Fracking updates and action to take

 May 17, 2017
SNYFGP meeting tonight, Wednesday, May 17, 6:30
East Greenbush Library
Agenda: OFF Fossil Fuels Campaign, Divestment, June 7th Presentation on Geothermal Energy

Good News

OFF Fossil Fuels Campaign

A group of us from SNYFGP watched the Food and Water Watch’s live-stream about their OFF Fossil Fuels Campaign. We are excited by the opportunities this presents and will be discussing it at our meeting tonight.

(The unidentified picture of a group that met about the OFF Fossil Fuel campaign turns out to be none other than a group from 350 CT)

A major part of the campaign is to get elected officials to sign this pledge:

I accept the science that says humankind’s use of fossil fuels is the primary driver of dangerous global climate change.

Therefore, as your elected representative, I pledge to be a leader on climate change issues and will support efforts in my community to move us off fossil fuels and achieve a just transition to 100% clean, renewable energy. While current research suggests that this transition will need to be completed by 2035 at the latest to avoid catastrophic climate impacts, we cannot wait and must act now.

I will oppose any project that will expand fossil fuel production, and its use or transport, and will work to quickly phase out existing fossil fuel infrastructure in my jurisdiction.  I vow to put people and the planet before any corporation’s profits, and will support efforts to address the toxic legacy of fossil fuels in all of our communities, especially those most impacted including indigenous peoples, communities of color, low income people and rural communities.  

Put Your Money Where Your Values Are

Marco Vangelisti, a founding member of Slow Money and founder of Essential Knowledge for Transition, will present an introductory evening presentation on May 19th at Hawthorne Valley Farm in Ghent, NY, followed by a deeper daylong workshop on Aligning Your Investments with Your Values on May 20th.

If you long to operate with integrity in all parts of your life but feel under-equipped or bewildered by the idea of aligning your investments with your values, this workshop is a chance to learn essential portfolio management skills and link your financial resources with local resilience!
During the workshop you will:

  • Learn about the problems with global finance from an ex-insider
  • Clarify your own values and build your Personal Investment Compass
  • Learn basic concepts of portfolio management and
  • the tools to assess your liquidity and risk profile
  • Determine the prudent allocation of your portfolio to direct, impact or local investments
  • Learn how to assess the risk and the alignment with your values of an investment opportunity
  • Connect with a group of like-minded individuals interested in building a better world through their investments.

The suggested donation for the evening presentation on the 19th is $35, and registration fees for the workshop on the 20th are on a sliding scale.

New Hampshire Celebrates
(Please help them by filing out survey- I did and it was fun)

It’s been a year since the pipeline was withdrawn and we’d like to know how the pipeline changed your life! We have two quick and easy things to ask of you.

Our petition takes just a moment to sign on to and is a proactive effort to say NO to unneeded large-scaled energy infrastructure projects.

Our survey consists of multiple choice and check box questions and two optional short answer questions. Your feedback is important and we value your opinion.

• PETITION: No Pipelines. No Northern Pass. Clean Energy Now!
We hope you will share the petition across NH and beyond! 

• SURVEY: NED Pipeline Community Survey
Please share the pipeline survey with friends and neighbors throughout the NED pipeline impacted areas. It’s okay if participants were not in towns directly impacted.

Stephanie & the rest of the ECHO Action Team

Huge Victory in Seneca Lake After Years of Protest,
Gas Storage Project Abandoned

By Nika Knight, Common Dreams

May 12, 2017

After a years-long popular resistance against a proposed fracked gas storage project in Seneca Lake, N.Y., the people have emerged victorious.The Arlington Storage Company announced Wednesday that it was finally abandoning a contentious plan to store fracked gas in unlined salt caverns along the pristine lake in New York’s Finger Lakes region.

“This has been a long drawn out battle to protect a world class region from a Texas-based oil and gas corporation. They only see dollar signs, where we see tranquil beauty, clean air, and fresh water,” said Joseph Campbell, president of the Gas Free Seneca coalition of businesses, in a statement.
Read More

GOP Fails to Kill Methane Rule in a Capitol Hill Defeat
for Oil and Gas Industry

The rule limits venting and flaring gas, a move the Obama administration estimated would prevent 180,000 tons of methane from leaking into the atmosphere every year.

By Georgina Gustin

May 10, 2017

The Senate on Wednesday rejected a bid to overturn an Obama-era rule that limits climate-warming methane leaks from oil and gas operations on public lands, but the industry, along with its allies in Congress, says it will continue challenging the rule.
The surprise 49-51 vote handed a defeat to the industry, which has pushed Congress to undo the rule under the Congressional Review Act, a little-used law that allows lawmakers to kill rules with a simple majority vote.

The rule, issued by the Department of the Interior at the end of the Obama administration, limits venting and flaring of methane from natural gas and oil drilling operations, a restriction that officials estimated would prevent 180,000 tons of methane from leaking into the atmosphere every year. Methane, the main component of natural gas, has over 80 times the warming power of carbon dioxide over a 20-year period.
Read More

U.S. Bank Becomes First Major Bank to
Stop Financing Pipeline Construction Bank has become the first major bank in the U.S. to formally exclude gas and oil pipelines from their project financing. This groundbreaking change to their Environmental Responsibility Policy was publicly announced at the annual shareholders meeting in Nashville in April.

In addition to no longer providing “project financing for the construction of oil or natural gas pipelines,” the bank has stated that relationships with their clients in the oil and gas industries will be subject to “enhanced due diligence processes.”
Read More

Action Opportunities

SEQRA proposed Changes
Click below to send letter by Friday, May 19th

The New York DEC (Department of Environmental Conservation) is proposing some changes to SEQRA (State Environmental Quality Review Act) whichhas some good provisions, but would also loosen some environmental restrictions and make it easier for projects to be approved. Please sign a letter that Riverkeeper or Sierra club has drafted to DEC.

Riverkeeper has a letter you can send from this link
Sierra Club has a letter you can send from this link.

Read More

Postpone FERC Nominations
To the FERC Resistance:

As you know, Trump announced two nominees to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission earlier this week. We have reason to believe that the Senate Confirmation Hearings for these appointments will come in two weeks.

Now, more so than ever, is the time to mobilize. Any delay to a confirmation means a delay to $50 billion worth of pipeline projects waiting for approval before FERC.

On May 22-23, we will be lobbying senators in Washington, DC, demanding that they vote no on Trump’s nominations to FERC. If you can be there, join us! Please sign up here and spread the word. We will soon announce a complementary call-in activity.

When the hearings happen, we plan to fill the confirmation hearing room and protest the nominations. If you’re interested in filling the room and/or taking direct action, please fill out this form. This might happen directly after or during our lobby days. Again, please spread the word and encourage your members to join.

In addition, please urge all of your members to participate in a call-in effort to the Senate. We are calling our own senators and members of the committee to urge them to postpone the hearings and to reject Trump’s nominations. All of the material you need for this call-in effort can be found here, including a script and phone numbers. Thanks to Maya van Rossum and the Delaware Riverkeeper Network for putting together this call-in.

Thank you so much for being a part of this critical campaign to stop FERC’s rubber stamp machine.

Much gratitude,
Lee Stewart
FERC Vacancies Campaign

Bad News

Update on Connecticut Expansion
News on the Connecticut Expansion pipeline is depressing – tree cutting continues, but the fight continues as well – on many fronts. Members of affiliate groups of the Sugar Shack Alliance have been putting their bodies on the line with many arrests. Senators Markey and Warren and Congressperson Neal have all written to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to demand they revoke permission for tree cutting and construction that we believe was illegally granted. And now the Narragansett Indian Tribal Historic Preservation Office has filed a request for rehearing on the pipeline as well, citing FERC’s failure follow their own procedures that require negotiations with the tribes. For much more information and to stay up to date visit this website:

Dakota Access pipeline has first leak
before fully operational

Leak raises fresh concerns about hazards to waterways and outrages indigenous groups, who have long warned of threat to environment

 in San Francisco

Wednesday 10 May 2017 17.56 EDT

The Dakota Access pipeline has suffered its first leak, outraging indigenous groups who have long warned that the project poses a threat to the environment.

The $3.8bn oil pipeline, which sparked international protests last year and is not yet fully operational, spilled 84 gallons of crude oil at a South Dakota pump station, according to government regulators.

Although state officials said the 6 April leak was contained and quickly cleaned, critics of the project said the spill, which occurred as the pipeline is in the final stages of preparing to transport oil, raises fresh concerns about the potential hazards to waterways and Native American sites.
Read More

EPA Strips One Science Board,
While Likely Eyeing a Bigger Prize

Only five members of an 18-member advisory board remain to guide Scott Pruitt’s EPA on environmental science, including climate-related research, as the board awaits a possible influx of industry-friendly perspectives. Credit: Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images

Scientific advisers who help steer the Environmental Protection Agency‘s research efforts were told late last week that their stints with the agency were getting cut short.

Now, only five members of an 18-member board will guide the agency’s environmental science, including climate change-related research, while the board awaits a possible influx of industry-friendly perspectives. And this may just be the agency’s new leadership testing the waters for a bigger move, say critics of Donald Trump’s handling of the EPA. The agency’s larger Scientific Advisory Board (SAB), which has a role in shaping EPA’s regulations, may be the real target of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.
Read More

Williams Turns to Trump for Help Approving
the Constitution Pipeline
·         New York’s rejection of natural gas line ‘political,’ CEO says
·         Link would carry gas from Marcellus shale basin to Northeast

By Jim Polson | May 10, 2017 8:15PM ET

A year after New York rejected a key certificate for the $925 million Constitution natural gas pipeline, developer Williams Cos. is appealing to a higher authority: the White House.

Williams and labor unions are pressing President Donald Trump’s administration for a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permit after the state refused to certify the project, Alan Armstrong, the Tulsa, Oklahoma-based company’s chief executive officer, said Wednesday in an interview at Bloomberg headquarters in New York. The pipeline would link supplies from the Marcellus shale basin, America’s biggest by volume, to markets in the Northeast.

Constitution’s approval would be a major win for Williams, which wants to reassure investors of its growth prospects after a failed $33 billion takeover attempt by Energy Transfer Equity LP and an aborted proxy fight with activist shareholder Corvex Management LP. Williams is doubling down on the Marcellus shale basin, where supplies have outpaced new pipeline capacity, as the company seeks to boost profits.
Read More


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