Jeff Da Bella. “We’re very concerned that people don’t get how dangerous fracking is.”
Da Bella explained that the fracking concern is one that hits home for him, and for the band, in a very immediate way. “(Liquid Me) could throw a rock and hit the proposed Constitution Pipeline from their rehearsal space in Otego,” he said. “We all live in fracking-targeted areas, too, not far from the Pennsylvania boarder. We’ve all lived here forever. This is our home.”
“We’re convinced that current fracking methods are not safe, and we’re afraid that our representation does not care,” said Liquid Me singer/guitarist, Lotus. “We’re not interested in becoming anyone’s collateral damage.”
From the Liquid Me official statement on facebook:
“We (New Yorkers) are being lied to and manipulated.
We know that fracking is not safe.
At face value, fracking is insane. It becomes more horrifying the more you learn.
And still, our representation argues for fracking in New York, and works to make the issue confusing, and socially polarizing.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: we are your constituency, and you are working to mortgage our health, our liberty, and our best interests. We will never forget this. You begged for our trust.
We live on the Marcellus Shale.
We are paying attention.”
With the DEC’s release of the proposed regulations for fracking, we need to come together and formulate a plan for responding during the comment period (Dec 12 – Jan 11), and for how we want to go forward as a movement. Frack Action has been holding well attended meetings at the library, and we would like to get Shaleshock members involved in this process. There is a rally planned in Albany during the governor’s State of the State address on Wed January 9th, so need to start organizing buses and car pooling, as well as funding for participants to get to Albany. We also need to apply pressure to extend the comment period, and to include a comprehensive health impact study in the scope BEFORE they finalize the regulations.
With that in mind, we have scheduled a meeting for this Wednesday, Dec 12th from 6-8pm at the Tompkins County Worker’s Center space above Autumn Leaves on The Commons, Ithaca, NY. We’d love to have representatives from each group in this area attend, and get the word out to their members. So please pass this announcement along to other email lists.
You are cordially invited to the first annual Anti-Frack Action Camp.
October 13-15th, 2012
Beginning Saturday October 12th at noon with a picnic lunch, Finger Lakes Earth First! is hosting a weekend camp out against fracking. The purpose is to build regional capacity for Direct Action* while celebrating our connection with this land and the beautiful Fall season. There will be delicious food and fire circles, tree-climbing and workshops, sleeping under stars and in tents, skill shares & trainings (bring a workshop or discussion topic), and swimming for the daring!
This is a family friendly event – Our camp has nearby parking and a reasonably accessible trail. Please do not hesitate to contact us with questions or requests.
*We believe we have a responsibility and the ability to take Direct Action against fracking without relying exclusively on “representatives” be it politicians, activist leaders, or big time environmentalist organizations. Direct Action is really just that–direct action. Check out the camp to get involved and learn more.
Saturday, Oct 13
12:00 – 1:00pm – Picnic Lunch & Sign-in
1:00-2:00pm – Opening Circle
2:00-4:00pm – Workshop I
4:00-6:00pm – Workshop II (and/or Earth First! arts & crafts time?)
6:00pm – Dinner, followed by nighttime festivities
Sunday, Oct. 14:
9:00am – Breakfast
10:00am – Morning Circle
11:00am-1:00pm – Workshop I
2:00-4:00pm – Workshop II
4:00-6:00pm – Workshop III
6:00pm – Dinner