Listening to a recording I made earlier this year with On'kaa Davis and his Original Djuke Players. Trying to get into the head of writing about trying to prevent a disaster from happening. Hoping that my words energize you to take some kind of action on this issue.
I live in the Catskill Mountains, near to the PA and NJ border, Delaware River, and just a coupla miles from the border of Catskill Park. We moved here just a year and a half ago so my young son can grow up enjoying the wood, stream, fresh air and water; so that we can create a sustainable plot of land for our family. But right now there is a threat to this part of the world, where the outcome is frightening.
The Marcellus Shale formation runs through several states - beginning in central New York and running through West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio. Because of our nation's addiction to petroleum products, the gas in this shale has a very high value right now, and there are companies very eager to start the process of hydraulic fracturing, otherwise known as HydroFracing.
On September 30th of this year, the New York State DEC published it's Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Study. In it, they essentially lay down the environmental guidelines for the companies that want to come in and get this gas.
HydroFracing has been in operation for several years now, out in the west and more recently in Pennsylvania. Actually Pennsylvania just stopped production, because, among other things these clowns destroyed a whole river with illegal dumping of these highly toxic, somewhat radioactive "chemicals" that are a byproduct of the process.
Summary from catskillmountainkeeper.org:
Dunkard Creek which meanders lazily back and forth across the border of Pennsylvania and West Virginia was one of the most ecologically diverse streams in both states, containing freshwater mussels, mudpuppy salamanders and a host of fish species from minnows to 3-foot-long muskies. Today 161 species of fish, mussels, salamanders, crayfish and aquatic insects have been wiped out along the creek. While the EPA has yet to pinpoint the cause, chemical analysis shows the creek water contains extremely high total dissolved solids or TDS and chlorides, properties found in wastewater from Marcellus Shale. The state agencies are now looking at the possibility that someone has illegally dumped drilling wastewater into the creek to avoid the expense of complying with laws governing its disposal.
The stories coming out of hydro-fracing sites in the West are also very disturbing; and it's looking like these "experts" don't care HOW they get the gas out, or who it affects.
Some of the immediate results of this process to any community include unbearable stress on the infrastructure (estimated 50 million diesel trucks hauling stuff in and out of the Catskills!), public health problems, aquifer and ground water & aquifer contamination, property values plummet, and possible earthquakes.
In conjunction with the gas drilling, NY State will be obligated to implement an entirely new water delivery system to the southern counties (including NYC), to the tune of $36 billion dollars!!
Whoa!! That's a lot of money!!!!
Which leads me very quickly to ask a question.
WHO IS IT that wants to destroy some of America's most beautiful landscapes, purest water and air, creating unimaginable consequences, when for HALF THE PRICE of the water delivery system, they could take this entire corridor and create a new green economy - start building and researching and manufacturing product for the renewable energy future. And by doing so, put millions back to work!!!!
FOR EXAMPLE: The Delaware River has a powerful wind corridor which could power all of Sullivan County if installed, for just $100 million. And, Orange County has a new facility that turns garbage into energy. There are tons of old warehouses that could be turned into manufacturing plants.
THERE ARE SO MANY POSSIBILITIES that make DRILLING FOR GAS an INSANE option!! IT IS NOT NECESSARY! As a matter of fact, this is the PERFECT OPPORTUNITY to turn away from gas and implement RENEWABLE ENERGY!
It seems to me that somebody is making a boatload of money off this deal, while those of us who live here are being left for dead. Because if these drilling companies get their way - and time is SHORT and they have only the public as an obstacle, it's possible that the entire Marcellus range - from NY to Ohio - will have no fresh water or fresh air!
CAN YOU IMAGINE THAT?
I can't. That's why I'm doing something about it.
Please visit catskillmountainkeeper.org to read all about this issue, they are really on top of the news and updates.