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Fracking Protest Tomorrow

Clean drinking water is a life-sustaining resource and it is in danger in New York State.

Efforts to retrieve natural gas through a pressurized injection process that forces water, sand, and dangerous chemicals into the earth (hydro-fracturing) may contaminate the state’s water supply for generations to come.

Hydro-fracturing, often called fracking, is assumed to release chemicals such as benzene, methane gas, arsenic and others into groundwater.

“Water has caught fire in other states where fracking occurred,” says Buffalonian and anti-fracking demonstration leader Rita Yelda.  “We don’t want that kind of contamination and we don’t want people getting sick.”

Yelda and concerned citizens across the state have organized a unified demonstration to take place tomorrow, June 15, in front of local Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) offices throughout NY.

“The demonstrations are to get people to realize that we are here and we support these bills [Englebright/Addabbo] so when it gets to Paterson he realizes this is important to us,” Yelda said.  “We want the people upstairs to realize how relevant this grassroots movement is.  This is the people organizing this and it is happening all over New York State tomorrow.”

The bills establish “a moratorium upon the conducting of hydraulic fracturing in the state” until 120 days after the completion of a report by the federal Environmental Protection Agency  on “the effects of hydraulic fracturing on water quality and public health.”

Currently there are no federal regulations on fracking because of legislation passed by Congress in 2005.  These bills could change that, but people have to act fast because new drilling permits are set for issuance in August of this year.

If you are interested in joining the Buffalo demonstration be at 270 Michigan Ave in front of the DEC tomorrow at noon.  Yelda expects the demonstration to last for around one hour.

For more information on fracking or how you can help, visit

stephanie berberick

  • Mich

    Stephanie wrote: “Hydro-fracturing, often called fracking, is assumed to release chemicals such as benzene, methane gas, arsenic and others into groundwater.”

    It is true that some people leap to that conclusion and do make that assumption without any evidence. It is also true that if technology fails, stuff happens. It is far safer to drill one of these wells than to have tank cars of chlorine gas on your RR tracks. There is zero evidence that the chemicals get into groundwater as a matter of routine. Yes, out of thousands of frack jobs there has been one case where the lining of the drill bore failed and caused some localized problems. One case out of thousands is no different than the safety record for most industrial processes.

    So before you make assumptions about what actually happens, how about looking at the evidence first, and including that evidence in your writing and speech making?


  • David

    What an industry shill (the above commentator). There are widespread, documented issues with drilling that any sensible person can learn about.

  • GreenGenes

    Cecilie Lawrence, who has been outspoken against hydrfracking, gave this excellent speech at the Ithaca Commons on Saturday.
    She’s also announced that she’s running for US Senate as the Green Party candidate and wants to ban hydrofracking nationally.

  • Melissa

    Mich, I think you need to realize that this blog was written to inform people of the issue and the action. It is a blog and if you read the others they really are not long at all. What I am trying to say is that if the author did write “assumed” at least she wrote that and did not make a statement as if it were fact. I also believe that David is right, because if you look into this issue you can see a lot of instances where the outcome of fracking was quite terrifying. I think you owe it to yourself to broaden your mind and look this information up more. Even if you still have the same opinion you do now at least you can try to understand the other side.

  • Check out what’s been happening in Pennsylvania, particularly Dimock in Susquehanna County. This article is probably the best summary of the issues:

  • thirdwhirlledbuffalo

    Rita Yelda’s advocacy is timely. American Rivers has designated the Upper Delaware River – America’s Most Endangered River. They state: “The Upper Delaware River, the drinking water source for 17 Million people across New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania is at risk from shale fracking for natural gas, a process that poisons groundwater and creates toxic pollution”. At the same time, we may count ourselves fortunate for the visionary leadership of our County Executive, who in keeping with his mantra of “running government like a business” has appointed “Jeffrey F. Hart as Deputy County Executive effective immediately. Hart is currently an Assistant Vice President at National Fuel and is being loaned to Erie County to serve as Deputy County Executive. Hart has been with National Fuel since1984 and will bring a wealth of private sector managerial experience to his new post. He will oversee several County departments including Social Services, Health and Public Works.” Poor folks require top-flight overseers and of course the energy industry can be trusted to follow environmentally conscious practices that will deliver gobs of fuel while maintaining record high profit margins for the shareholders – what’s not to like? He works for free [donates his salary to Boss Collins’ charity] and what harm can he do? Now this little matter of alleged contamination is most likely leftist media hyperbole designed to shift the public’s interest to matters they best leave to the people with the knowledge and expertise to know what’s best. There is absolutely no reason to separate Big Business from government [or Church either] when a blind man can see the win-win that results from the public-private collaboration. Pass the biscuits, please.

  • Mich is quite correct. None of your replies cites any specific incidents either, except for the mention of Dimock where the problem was natural methane migration, not hydraulic fracturing. You all have been listening to yourselves for too long.
    contrast that to the many landfills where we & NYC dump waste directly one the surface not one mile below!
    LONG BEFORE there was any feasible way to tap the Marcellus!
    Some have lived on family farms for generations.
    We are the stewards of the land that others drive by to enjoy on a Sunday afternoon.
    We paid for it, we pay the taxes on it, we raise our kids and grandkids on the land.
    Most of the younger generations do leave, not by choice, but because of the lack of opportunity here.
    Since July 23rd 2008 when the governor asked DEC to review its environmental regulations as pertaining to shale development, we landowners have used our time wisely.
    We have formed coalitions and banded together groups of coalitions.
    The Joint Landowners collectively own 800,000 acres, more than 17000 households.
    We have done the due diligence right alongside the DEC. Gas company leases are 2-3 pages, all in their favor.
    Our leases are now 38-50 pages long, full of every conceivable protection.
    We are aware that laws can be overturned and regulations come and go,
    but the lease is the legal instrument and it rules! Therefore coalitions, united, have developed the best leases.
    Leasing to large land owner groups will not resume, however, until the regulatory climate is seen as stable by the gas companies. They can, will and have based their operations out of PA., meanwhile
    hard-pressed landowners are forced to ‘go it alone’ without the power of the group negotiated lease.
    They must sign boilerplate company leases that are not in the landowners best interest,
    not in the communities’ best interest and not in the state’s best interest.
    When Mr. Grannis released the Draft SGEIS 9/30/09 we landowners were the first to read it.
    We had a few constructive criticisms.
    The document must be considered in combination with the foundation it is built upon, the ALREADY existing GEIS.
    Together they represent the strictest regulation of the gas industry on the face of the planet.
    Attention has been turned recently to the catastrophic oil leak in the gulf, and disturbing accidents at gas wells closer to home. These accidents have been touted as proof that we need a moratorium, we need more time to study,
    we need to delay, then delay again… to be 100% sure…
    after all the gas isn’t going anywhere!
    That line of reasoning is just plain wrongheaded!
    You CANNOT LEGISLATE the elimination of HUMAN ERROR!
    The MOST you will EVER be able to do, as the lengthiest, most convoluted studies would NECESSARILY conclude,
    IS TO OVERSEE the regulations that the best and the brightest of your own DEC scientists have found to be required!
    ALLOW your very own experts to use their knowledge and expertise and SUPPORT them,
    with the revenues we all know gas development will bring.
    A vote for delay IS a vote AGAINST the character of the upstate we all know and love.
    The land and minerals will be owned by rapacious speculators and oil companies themselves.
    No more elderly farm neighbors to bake for the bake sale or volunteer for the fire department.
    The very fabric of our small communities is being torn apart as we speak.
    Delay brings a self-fulfilling prophesy of a vast industrial wasteland, upstream from you!

  • rfscala

    Virtuallyme has hit the nail on the head.
    If upstate is ruined, it will be at the hands of you people who protest gas.
    YOU will cause the extinction of farms and rural life, not us. Those farms will become trailer parks, developments, and shopping centers instead when the folks who now own them are thrown into the streets because of financial ruin.
    THINK about the choices you are forcing people into with your moratoriums.

  • Arty

    Virtuallyme is a perfect example of pro-drill ignorance.
    They try to twist the truth and adapt their claims as real science reveals the truth.

    PA DEP considers ruining of water wells (methane migration) in Dimock PA as a direct cause of drilling.
    EPA will release study next month on Pavillion, Wyoming water wells contaminated.
    The “no evidence” era is coming to an end. Let’s wait for the full EPA report.

  • typical NIMBY response Arty, there is evidence – next month!
    Try using a little perspective Arty. Risks exist in any industry. Risks of gas development have been blown out of proportion. Obama, Pelosi while in Ithaca for her commencement speech at Cornell, Robert Kennedy Jr all support clean, local, homegrown natural gas as the bridge to our energy future. Anyone against this development or for more delay is guilty of supporting dirty coal, and foreign & off shore oil. How do you heat your home? How do you get to work? HYPOCRITES!

  • Arty

    Typical pro-drill ignorance, Part 2.
    Notice Virtuallyme’s avoidance of Dimock, PA well contamination.
    (Fourteen water wells no longer usable. Three square mile area affected.
    Lawsuits filed.)
    When the EPA Wyoming report comes out, he won’t be happy.

  • BartMan


    Why don’t you and your Followers produce some proof to your claims?…The reason is…YOU DON’T HAVE IT!
    virtuallyme has given you FACTS…If you happen to dispute these FACTS…Then do it with supported material…NOT NIMBY TALKING POINTS!
    Will you be convinced when the EPA Report is complete..or will you just continue with these false claims?
    You guys will never be satisfied…You will always need something to protest about!

  • Arty



    How long will you continue to ignore what happened to the families of Dimock? Will you be able to accept EPA findings???? What are you afraid of?
    Let science be our guide, not “beliefs” and economic fear mongering.

  • Arty
  • Arty
  • sally griffin

    Virtually, I live in Pa. just across the New York line on Lake Erie. I grew up in “shitsville” as my father affectionately termed it. I loved the trees, fields and wildlife of Chautauqua co. The attack on this bucolic way of life is real and the war front is in dual directions. Wind energy companies want wind farms (hardly farms) with huge turbines that placed in critical areas will kill thousands of migrating birds, descimate land and forests and cause health issues for those who live close by. Combined with this race for the golden ring of energy production are the new drillers using fracking in the marcellus shale. Now I have the pleasure of meeting surveyors who inform those of us living on a private road on the bank of Lake Erie that a well is going to be drilled across the road from us. The area is near a protected creek and vital watershed area. Pennsylvania is just now voting to enact legislation to regulate drilling. At least New York State is way ahead with this moratorium.
    There is substantial proof that both of these energy developments need oversite and input from the DEA, DEP, DCNR. Checks and balances keep disasters from ocurring to people, land and wildlife. Proof abounds as to the harm created by these fraking methodfs of drilling. Check the web and movie Gasland

  • Andrea

    The documentary shown tonight on HBO, “Gasland,” seems to provide evidence that the unregulated process by which natural gas is extracted–including shale fracking, condensation tanks, and dumping–pollutes air, land, groundwater, creeks, rivers. People who depend on wells for their water have lost the ability to use them. Gas drilling is spreading like wildfire, and crucial to its spread was the exemption from adherence to the various clean air and water acts pushed through Congress by then-VP Cheney. Halliburton is a BIG player in the gas drilling business. If you did not see “Gasland” but you do subscribe to HBO, it can be seen “on demand.” Here is a trailer for the documentary: