NY’s Albany Anti-Frack Protest – Made Possible by Natural Gas

Not only are the crazies marching in Maryland (see today’s story Maryland Anti-Fracking “Madness” Continues – Crazies on the March), they’re also about to descend on Albany, NY. MDN friend and occasional guest blogger Vic Furman, a retired IBMer and one of the leaders of the Joint Landowners Coalition of New York, provided the article below pointing out the hypocrisy of those who oppose shale drilling. Vic says that in nine days when anti-drilling protesters arrive in Albany (many from out of state), they will do so because natural gas and oil from shale drilling made it possible for them to be there.

Take time to read Vic’s post and consider the salient points he makes:

Vic FurmanVictor Furman
Upstate New York Landowner
Shale Gas Activist


Nine days from now hundreds of people, many of whom are paid activist from states other then New York, will grab their cell phones, their plastic protest signs made from natural gas, their lap tops and I-pads all made possible by natural gas or oil, will journey to Albany to protest the stuff.

These protestors will board buses filled with shale oil products extracted from deep shale beds using the hydraulic fracturing technology, which has an enviable safety record of having never polluted a US water supply. They will protest it and try to imply otherwise by slyly stretching the term “fracking” to include everything from drilling to gas distribution, but that stubborn fact remains.

The Fracking Hypocrisy of Hydraulic Fracturing Opponents

It is, nonetheless, horizontal drilling, combined with the hydraulic fracturing process, that for the first time in six decades has allowed the United States of America to produce more gas and oil here at home then we import. They will stand in the halls of Albany where speeches will be made and tall tales will be told of how hydraulic fracturing has polluted water wells wherever drilling has taken place, though it’s never actually happened anywhere in the US.

They will also flaunt a “List of The Harmed” that has been proven not only to be largely fictional, but was penned mostly by one person based on the idea of making such a list. A plastic water jug filled with brown water will be held up and you will be asked…Would You Drink This Water?  Problems abound with this protest. Here are just a few:

  1. No ground water aquifer in this country has ever been polluted by hydraulic fracturing. This is the testimony of former Environmental  Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson, recently confirmed by US Secretary of Energy Ernest Monitz. Drilling of a gas well, as opposed to hydraulic fracturing, just like drilling for anything else can result in methane migration issues, but it’s rare and hasn’t been a problem in New York, due to our long-standing triple-casing standard. Opponents of natural gas development love the word “fracking” because it sounds mysterious (all those supposed chemicals) and that’s why they abuse it and extend to anything and everything they can to build a false case, but those chemicals and that process have never polluted a water supply anywhere in the good old USA (check it out in New York’s SGEIS report).
  2. Going on six years now, this brown jug of water has made dozens and dozens of appearances in Albany. Despite repeated pleas to our Albany law makers to confiscate the jug and test the authenticity of the claim, no one has bothered to act and, so, the show goes on; the snake oil salesman is allowed to keep selling. Why have our legislators failed to test this jug that has held so many New York Landowners hostage so long? Why do our leaders let this go on and take the word of a man with a jug over the science in their own SGEIS report?
  3. The brown jug was made famous by Craig and Julie Saunter from Dimock, Pennsylvania, who begged the EPA to come test their private water well. They had exploited that brown jug, at the request of New York Residents Against Drilling (NYRAD), at town meetings all across New York and Pennsylvania, claiming hydraulic fracturing had filled their well with chemicals and multiple types of “weapons grade” uranium. When EPA tested their well and 60 others and found the wells had not been polluted by hydraulic fracturing, the infamous duo soon disappeared to New York (where they bought another property with a gas lease) and later to Tennessee.
  4. Before the Saunters’ case was demolished by the EPA, they settled and NYRAD tossed them overboard, Craig Stevens wrote on Julie’s Facebook page that he would carry the brown jug. Stevens, of course, is connected to a group of trial lawyers who early support his work drumming up public support for frivolous lawsuits. He’s also apparently signed on with Food & Water Watch, another hustler enterprise on the Park Foundation payroll.
  5. The evidence against hydraulic fracturing and natural gas development is a bunch of junk science. Paid professors from Cornell University, for example, of whom Howarth & Ingraffea are just the two most famous, have tried to imply natural gas is dirtier than coal but their work has been debunked by their own peers at Cornell as well as industry and university scientists who nearly unanimously panned their numbers as highly exaggerated.
  6. The Energy Information Administration says “U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions in early 2012 lowest since 1992,” due to natural gas development possible via horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing.
  7. New York State is encouraging the retrofitting of power plants in Upstate New York from coal to gas based generation. Ironically, one of these plant powers is located in the Planet Ithaca area, where outspoken anti-gas activist and New York legislator Barbara Lifton (D) has been silent on the issue because closing the plant would mean a huge job loss and tax base hit to Tompkins County. Howarth, Ingraffea and company haven’t had much to say either.
  8. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has said that, if the owners of New York’s Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant, were to seek a building permit today, it would be denied because of the proximity of the location to millions of people, further noting there is no viable evacuation plan in place should a disaster like the one they had in Japan were to happen. Perhaps this is why Governor Cuomo wants to shift to natural gas.
  9. The politicians from New York City are pushing the conversion of the City’s taxis and delivery trucks from diesel to CNG and the conversion of heating systems from oil to natural gas to combat the thousands of cases of reported asthma annually in the Big Apple. Industry has built and is building pipelines to move more Marcellus Shale gas to the City so as to convert apartment building to natural gas, improve air quality and save people’s health and lives. All this is possible now due to horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing.
  10. The biggest hypocrisy of this scheduled protest at the State of the State address on January 8 is this; if not for the activities of paid protestors and self-promoting celebrities such as Yoko Ono this issue might have been decided long ago. Yet, she and her equally non-talented son live in The Dakota apartment building, in the comfort of natural gas heat, as the building was converted recently to meet New York City environmental standards.

So it goes with the war over hydraulic fracturing. The battle is being won almost everywhere but New York and will eventually be won here as well but, in the meantime, we have to endure all this sound and fury until the facts prevail. Don’t look for them to prevail on January 8, though.

Want to know more? Want to share your own sources of information? Contact me at NYRAD-R, which, in contrast to the other NYRAD, supports safe drilling!

  • Frank Chernega

    As usual, Vic hit the nail on the head., What I fail to understand is why we landowners just sit back and take this abuse. Why aren’t we going en mass in buses to Albany on the 8th to make our voices heard and stand up for our rights. If we lose this battle it will be attributed to a terminal case of apathy on our part, not the lies and half truths of the other side which are exposed as lies on a regular basis in the media. There is huge money funding the other side…..they now want our upstate land just like they got the reservoirs to give NYC their water. This state is going to the dogs for the common man and landowner. Yoko Ono, Josh Fox, Mark Ruffalo, et al seem to be the new breed in NY…..Yuck!!!!

  • Guest

    Frank… we are…. we have filed our lawsuit

  • FrackDaddy

    Vic, What the URL for your NTRAD-R site?

  • Lij Lij Briggy

    I’m sorry you feel that people who want our future to be free of fossil fuels are “crazies” I am a mother, teacher, community member, nursery school teacher and I for one am not paid anything to attend this rally. I am paying out of my own pocket to go. Because I want my children and future generations to work on renewable and sustainable energies to sustain this planet and our species future. It saddens me that we can’t have landowners get subsidized to put up solar panels and farm switchgrass for plant based bio fuels and plant based plastics. Please join us as we all share this planet and we need to find a way to use it’s resources wisely, not abuse it. We have no planet B.

  • http://marcellusdrilling.com Jim Willis

    Unfortunately you’ve bought into the lie that the answer is “this or that.” That by using fossil fuels it dooms the planet. That view is simply not true. You may honestly believe it, and I’m sure you’re a nice person (not crazy), but you’re honestly wrong.

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