On Tuesday morning,
arriving before dawn, 11 civil disobedients trespassed onto the private
driveway of a Houston-based gas company, Crestwood Midstream.
owner of 600 acres of lakefront property, Crestwood seeks to repurpose
the dormant salt caverns beneath the west bank of Seneca Lake for the
storage of fracked gas and has received approval from the Federal Energy
Regulatory Commission (FERC) to do so. And we seek to peacefully stop
As such, Tuesday, October 28 represented Day 3 of a human blockade that has prevented all traffic from entering the main gate.
(The blockade began last Thursday to mark the date that major new construction on the huge gas storage facility was authorized to
begin. This ongoing civil disobedience action comes after the community
has pursued every avenue possible to stop the misbegotten project and
after being thwarted by an unacceptable process and denial of
science. The unified action is called ‘WE ARE SENECA LAKE’. More
information and pictures of the actions last week are available atwww.WeAreSenecaLake.com.) On Tuesday, as on previous days, the company chose to lock the gate, and no arrests were made. However, upon arriving at 6:30 am,
we were shocked to find two dead animals symmetrically flanking the
gate—like a pair of stone lions—in the exact area where we have been
forming our daily blockade: one was a dead and rotting raccoon; the
other, a bloated, road-kill opossum placed inside a circle of stones.
Both carcasses were swarming with flies and highly putrid. Crestwood, your new corporate logo is … rigor mortis?
When it comes to the evidence for harm from salt cavern storage of methane, you are playing possum?
In the end, the message of the zombie animals remained a mystery.
with two biologists among us, and after consulting with the sheriff by
phone, we carefully laid the corpses to rest (safely away from creeks
and other surface water sources, on sites with good drainage to
facilitate decomposition) and put flowers in their place at the gate.
coon and possum. We suspect that your remains were intended to insult
and intimidate us. But, filled with love and resolve, instead we vowed
to work even harder, in your honor, to protect our shared environment
upon which we all depend, mammals and marsupials alike.
we are asking that you support our non-violent direct action campaign
by calling Senators Schumer and Gillibrand. As our voices in the U.S.
Senate, they have the power to call on FERC to halt the gas storage
project on Seneca Lake by re-opening hearings on the permit.
ourselves will be placing calls to them from the chilly front lines of
the human blockade. In fact, by the time you read this, that’s exactly
what we will be doing. Please join us!
Here’s what to do: Call any one—or better yet, all!—of their several offices below and, when someone answers--
1) Say who you are and where you live.
Say that you support the WE ARE SENECA LAKE campaign, which is
defending the drinking water supply for 100,000 New Yorkers--and a $4
billion dollar wine industry—from a Houston-based company that wants to
store fracked gas in the salt caverns below
3) Mention any personal connection you have with the Finger Lakes region.
Express disappointment that Senators Schumer/GiLlibrand have, so far,
failed to protect Seneca Lake, the people who drink the water, and New
York’s vineyards, which depend on clean air and pure water.
Politely demand that their offices call for a FERC re-hearing on the
permit. The evidence shows that the salt caverns are potentially
seeping salt into the lake and are not stable.
6) Say that you demand immediate action! (Be respectful; don’t threaten.)
Phone numbers are below. And stay tuned for the ongoing actions of WE ARE SENECA LAKE. Better yet, take the Pledge to Defend Seneca Lake and join us.
Thank you for all that you do — and are going to do.