July 22, 2015

Shared Renewables Program

Because there is always so much tough news around, here is some very good news for NY and it's energy future:
Shared Renewables Program Provides New Opportunities for New York Residents and Businesses to Access Clean and Affordable Energy
Governor Cuomo announced the approval of a bold new community initiative enabling millions of New Yorkers to access clean and affordable energy for the first time.
Read the full article here:

Thank you again, Gov!

July 16, 2015

Donation Match for Gas Free Seneca


Fund Raising Challenge! 

An anonymous donor has agreed to match all donations up to $10,000. This means that every dollar donated now equates to two dollars, so if we reach the $10,000 goal, Gas Free Seneca will receive an additional $10,000. 

 Please make your tax-deductible donation online by going to: http://gasfreeseneca.com/?page_id=40

Or by mail to:
Gas Free Seneca, PO Box 333, Watkins Glen, NY 14891

Please make checks payable to: "Sustainable Markets Foundation", with "Gas Free Seneca" in the memo line.

July 13, 2015

A plan for crude oil by rail

Reported on the daily Politico's Morning Energy report on July 10 by Eric Wolff:
CRUDE-BY-RAIL STUDY MOVES AHEAD WITHOUT TANK CAR COMBUSTION TESTS: DOE and the Department of Transportation have settled on the parameters for a potentially pivotal Sandia National Laboratories study of the properties of light oils commonly transported by rail from the Bakken and other shale plays. The study will omit two of the six tasks outlined in an initial Sandia proposal for the analysis http://1.usa.gov/1gqUS4q , including one that would have included full-scale rail car combustion tests to see how different oils behave and another that would have involved 'comprehensive sampling' of various crudes, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Energy Paula Gant wrote in a blog post yesterday http://1.usa.gov/1HfZwJd.
Boy ......that ought to make you feel confident and safe!   Be sure to look at the working draft linked in the paragraph:  Crude Oil Characteristics Research Sampling, Analysis and Experiment (SAE) Plan

July 10, 2015

No Water... Use LPG to Frack

The recent announcement by Snyder Farm Group in Tioga County regarding the proposal to frack for natural gas using gelled propane leaves me completely jaw dropped, dumb founded! From the article:  
Town of Barton Supervisor Leon "Stick" Cary said that fracking may mean "a happy time for the residents of the Town of Barton, as well as Tioga County." Cary said that he anticipates increased taxes for local government and new jobs.
"The Snyder Group ... have done a good job to harvest what is theirs," Cary said. "It's the gas under their lands, and they have picked a way that is safe ... it will make this area flourish, there's no doubt in my mind."    [bold emphasis mine]
I can immediately think of many arguments against such an idea and they all have been expressed for years by the frackactivist community:
....lack of jobs   ... safety violations ...failed lease promises ....destruction of environment - air, water and mother Earth ....  toxic waste products .... LPG storage  (hmm, Seneca Lake come to mind?)  .... desperate attempts by a dying industry ...  and so many more

But I think was galls me most is the statement "to harvest what is theirs".   The concept that private, personal ownership of something 9500 ft below the Earth's crust belongs to you is outrageous.   The idea that at any expense to humankind, you have a right to go "get it" is preposterous.   

We are temporary visitors to this planet and have a deep stewardship responsibility to tread lightly and leave intact what we use.  For one farmer to say I own this acre therefore I can do anything I want deep deep below is an offense beyond expression.  I know "mineral rights" will be argued across the pages, but the bottom line remains the same.  If  one person .. or a corporation ..  (sorry SCOTUS, these are separate) takes ownership to the extreme that it destroys Earth piece by connected piece, we are doomed.

What could possible go wrong with drilling with LPG?  You must read Chip Northrup's article: 

July 01, 2015

Save Seneca Lake - Gas Free Seneca Fundraiser

Hazlitt’s 1852 Vineyards
5712 State Route 414, Hector, NY 14841
Recent developments (many of them very positive) have forced the re-scheduling of the GFS fundraising event scheduled for July 23rd at Hazlitt’s.  After much consideration we feel that the event will be much more successful if we hold it in mid-late September.  We know from experience this is a much more bountiful time for area farms and fooderies to donate the wonderful fresh foods our Auction is famous for. 
IF YOU CAN DONATE SOME TIME before this event or during the event, you will go a long way to helping GFS make this fundraiser a success.
THANK YOU for any help you can offer!
Click Here for GFS signup form

These two items have been donated from Another Time Antiques:
ABCG Antique Cut Glass Pitcher signed H. C. Fry, early 1900s

Signed,  Country Scenic Paintings on Wood

Please check out the GFS Facebook page for ideas in ways to help and keep up to date on the new event date.

June 29, 2015

NY Ban on Fracking

No words to express the immense feelings of this formal declarations that NY prohibits fracking except ...... onward we must work!  So much more to do!   But for today - one big sigh of relief.

June 24, 2015

The Finger Lakes NHA

On Monday as NY Senator Gillibrand announced that she will start the legislation process to designate The Finger Lakes Region a National Heritage Area.  The program is part of the National Parks Service which promotes a region by for its natural, cultural, and historic resources.
 This is a significant moment for Seneca Lake and the ongoing work to stop the LPG gas storage project along it's banks.  Such a development would be completely contradictory to the goals of a National Heritage area.
National Heritage Areas (NHAs) are designated by Congress as places where natural, cultural, and historic resources combine to form a cohesive, nationally important landscape. Through their resources, NHAs tell nationally important stories that celebrate our nation’s diverse heritage. NHAs are lived-in landscapes. Consequently, NHA entities collaborate with communities to determine how to make heritage relevant to local interests and needs.
 To learn more about what this designation could mean for the region, visit National Heritage Areas website .

Gas Free Seneca and We Are Seneca Lake continue their work and appreciate your support and donations.

June 10, 2015

Support Vera Scroggins

 Update 6/20: Thanks to everyone that donated to Vera's Legal Fund. In total we raised more than $6,000. The GoFundMe site raised $4,320 and we received another $1,800 from the Answer the Muse fundraiser last week along with various checks that came in throughout the week. We are showing Cabot that they can't get away with bullying people!

Vera Scroggins, a mother, a grandmother, an ordinary citizen but most of all woman with a camera, who has taken it upon herself to show the world what drilling and fracking is doing to the land and the people of Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania. If you don't know Vera, become familiar now with her and the sense of justice that informs her activism. She is acting on behalf of all of us who are fighting for a sustainable energy future.

A powerful corporation has succeeded in obtaining an injunction against her that restricts her freedom of movement in the county in which she lives. Now unjustly accused of violating that injunction, a judge with a financial interest in the fracking industry has ruled against her. Vera has chosen not to pay the fine imposed as she has stated, "she has not committed any crime" and as a result the judge has informed her that she will face a jail sentence.

This money is needed for the legal costs to appeal her case and try to get some justice. Please donate generously.  

Follow Vera's story on Facebook