Tradisionele resepte

Finger Lakes Wynkelders Bekommerd Oor Fracking

Finger Lakes Wynkelders Bekommerd Oor Fracking

Dit is nie net die natuurlike skoonheid van die wynstreek wat bedreig word deur gasboring nie, sê wynkelders

Die fracking -debat in die staat New York raak nou vol wyn: die Vinger mere wynstreek is besig om op te staan ​​en te sê dat gasboring die toerisme-boubedryf.

Die Associated Press berig oor die beweging wat deur die Finger Lakes -wynkelders begin is, wat kragte saamgesnoer het met die New Yorkers Against Fracking om breking in die staat te verbied. Die streek lê op die Utica- en Marcellus -skalieformasies, wat soos goud is om te breek - en reeds oor die grens in Pennsylvania getik word. Die wynkelders is bekommerd dat 'n paar misstappe, soos 'n chemiese storting in 'n meer, die reputasie waarmee die Finger Lakes bekend geword het, sal aantas. 'As die boorwerk wel by die Finger Lakes kom, wat kan ek met 'n paar ongelukke in 'n hartklop sien gebeur, ewe skielik gaan die verbruikers sê:' Is u wingerde naby enige putte? ', Sê Peter Saltonstall van King Ferry Winery na die AP.

Plus, soos die Demokrate en Chronicle -aantekeninge in Rochester in 'n hoofartikel beskadig die omgewingsimpak van hidrobreking baie meer as net die wynkelders - dit is ook die vee, produkte en water wat in gevaar is. 'Wat elke New Yorker moet ontstel, is dat baie van die produkte, vrugte en voedsel wat na ons buurstate gestuur word of in die weste van New York verbruik word, uit lande en waters kom wat deur hidrobreking geboor word,' sê hy.

Diegene wat ten gunste van fracking in New York is, sê dat die toerisme- en omgewingsbedrywe lank saam bestaan, en dat hidrobreking nie die wynkelders in die land mag benadeel nie. Boonop hoop baie dat breking meer werkgeleenthede in die land sal bring. Terwyl goewerneur Andrew Cuomo steeds die impak van hidrobreking in die staat hersien, sê ons dat dit beter is om eerder deur die Finger Lakes -wynkelders te gaan toer.


Lewendigheid van Finger Lakes -wyne

New York -wyne is eintlik niks nuuts as u 'n wynkundige geskiedenis in die 17de eeu in ag neem nie.

Maar dit is waarskynlik eerlik om te sê dat, hoewel die produksie daarvan derde is in die Amerikaanse wynproduksie agter Kalifornië en Washington, baie Amerikaners nog nooit een druppel van die Empire State gehad het nie.

Of, indien wel, is die wyn miskien een van die meer outydse tipes gemaak van inheemse en hibriede variëteite, wat beide in die 19de eeu die reputasie van New York gemaak het en dit in die 20ste keer belemmer het.

Probeer nou 'n wyn uit New York se Finger Lakes, een van die belangrikste wynstreke in die staat. U sal miskien mooi verras wees.

"Ons is 'n opkomende streek. Verbruikers dink dit beteken dat ons nuut is. Nie so nie, ons is een van die oudstes," sê Morgen McLaughlin, president van die Finger Lakes Wine Country Tourism Marketing Association, 'n groep wat sorg dat wyn deel uitmaak. van die verhaal vir die 300 000 tot 500 000 mense wat elke jaar hierdie deel van die weste van New York besoek.

'Daar is 'n ongelooflike geskiedenis, maar dit is een waarmee ons moet worstel,' het sy bygevoeg. "Dit is moeilik om deur te breek met hierdie nuwe boodskap van wyne van wêreldgehalte teen ongelooflike waarde."

Riesling word algemeen beskou as die deur wat die deur oopmaak vir groter erkenning en waardering vir die wyn van die streek. McLaughlin se vereniging borg sy tweede jaarlikse Rieslingmaand in Mei met 'n skedule van spesiale etes en proeë rondom die Finger Lakes (

Wat Finger Lakes onderskei van ander, is 'lewenskragtigheid' wat gebore is uit 'n gebalanseerde suurheid en uitgesproke mineraliteit, het Morten Hallgren van Ravines Wine Cellars in Hammondsport, NY, gesê.

Riesling is die vinifera -druif wat die meeste in die Finger Lakes gekweek word. Vinifera is die familie van druiwe-variëteite waaruit die bekende wyne van Europa al lank bestaan, druiwe soos cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay en pinot noir. Vinifera -wingerdstokke is geneig om van milder klimaat te hou - en die meeste kenners het gedink dat die staat New York te koud was.

Wynmakers van Finger Lake gebruik eens slegs inheemse druiwe soos Concord of Niagara, of koue geharde basters, soos Seyval blanc of Cayuga. Inheemse druiwe word gewoonlik vertaal in "foxy" of aardse wyne. Die goed was ook geneig om soet te wees.

Gaan na Konstantin Frank. Gebore in die Oekraïne en gewapen met 'n doktorsgraad in wingerdbou, kom hy in 1951 in die Verenigde State aan en werk gou in die Finger Lakes. Hy het jare se navorsing oor wyndruiwe met koel klimaat gebruik om te bewys dat vinifera-druiwe soos riesling nie net in die streek kan groei nie, maar ook gedy. In 1962 begin hy sy eie wynmakery en lei hy die sogenaamde vinifera -revolusie in die staat New York.

Vandag word die wynmakery, bekend as Dr. Konstantin Frank Vinifera Wynkelders, steeds deur die familie in Hammondsport, NY bedryf, en wyn is beskikbaar in 33 state en geniet die wydste verspreiding in die Verenigde State van enige Finger Lakes -wynmakery.

"(Inheemse) variëteite is steeds die oorheersende oppervlakte in New York, maar hulle kan oral geplant word," sê Frederick Frank, die kleinseun van die stigter en mede-eienaar van die wynmakery. Frank meen vinifera-wingerdstokke groei die beste in mikroklimate soos dié wat rondom die Finger Lakes voorkom. Die diepte van die mere help om matige temperature, sê hy, sodat hierdie sagte variëteite kan groei.

En vir die wynmakery van Frank het die vinifera -roete goud beteken - tientalle goue medaljes in kompetisies. Tog noem hy die 'negatiewe' beeld van New York as slegs die maak van Concord -wyne.


Liewe vriend,

Hierdie jaar Demokrasie nou! vier ons 25ste bestaansjaar - dit is 25 jaar nadat ek u vreeslose, onafhanklike beriggewing gebring het. Sedert ons heel eerste uitsending in 1996, Democracy Now! het geweier om die regering of korporatiewe finansiering te neem, want niks is vir ons belangriker as ons redaksionele onafhanklikheid nie. Maar dit beteken dat ons op u, ons gehoor, steun vir ondersteuning. Skenk asseblief vandag ter ere van ons 25ste bestaansjaar en help ons om nog 25 jaar op die lug te bly. Ons kan nie ons werk sonder u doen nie. Op die oomblik sal 'n vrygewige skenker selfs u geskenk verdubbel, wat beteken dat dit twee keer so ver gaan! Dit is 'n uitdagende tyd vir ons almal, maar as u 'n skenking kan maak, doen dit asseblief vandag nog. Dankie en onthou, 'n masker is 'n daad van liefde.
-Amy Goodman


Skalie-geskok

Dit is 'n verhaal oor water, die land rondom dit en die lewens wat dit onderhou. Skoon water behoort 'n reg te wees: daarsonder is daar geen lewe nie. New York is wat jy 'n waterstaat kan noem. ” Die riviere en hul sytakke begin eers by die St. Lawrence, die Hudson, die Delaware en die Susquehanna. Die bekendste van sy mere is Great Lakes Erie en Ontario, Lake George en die Finger Lakes. Die spruite, spruite en forelstrome is vissermanne.

Ver onder hierdie golwende rykdom is daar 'n uitgestrekte, rotsagtige onderwêreld genaamd die Marcellus -skalie. Die skalie strek deur die suide van New York, Pennsilvanië, Ohio en Wes -Virginia en bevat borrels metaan, die oorblyfsels van die lewe wat 400 miljoen jaar gelede gesterf het. Gaskorporasies is lus vir die metaan in die Marcellus sedert ten minste 1967 toe een van hulle saam met die Atoomenergie -agentskap beplan het om 'n atoombom te ontplof om dit te ontketen. Die idee het gesterf, maar dit is wedergebore in die vorm van 'n tegnologie wat uitgevind is deur Halliburton Corporation: horisontale hidrouliese breking met 'n groot volume, en kortliks#8212 𠇏racking ”.

Fracking gebruik ontsaglike hoeveelhede water bedek met sand en 'n verrassende spyskaart giftige chemikalieë om die metaan uit die skalie te blaas. By hiperbariese bomagtige druk dryf hierdie tegnologie vyf tot sewe miljoen liter water met sand en chemies gevoer, ongeveer 'n kilometer in 'n put in die skalie.

Metaan kom op saam met ongeveer 'n miljoen liter afvalwater wat die oorspronklike brekingchemikalieë en ander stowwe bevat wat ook in die skalie was, waaronder radioaktiewe elemente en kankerverwekkende middels. Daar is 400 000 sulke putte in die Verenigde State. Omring deur dreunende masjinerie, bedien deur tienduisende dieseltrokke, het hierdie nagmerrie -tegnologie vir vrystelling van energie landelike gebiede in 34 Amerikaanse state in giftige nywerheidsgebiede verander.

Skaliegas is nie die konvensionele soort wat jou ouma se stoof aangesteek het nie. Dit is een van die uiterste energie -vorme wat so moeilik is om te produseer dat bloot toegang tot hulle ongekende gevare vir die planeet inhou. In elke brekingstaat behalwe New York, waar 'n moratorium teen die proses sedert 2010 van krag is, het die gasbedryf grondwater besmet, mense siek gemaak, vee vergiftig en wilde diere doodgemaak.

In 'n tyd waarin die Internasionale Energie-agentskap berig dat ons nog vyf jaar fossielbrandstofverbruik het op die huidige vlakke voordat die planeet onomkeerbare klimaatsverandering ondergaan, het fracking 'n kweekhuisgasvoetspoor groter as dié van steenkool. En terwyl die grootste waterkrisis in die geskiedenis van die mensdom aan die gang is, spuit fracking verstommende hoeveelhede opsetlik vergiftigde vars water in die aarde in. Wat die triljoene (herhaling: biljoene) liter afvalwater deur die bedryf betref, is dit sy eie verhaal. Fracking is ook gekoppel aan aardbewings: elf in Ohio alleen (gewoonlik nie 'n aardbewingsone nie) die afgelope jaar.

Maar vir eers gaan hierdie verhaal nie oor tragedie nie. Dit handel oor 'n weerstandsbeweging wat ontstaan ​​het om sommige van die magtigste korporasies in die geskiedenis uit te daag. Hier vind u geen goed gefinansierde nasionale omgewingsorganisasies nie: sommige van hulle het inderdaad 'n gesellige verhouding met die gasbedryf gehad, wat die industrie omhels dat aardgas 'n goeie bron is vir toekomstige alternatiewe energieë. (In werklikheid onderdruk skaliegas die ontwikkeling van hernubare energie.)

New York ’s “Little Revolution ”

Terwyl die meeste anti-fracking-aktiviste reageer op die skade wat reeds aangerig is, het die weerstand van die staat New York 'n stryd gevoer om skade te voorkom. Jack Ossont, 'n voormalige helikoptervlieënier, was sy hele lewe lank aktief in die omgewings- en sosiale gevegte van die staat. Hy noem fracking “the tsunami issue of New York. Dit spoel oor die hele landskap. ”

Sandra Steingraber, 'n bioloog en inwonende geleerde aan die Ithaca College, beskryf die beweging die grootste sedert afskaffing en vroueregte in New York. ” Die afgelope November, toe die Heinz-stigting Steingraber $ 100,000 vir haar omgewingsaktivisme toegeken het, het sy dit aan die gemeenskap teen breking gegee.

By die aankoms van die staat in Oktober verlede jaar, ontdek ek 'n verspreiding van los gekoppelde voetsoolgroepe wie se name hul provinsies en hul langtermynvisie bekend maak: Sustainable Otsego, Committee to Preserve the Finger Lakes, Chenango Community Action for Renewable Energy, Gas-Free Seneca , Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy, Catskill Mountainkeeper. Van hierdie min (daar is baie meer), het slegs die laaste personeellede wat betaal is. Al die ander word deur vrywilligers bestuur.

�r werk so baie mense stil agter die skerms. Hulle is nie in die nuus nie, hulle doen dit nie om hul name in die koerant te kry nie. Dit is net die regte ding om te doen, sê Kelly Branigan, medestigter van die groep Middlefield Neighbours. Haar organisasie het gehelp om een ​​van die sentrale veldtogte van die beweging aan die spits te staan: die gebruik van plaaslike soneringsvoorskrifte om breking te verbied. “ Op Middlefield is ons niks besonders nie. Ons is maar net gewone mense wat bymekaargekom en geleer het en in ons sak gesteek het om hieraan te werk. Dit is inspirerend, dit is wonderlik, en dit is Amerika se eie klein rewolusie. ”

Beskou dit dan as 'n omgewingsbesetting Wall Street. Dit ken geen afdelings van sosiale klas of politieke affiliasie nie. Almal het immers skoon water nodig. Boere en professore, joernaliste en onderwysers, ingenieurs, dokters, bioloë, rekenmeesters, bibliotekarisse, herbergiers, broueryeienaars. Akteurs en Catskill -inwoners Mark Ruffalo en Debra Winger het by die beweging aangesluit. Josh Fox, ook van die Catskills, het die brekingbedryf en sy slagoffers na die internasionale gehoor gebring deur middel van sy bekroonde dokumentêre film Gasland. 𠇏racking is 'n redelik eng vooruitsig, ” sê Wes Gillingham, beplanningsdirekteur vir Catskill Mountainkeeper. Dit het 'n gemeenskap van mense geskep wat voorheen nie sou bestaan ​​het nie. ”

Ongeveer vier jaar gelede, beskerm deur Patterson's en#8217's, het klein gespreksgroepe begin in mense se kombuise, woonkamers en huiskelders. Destyds bepleit slegs 'n paar aktiviste volstrekte verbod op hidrobreking: die res van die jong beweging beweer versigtiger tydelike moratoria.

Sedertdien het 'n werklike verbodskaskade deur die staat gespoel. En tydens die plaaslike verkiesings in November verlede jaar het talle kandidate teen fraktuur, waarvan baie nog nooit voor die pos gestaan ​​het nie, posgemeentes wat gas as posbestuurders, stadsopsieners en provinsiale wetgewers het, verplaas. Namate die beweging in sterkte en invloed gegroei het, het gasondernemings soos ExxonMobil en Conoco Philips en Marcellus Shale -korporasies soos Chesapeake Energy miljoene dollars bestee aan advertensies, lobbying en politieke veldtogbydraes om dit teen te werk.

Skalie skok

Herfs Stoscheck, 'n jong organiese appelboer van die dorpie Van Etten net suid van New York se Finger Lakes, het in 2008 niks hiervan in gedagte gehad toe sy 'n groep bure na haar sitkamer genooi het om oor fracking te praat nie. Sy het eenvoudig genoeg van die proses gehoor om bang te wees. Soos ander informele breking -vergaderings wat daardie jaar van stapel gestuur is, was hierdie 'n groep om na te luister. ” Sy basiese reëls: luister, praat, maar moenie kritiseer nie. Daar was 'n kombinasie van grondeienaars, boere soos ons en jong anargistiese aktiviste met ondervinding in ander bewegings, ” het sy my vertel. Bure van Stoscheck weet niks van breking nie, maar hulle was regtig wantrouig teenoor die regering en groot gasondernemings en het gevoel dat hulle in 'n samesmelting was.

Uit sulke buurtgroepe het die eerste organisasies op die been gebring wat teen breking voorkom. Stoscheck en haar kollegas het hulle s'n Shaleshock genoem. Een van sy eerste prestasies was 'n PowerPoint -aanbieding, 𠇍rilling 101, en#x201D wat kykers bekendstel aan die Marcellus -skalie en wat hidroliese breking daaraan doen.

Toe Helen Slottje, 'n 44-jarige prokureur, in 2009 by 'n Shaleshock-forum sien hoe hulle 101 en#x201CDrilling 101 op 'n Shaleshock-forum sien, was sy en haar man David verlaat om na Ithaca te gaan. in 2000. “Ons het korporatiewe regspraktyk in Boston verruil vir die staat New York en minder stresvolle werk — of so het ons gedink. Die skoonheid van New York lyk die moeite werd. ”

Toe nuusberigte oor breking begin verskyn, het die Slottjes daaraan gedink om te vertrek. “I het aanhoudend gesê: ‘ Wat gebeur as breking na New York kom? Ons sal moet beweeg. ’ ” 𠇍rilling 101 ” het haar laat heroorweeg. Toe besoek sy Dimock, Pennsylvania, 70 myl suidoos van Ithaca, en dit het die ooreenkoms beklink.

Teen 2009 het Dimock, 'n skilderagtige plattelandse dorpie, sinoniem geword met 'n fracking hel. Cabot Oil & amp Energy in Houston het die jaar tevore daar begin boor. Kort daarna het mense begin agterkom dat hul drinkwater donker geword het.   Sommige het duiseligheid en hoofpyn begin ervaar, ander het sere opgedoen nadat hulle gebad het in hul suiwer water.

Cabot het 'n rukkie water na die inwoners van Dimock vervoer, maar het in November stilgehou toe 'n regter geweier het om die onderneming te beveel om voort te gaan met aflewering. Die Environmental Protection Agency gaan in die eerste week van Januarie met waterdiens na Dimock begin, maar trek die aanbod terug en beweer dat verdere watertoetse nodig is. Ontstoke New Yorkers het waterkaravane gereël om hul beleërde bure te help.

Toe ek na Dimock gaan, sê Slottje, sien ek goed boor, groot vragmotors, modderige kruising van pypleidingspaadjies wat deur die bos sny, putte, dieselstortings, stowwerige bedekkings op plante, lawaaierige kompressorstasies en #8212 noem maar op. Daarom het ek besluit om my regsagtergrond aan die werk te sit om te verhoed dat dieselfde gebeur waar ek woon. Ons was voorheen korporatiewe advokate. Ons weet watter hulpbronne die energiekorporasies het. Die voetsoolmense het niks. En hulle het hierdie gemors wat na hulle toe kom. ”

In Mei 2009 het die Slottjes voltyds geword Pro bono prokureurs vir die beweging. Een van hul eerste dienste was om die grondwetlike bepalings van die huisregering in New York te herinterpreteer, wat plaaslike verordeninge tot 1981 in staat gestel het om staatswette te oortref. korporasies van plaaslike beperkings.

Sonering van Fracking

Die stad Ulysses is geleë in die hartjie van die ontluikende wynland in die staat Finger Lakes. In 2010 het 'n voetsoolgroep, Concerned Citizens of Ulysses (CCU), die Slottjes gevra om met lede van die stadsraad te praat, wat die beplanning van Ulysses en die soneringswette beheer.

Die raadslede was gekant teen fracking, maar kon nie sien hoe om dit te voorkom nie. Terwyl die direksie met die Slottjes gesels het, het CCU -aktiviste 'n petisie opgestel. As genoeg geregistreerde Ulysses -kiesers aangemeld het, sou die raad die gewilde steun kry wat nodig was om 'n verbod te verklaar. Ann Furman, 'n afgetrede onderwyser wat gehelp het om CCU te stig en die dokument te skryf, onthou, die petisie was redelik spesifiek: ‘ Ons wil die ondergetekende hidrobreking in die stad Ulysses verbied. 'n lang deur-tot-deur veldtog gevolg.

Daar was baie opvoeding aan die gang in Ulysses by die stadsraad en by forums, terwyl ons van huis tot huis gaan. Selfs mense wat die petisie sou onderteken, sou sê: '#Vertel my 'n bietjie meer daaroor. ’ En in die volgende 15 tot 20 minute sou u baie meer opleiding doen. van 3 000 geregistreerde kiesers geteken. Die afgelope somer het die stadsraad van Ulysses gestem om breking te verbied.

Middlefield, 119 myl oos van Ulysses en die tuiste van die voetsoolgroep Middlefield Neighbours, het 'n soortgelyke verbod uitgevaardig. So ook Dryden, 22 myl oos van Ulysses. 'N Gaskorporasie wat buite die staat is, wat grond vir verhoor in Dryden verhuur, dagvaar dat die soneringsverbod onwettig verklaar word. 'N Middlefield -grondeienaar dagvaar die stad op dieselfde basis. Die sake is hangende.

Intussen vermeerder verbod. Ses provinsies in die staat New York het die breeklyn uitgesonder, waaronder Binghamton, wat in Desember 'n verbod verklaar het. 'N Organiese brouery in Cooperstown, die Ommegang, het 300 ander besighede, waaronder Cooperstown ’s Chamber of Commerce, gemobiliseer om meer verbod in die streek te ondersteun.

Chefs for the Marcellus, 'n groep onder leiding van die Food Network -ster Mario Batali, het goewerneur Andrew Cuomo aangemoedig om fracking op staatsvlak te verbied. “Noem dit tuisregering demokrasie, ”, sê Adrian Kuzminsky, voorsitter van die organisasie Sustainable Otsego in Cooperstown. 𠇊s plaaslike gemeenskappe beheer oor hul lot kan oorneem, sal daar 'n reuse stap geneem word in die rigting van 'n volhoubare toekoms. ”

Die afgelope Oktober was aktiviste besig om voor te berei om die staatsdepartement van omgewingsbewaring (DEC) aan te pak. Die agentskap beland in 'n voortdurende belangebotsing: enersyds die beskerming van die omgewing, die regulering van die nywerhede wat dit benut. is geskryf deur Greg Sovas, destyds hoof van DEC ’s Division of Mineral Resources.

Riglyne vir die hidroliese breukbedryf is einde 2009 vir die eerste keer deur die departement uitgereik en in 2010 verwerp onder erge openbare kritiek. Toe het goewerneur David Paterson 'n moratorium op breking in die staat verklaar in afwagting van die DEC-hersienings. Hersiene riglyne het die afgelope September verskyn in die vorm van 1,537 verbysterende bladsye met die titel, “ Aanvullende algemene omgewingsimpakverklaring, en#x201D, ook bekend as die “SGEIS. ”

'N Wêreld van water

In studiegroepe en aanlyn -tutoriale was aktiviste bereid om kommentaarbriewe te skryf en te protesteer aan die departement van omgewingsbewaring en goewerneur Cuomo, en om uit te spreek tydens openbare verhore wat die departement in die staat gereël het. Duisende het dit bygewoon. Pro-gas-sprekers hou voorspelbaar vas aan die twee temas van die werk wat breking sou veroorsaak en die ekonomiese vernuwing wat dit sou meebring.

Teenstanders het 'n indrukwekkende reeks wetenskaplikes (onder wie Robert Howarth, mede-outeur van die vorige jaar se Cornell University-studie, wat die verbysterende kweekhuisgasvoetspoor van hidrobreking bepaal het), ingenieurs, advokate en ander professionele persone ingesluit. 'N Brief wat deur 250 dokters en mediese persone in die staat New York aan Cuomo gestuur is, betreur die versuim om DEC se aandag te skenk aan die gevolge van breking in die volksgesondheid.

Deeltyds inwoner van Cooperstown, James 𠇌hip ” Northrup, 'n afgetrede bestuurder vir Atlantic Richfield (ARCO, Amerika se sewende grootste oliekorporasie), tydens 'n openbare verhoor wat die optrede van pro-gas-luidsprekers en#x201Cdisgraceful die SGEIS “ommissiewetenskap. ” Met verwysing na 'n bedryfsstudie wat toon dat 25% van frack -putte na vyf jaar en 40% na agt lek, het hy gesê, “Y almal in die bedryf weet dat gasboring grondwater besoedel … Dit ȁ x2019s nie of hulle lek nie. Dit is hoeveel. ”

Met die aanvang van 2012 eis die beweging dat die departement die SGEIS moet terugtrek. Middel Januarie het Lisa King, woordvoerder van die DEC, gesê dat sodra al die kommentaar getel is, ons verwag dat die totale meer as 40 000 sal wees. New York Times hulle weet nie van 'n ander probleem wat selfs 1 000 opmerkings ontvang het nie. (Tienduisend briewe is op 11 Januarie, net voor die sperdatum vir kommentaar, slegs op 11 Januarie uit die Catskills & Sullivan County gestuur.) Albany Bureau van Gannett het berig dat voorleggings teen boorwerk ten minste tien tot een groter is as die van boringsondersteuners.

Die volhoubare Otsego -webwerf bevat 52 ernstige en noodlottige gebreke in die dokument. 'N Brief wat op die webwerf van Toxics Targeting, 'n omgewingsdatabasisdiens in Ithaca, geplaas is, bevat 'n uitgebreide uiteensetting van 17 groot SGEIS -gebreke. Teen 10 Januarie, toe die Toxics Targeting -brief aan die DEC en die goewerneur gestuur is, het dit meer as 22 000 handtekeninge gehad wat regeringsamptenare, professionele en burgerlike organisasies en individue verteenwoordig. (Die DEC tel hierdie brief met sy handtekeninge as slegs een van die 40 000 opmerkings.)

Tydens 'n saamtrek van 17 November in Trenton, New Jersey, om die uitstel van 'n stemming oor die toelaat van breking in die Delaware -rivierkom te vier, belowe aktiviste in Pennsylvania en New York toekomstige burgerlike ongehoorsaamheid. Die breë koalisie van anti-frackers het gelyktydig op multi-vlakke gewerk, sê Adrian Kuzminsky, voorsitter van die volhoubare Otsego. As die goewerneur die SGEIS 𠇎 goedkeur, is daar groot ontnugtering met die staatsregering en Cuomo, en uit wat ek gehoor het, sal daar in sommige kwartale direkte optrede en burgerlike ongehoorsaamheid wees. ”

Op die oomblik lyk dit asof die beweging teen breking in die staat eintlik net toeneem. Sou die regering die SGEIS in sy huidige vorm goedkeur, word regsgedinge teen die departement van omgewingsbewaring beplan. En 'n kort gebeurtenis wat op 12 Januarie in die hoofstad, Albany, plaasgevind het, het moontlik die toon vir die toekoms gegee. Sommige aktiviste, wat hul rug op gevestigde kanale draai, werk reeds aan wetgewing wat breking kan kriminaliseer.

Sandra Steingraber het die afgelope November aan 'n skare van honderde aktiviste vertel hoekom sy haar Heinz -toekenning van $ 100,000 aan die beweging skenk. Sy het gesê dat die geld die spraak moontlik maak, aktivisme aanspoor en erken dat ware veiligheid vir ons kinders die bewaring van die ekologie van ons planeet inhou. ”

Sy lig 'n pot water op. 𠇍it is waaruit my kinders gemaak is. Hulle is gemaak van water. Hulle is gemaak van die voedsel wat verbou word in die land waarin ek woon. En hulle is gemaak van lug. Ons inasem 'n pint atmosfeer met elke asemteug wat ons neem.#8230 En as u hierdie dinge vergiftig, vergiftig u ons. Dit is 'n skending van ons menseregte, en daarom is dit die kwessie van burgerregte van ons tyd. ”

Die werk van Ellen Cantarow oor Israel/Palestina word al meer as 30 jaar lank wyd gepubliseer. Haar jarelange besorgdheid oor klimaatsverandering het daartoe gelei dat sy by TomDispatch die wêreldwye verval van olie- en gasondernemings ondersoek het. Baie dankie aan Robert Boyle, soms genoem “ the father of Environmentalism on the Hudson, ” vir die deel van sy kundigheid vir hierdie artikel.

Kopiereg 2012 Ellen Cantarow

Ellen Cantarow

Ellen Cantarow, 'n joernalis in Boston, het die eerste keer in 1979 uit Israel en die Wes-Oewer geskryf. Haar werk is gepubliseer in die Village Voice, Grand Street en Mother Jones, onder ander publikasies, en is deur die South End Press versamel. Meer onlangs verskyn haar skryfwerk by Teenstoot, ZNet, en Alternet. Hierdie opstel is deel van 'n reeks oor Palestynse nie-gewelddadige verset, "Heroïsme in 'n verdwynende landskap."


Cuomo het Obama gewen en bygestaan ​​by broeikasgebiede in Upstate NY

ALBANY, N.Y. & mdash Gov. Andrew Cuomo sal 'n moontlike politieke konflik vermy deur president Barack Obama nie na dele van die staat New York te vergesel oor die verbod van die staat op hidrouliese breking vir aardgas nie.

Obama ondersteun die tegnologie as 'n ekonomiese meevaller wat help om die land meer energie -onafhanklik te maak. Hy het verwag dat hy ondersteuners sowel as betogers van omgewingsgroepe sou vind wanneer hy Syracuse en Binghamton laat hierdie week besoek. Dele van die sentrale New York en die suidelike tier is op die gasryke Marcellus Shale-formasie, waar energiemaatskappye wil boor met die belofte van 'n oplewing in die lang ekonomies benarde gebied.

Die tweedaagse bustoer van Obama begin Donderdag en tref die Universiteit in Buffalo, gevolg deur stop in Syracuse, Binghamton en noordoostelike Pennsylvania. Cuomo het Maandag gesê dat hy Obama sal ontmoet wanneer die president Buffalo vlieg, maar hy sal nie in Syracuse of Binghamton verskyn nie.

Die goewerneur het 'n besluit uitgestel of fracking toegelaat moet word, 'n metode om olie en gas uit die diepgrond te onttrek deur groot hoeveelhede water, sand en chemikalieë onder hoë druk te pomp om rotsformasies op te breek. Cuomo sê dat hy wag vir 'n studie deur dr. Nirav Shah, kommissaris van die gesondheid, wat die Cuomo -administrasie sedert Februarie belowe het, was net 'n paar weke weg.

Die New Yorkers Against Fracking -groep beplan betogings in Buffalo en Syracuse, met sy grootste betoging in Binghamton.

Gouverneur Cuomo moet aanhou om die gasbedryf op te staan ​​en die leiding te toon wat president Obama nie kon toon nie, het Alex Beauchamp van Food and Water Watch en New Yorkers Against Fracking gesê. Hy het gesê dat hy glo dat hidrobreking kan lei tot gaslekkasies wat aardverwarming kan vererger, 'n bewering waaroor ondersteuners twyfel.

Cuomo het Maandag opgemerk dat sommige wynprodusente in die Finger Lakes -streek, waarheen hy onlangs getoer het, bekommerd is oor enige besmetting van die grond en grondwater en dat almal teen breking is, en hulle maak die punt.

Cuomo het gesê Obama se mening dat gasboring in skalie ekonomiese voordele inhou, is egter redelik.

Dit het ooglopende ekonomiese voordele, ” het Cuomo op die openbare radio gesê ’s “Capitol Pressroom. ”

Elke gebied wat aan fracking deelgeneem het, sal sê dat dit die kommersiële aktiwiteit verhoog het en dat dit 'n ekonomiese hupstoot het, 'het Cuomo gesê. Die vraag is: is daar 'n koste vir die omgewing, die gesondheid, ens. Dit is wat beoordeel moet word en dit moet geweeg word en dit is wat ons doen. ”

Hy sal nie 'n tydsraamwerk vir die besluit gee nie, selfs al is gasproduksie die voorspellings in Pennsylvania se gedeelte van die Marcellus oorskry en omgewingsaktiviste verset teen 'n groeiende groep A-lys akteurs en musikante.

Ek was op die pad om die werk voort te sit, het Shah Vrydag in 'n onderhoud gesê. “ En dit is 'n werk aan die gang. ”

Die kwessie is polities nog steeds moeilik, toon 'n peiling van Siena College. Die peiling van 12 Augustus onder 814 kiesers toon 41 persent steunborings, met 42 teenstanders, wat 'n statistiese staking was.

Daar was geen onmiddellike kommentaar van die Independent Oil & amp Gas Association buite Buffalo nie. Die groep het 'n advertensieveldtog saam met ander sakegroepe uitgevoer oor die tema: daar is slegs een ding tussen die staat New York en duisende nuwe werkgeleenthede. ”

(& kopiereg Kopiereg 2013 The Associated Press. Alle regte voorbehou. Hierdie materiaal mag nie gepubliseer, uitgesaai, herskryf of herversprei word nie.)


Luukse op die meer

Watkins Glen Harbour Hotel is dramaties geleë aan die oewer van die Seneca -meer in die hartjie van die Finger Lakes -wynland en verwelkom u met ongeëwenaarde styl en gemak. Ons bekroonde AAA Four Diamond-eiendom beskik oor ruim, luukse kamers en suites, 'n verskeidenheid deurdagte en soggens rustige nagte en uitstekende diens om elke oomblik van u verblyf te verbeter. Ontspan terwyl u geniet van die skouspelagtige, aangelegde terrein waar 'n vuurput teen die agtergrond van die rustige kuslyn daarbuite wink.

Die Finger Lakes-streek van New York is 'n uitstekende bestemming vol natuurskoon en is bekend vir sy bekroonde wynkelders en 'n verskeidenheid dinge om die hele jaar deur te sien en te doen. Ons hotel is in die middel van alles in die dorpie Watkins Glen geleë en bied die perfekte uitkykpunt om wynroetes, handwerkbrouerye, distilleerderye, historiese besienswaardighede, watersport, buitelugavontuur en meer te verken. Stap verby watervalle by Watkins Glen State Park. Geniet die opwinding van padrenne by die legendariese Watkins Glen International. En dit is net die begin. Wat u ook al geniet, ons portier help u graag met die beplanning van 'n aangename vakansie.


Fracking kry sy eie "Occupy" -beweging

Dit is 'n verhaal oor water, die land rondom dit en die lewens wat dit onderhou. Skoon water behoort 'n reg te wees: daarsonder is daar geen lewe nie. New York is wat u 'n staat kan noem. Die riviere en hul sytakke begin eers by die St. Lawrence, die Hudson, die Delaware en die Susquehanna. Die bekendste van sy mere is Great Lakes Erie en Ontario, Lake George en die Finger Lakes. Die spruite, spruite en forelstrome is vissermanne.

Ver onder hierdie golwende rykdom is daar 'n uitgestrekte, rotsagtige onderwêreld genaamd die Marcellus -skalie. Stretching through southern New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia, the shale contains bubbles of methane, the remains of life that died 400 million years ago. Gas corporations have lusted for the methane in the Marcellus since at least 1967 when one of them plotted with the Atomic Energy Agency to explode a nuclear bomb to unleash it. That idea died, but it&rsquos been reborn in the form of a technology invented by Halliburton Corporation: high-volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing -- &ldquofracking&rdquo for short.

Fracking uses prodigious amounts of water laced with sand and a startling menu of poisonous chemicals to blast the methane out of the shale. At hyperbaric bomb-like pressures, this technology propels five to seven million gallons of sand-and-chemical-laced water a mile or so down a well bore into the shale.

Up comes the methane -- along with about a million gallons of wastewater containing the original fracking chemicals and other substances that were also in the shale, among them radioactive elements and carcinogens. There are 400,000 such wells in the United States. Surrounded by rumbling machinery, serviced by tens of thousands of diesel trucks, this nightmare technology for energy release has turned rural areas in 34 U.S. states into toxic industrial zones.

Is fracking causing earthquakes in Ohio?

Shale gas isn&rsquot the conventional kind that lit your grandmother&rsquos stove. It&rsquos one of those &ldquoextreme energy&rdquo forms so difficult to produce that merely accessing them poses unprecedented dangers to the planet. In every fracking state but New York, where a moratorium against the process has been in effect since 2010, the gas industry has contaminated ground water, sickened people, poisoned livestock, and killed wildlife.

Trending Nuus

At a time when the International Energy Agency reports that we have five more years of fossil-fuel use at current levels before the planet goes into irreversible climate change, fracking has a greenhouse gas footprint larger than that of coal. And with the greatest water crisis in human history underway, fracking injects mind-numbing quantities of purposely-poisoned fresh water into the Earth. As for the trillions (repeat: trillions) of gallons of wastewater generated by the industry, getting rid of it is its own story. Fracking has also been linked to earthquakes: eleven in Ohio alone (normally not an earthquake zone) over the past year.

But for once, this story isn&rsquot about tragedy. It&rsquos about a resistance movement that has arisen to challenge some of the most powerful corporations in history. Here you will find no handsomely funded national environmental organizations: some of them in fact have had a cozy relationship with the gas industry, embracing the industry&rsquos line that natural gas is a &ldquobridge&rdquo to future alternative energies. (In fact, shale gas suppresses the development of renewable energies.)

New York&rsquos &ldquoLittle Revolution&rdquo

While most anti-fracking activists have been responding to harms already done, New York State&rsquos resistance has been waging a battle to keep harm at bay. Jack Ossont, a former helicopter pilot, has been active all his life in the state&rsquos environmental and social battles. He calls fracking &ldquothe tsunami issue of New York. It washes across the entire landscape.&rdquo

Sandra Steingraber, a biologist and scholar-in-residence at Ithaca College, terms the movement &ldquothe biggest since abolition and women&rsquos rights in New York.&rdquo This past November, when the Heinz Foundation awarded Steingraber $100,000 for her environmental activism, she gave it to the anti-fracking community.

Arriving in the state last October, I discovered a sprawl of loosely connected, grassroots groups whose names announce their counties and their long-term vision: Sustainable Otsego, Committee to Preserve the Finger Lakes, Chenango Community Action for Renewable Energy, Gas-Free Seneca, Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy, Catskill Mountainkeeper. Of these few (there are many more), only the last has a paid staff. All the others are run by volunteers.

&ldquoThere are so many people working quietly behind the scenes. They&rsquore not in the news, they&rsquore not doing it to get their names in the paper. It&rsquos just the right thing to do,&rdquo says Kelly Branigan, co-founder of the group Middlefield Neighbors. Her organization helped spearhead one of the movement&rsquos central campaigns: using local zoning ordinances to ban fracking. &ldquoIn Middlefield, we&rsquore nothing special. We&rsquore just regular people who got together and learned, and reached in our pockets to go to work on this. It&rsquos inspiring, it&rsquos awesome, and it&rsquos America -- its own little revolution.&rdquo

Consider this, then, an environmental Occupy Wall Street. It knows no divisions of social class or political affiliation. Everyone, after all, needs clean water. Farmers and professors, journalists and teachers, engineers, doctors, biologists, accountants, librarians, innkeepers, brewery owners. Actors and Catskill residents Mark Ruffalo and Debra Winger have joined the movement. Josh Fox, also of the Catskills, has brought the fracking industry and its victims to international audiences through his award-winning documentary film Gasland. &ldquoFracking is a pretty scary prospect,&rdquo says Wes Gillingham, planning director for Catskill Mountainkeeper. &ldquoIt&rsquos created a community of people that wouldn&rsquot have existed before.&rdquo

Around four years ago, sheltered by Patterson's stay against fracking, little discussion groups began in people&rsquos kitchens, living rooms, and home basements. At that time, only a few activists were advocating outright bans on fracking: the rest of the fledgling movement was more cautiously advocating temporary moratoria.

Since then a veritable ban cascade has washed across the state. And in local elections last November, scores of anti-fracking candidates, many of whom had never before run for office, displaced pro-gas incumbents in positions as town councilors, town supervisors, and county legislators. As the movement has grown in strength and influence, gas corporations like ExxonMobil and Conoco Philips and Marcellus Shale corporations like Chesapeake Energy have spent millions of dollars on advertising, lobbying, and political campaign contributions to counter it.

Autumn Stoscheck, a young organic apple farmer from the village of Van Etten just south of New York&rsquos Finger Lakes, had none of this in mind in 2008 when she invited a group of neighbors to her living room to talk about fracking. She&rsquod simply heard enough about the process to be terrified. Like other informal fracking meetings that were being launched that year, this was a &ldquolistening group.&rdquo Its ground rules: listen, talk, but don&rsquot criticize. &ldquoThere was a combination of landowners, farmers like us, and young anarchist-activists with experience in other movements,&rdquo she told me. Stoscheck&rsquos neighbors knew nothing about fracking, but &ldquothey were really mistrustful of the government and large gas corporations and felt they were in collusion.&rdquo

Out of such neighborhood groups came the first grassroots anti-fracking organizations. Stoscheck and her colleagues called theirs Shaleshock. One of its first achievements was a PowerPoint presentation, &ldquoDrilling 101,&rdquo which introduces viewers to the Marcellus Shale and what hydraulic fracturing does to it.

When Helen Slottje, a 44-year-old lawyer, saw &ldquoDrilling 101&rdquo at a Shaleshock forum in 2009, she was &ldquohorrified.&rdquo She and her husband David had abandoned their corporate law careers to move to Ithaca in 2000. &ldquoWe traded corporate law practice in Boston for New York State and less stressful work -- or so we thought. New York's beauty seemed worth it.&rdquo

When news reports about fracking started appearing, the Slottjes thought about leaving. &ldquoI kept saying, &lsquoWhat&rsquoll happen if fracking comes to New York? We&rsquoll have to move.&rsquo&rdquo &ldquoDrilling 101&rdquo made her reconsider. Then she visited Dimock, Pennsylvania, 70 miles southeast of Ithaca and that sealed the deal.

By 2009, Dimock, a picturesque rural village, had become synonymous with fracking hell. Houston-based Cabot Oil & Energy had started drilling there the year before. Shortly after, people started to notice that their drinking water had darkened. Some began experiencing bouts of dizziness and headaches others developed sores after bathing in what had been their once pure water.

For a while, Cabot trucked water to Dimock&rsquos residents, but stopped in November when a judge declined to order the company to continue deliveries. The Environmental Protection Agency was going to start water service to Dimock in the first week of January, but withdrew the offer, claiming further water tests were needed. Outraged New Yorkers organized water caravans to help their besieged neighbors.

&ldquoWhen I went to Dimock,&rdquo says Slottje, &ldquoI saw well drilling, huge trucks, muddy crisscrossing pipeline paths cutting through the woods, disposal pits, sites of diesel spills, dusty coatings on plants, noisy compressor stations -- you name it. So I decided to put my legal background to work to prevent the same thing from happening where I lived. We&rsquod been corporate lawyers before. We know the sort of resources the energy corporations have. The grassroots people have nothing. And they have this behemoth coming at them.&rdquo

In May 2009, the Slottjes became full-time Pro bono lawyers for the movement. One of their first services was to reinterpret New York&rsquos constitutional home rule provision, which had allowed local ordinances to trump state laws until 1981. In that year, the state&rsquos Department of Environmental Conservation Division of Mineral Resources exempted gas corporations from local restrictions.

&ldquoI spent thousands of hours on the research,&rdquo says Slottje. &ldquoAnd then last August we were brave enough to go public and say the emperor has no clothes.&rdquo The Slottjes&rsquo reinterpretation of the provision was simple enough: the state regulates the gas industry towns and villages can&rsquot regulate it, but what they can do is keep its operations off their land through the use of zoning ordinances.

The town of Ulysses is nestled in the heart of the state&rsquos burgeoning wine country in the Finger Lakes region. In 2010, a grassroots group, Concerned Citizens of Ulysses (CCU), asked the Slottjes to speak with members of the town board, which controls Ulysses&rsquos planning and its zoning laws.

The board members opposed fracking, but couldn&rsquot see how to prevent it. While the board talked with the Slottjes, CCU activists drafted a petition. If enough registered Ulysses voters signed on, the board would have the popular backing it needed for declaring a ban. Ann Furman, a retired schoolteacher who helped found CCU and write the document, recalls, &ldquoThe petition was pretty specific: &lsquoWe the undersigned want to ban hydrofracking in the town of Ulysses.&rsquo&rdquo A six-month-long door-to-door campaign followed.

&ldquoThere was a lot of education going on in Ulysses at the town board and at forums, as we were going house to house. Even people who would sign the petition would say, &lsquoTell me a little bit more about it.&rsquo And in that next 15 to 20 minutes you would do a whole lot more education.&rdquo In the end, 1,500 out of 3,000 registered voters signed. This past summer the Ulysses town board voted to ban fracking.

Middlefield, 119 miles east of Ulysses and home of the grassroots group Middlefield Neighbors, enacted a similar ban. So did Dryden, 22 miles east of Ulysses. An out-of-state gas corporation that leased land for drilling in Dryden is suing to get the zoning ban declared illegal. A Middlefield landowner is suing that town on the same basis. The cases are pending.

Meanwhile bans proliferate. Six upstate New York counties have zoned out fracking, including Binghamton, which declared a ban in December. An organic brewery in Cooperstown, the Ommegang, mobilized 300 other businesses, including Cooperstown&rsquos Chamber of Commerce, to support more bans in the region.

Chefs for the Marcellus, a group headed by Food Network star Mario Batali, has urged Governor Andrew Cuomo to ban fracking at the state level. &ldquoCall it home-rule democracy,&rdquo says Adrian Kuzminsky, chair of the Cooperstown-based organization Sustainable Otsego. &ldquoIf local communities can seize control over their destinies, a giant step will have been taken toward a sustainable future.&rdquo

This past October, activists were preparing to take on the state&rsquos Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). That agency finds itself caught in a perpetual conflict of interest: on the one hand, protecting the environment on the other, regulating the industries that exploit it. In fact, the 1981 legislation exempting gas corporations from New York&rsquos home rule had been written by Greg Sovas, then head of DEC&rsquos Division of Mineral Resources.

Guidelines for the hydraulic fracturing industry were first issued by the department in late 2009 and rejected in 2010 under withering public criticism. Then-Governor David Paterson declared a moratorium on fracking in the state pending DEC revisions. Revised guidelines appeared this past September in the form of 1,537 mind-numbing pages bearing the title, &ldquoSupplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement,&rdquo aka the &ldquoSGEIS.&rdquo

In study groups and online tutorials, activists prepared to write letters of commentary and protest to the Department of Environmental Conservation and Governor Cuomo, and to speak out in public hearings the department was organizing around the state. Thousands attended these. Pro-gas speakers predictably stuck to the twin themes of the jobs fracking would produce and the economic renewal it would bring about.

Opponents included an impressive line up of scientists (among them Robert Howarth, co-author of last year&rsquos landmark Cornell University study, which established the staggering greenhouse-gas footprint of fracking), engineers, lawyers, and other professionals. A letter sent to Cuomo by 250 New York State physicians and medical professionals deplored the DEC&rsquos failure to attend to the public health impacts of fracking.

Part-time Cooperstown resident James &ldquoChip&rdquo Northrup, a retired manager for Atlantic Richfield (ARCO, America&rsquos seventh largest oil corporation), in one public agency hearing called the performances of pro-gas speakers &ldquodisgraceful&rdquo and the SGEIS &ldquojunk science.&rdquo Citing an industry study that shows 25% of frack wells leak after five years and 40% after eight, he said, &ldquoEverybody in the industry knows that gas drilling pollutes groundwater&hellip It&rsquos not. whether they leak. It&rsquos how much.&rdquo

As 2012 began, the movement was demanding that the department withdraw the SGEIS. In mid-January, DEC spokesperson Lisa King said that once all the comments are tallied, &ldquoWe expect the total to be more than 40,000.&rdquo Earlier, agency officials had told the New York Times they didn&rsquot know of any other issue that had received even 1,000 comments. (Ten thousand letters were mailed from the Catskills&rsquo Sullivan County alone on January 11th, just before the commentary deadline.) Gannett&rsquos Albany Bureau has reported that anti-drilling submissions outnumber those of drilling supporters by at least ten to one.

Sustainable Otsego&rsquos website lists 52 serious and fatal flaws in the document. A letter posted at the website of Toxics Targeting, an environmental database service in Ithaca, elaborately details 17 major SGEIS flaws. By January 10th, when the Toxics Targeting letter was sent to the DEC and the Governor, it had more than 22,000 signatures representing government officials, professional and civic organizations, and individuals. (The DEC counts this letter with its signatures as only one of the 40,000 comments.)

At a November 17th rally in Trenton, New Jersey, to celebrate the postponement of a vote on allowing fracking in the Delaware River Basin, Pennsylvania and New York activists pledged future civil disobedience. &ldquoThe broad coalition of anti-frackers has been operating on multi-levels all at once,&rdquo says Sustainable Otsego&rsquos chair, Adrian Kuzminsky. If the governor approves the SGEIS &ldquothere will be massive disillusionment with the state government and Cuomo, and from what I'm hearing there will be &lsquodirect action&rsquo and civil disobedience in some quarters.&rdquo

At the moment, in fact, the anti-fracking movement in the state only seems to be ramping up. Should the government approve the SGEIS in its current form, lawsuits are planned against the Department of Environmental Conservation. And a brief &ldquoOccupy DEC&rdquo event that took place in the state capital, Albany, on January 12th may have set the tone for the future. Meanwhile some activists, turning their backs on established channels, are already working on legislation that would criminalize fracking.

This past November, Sandra Steingraber told a crowd of hundreds of activists why she was donating her $100,000 Heinz Award to the movement. The money, she said, &ldquoenables speech, emboldens activism, and recognizes that true security for our children lies in preserving the. ecology of our planet.&rdquo

She raised a jar of water. &ldquoThis is what my kids are made of. They are made of water. They are made of the food that is grown in the county that I live in. And they are made of air. We inhale a pint of atmosphere with every breath we take. And when you poison these things, you poison us. That is a violation of our human rights, and that is why this is the civil rights issue of our day.&rdquo

This piece originally appeared on TomDispatch. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.


Wine over Brine

My home near Seneca Lake in New York is famous for a lot of things — good wine, fine food, and the Finger Lakes region’s beautiful scenery.

Now, though, Crestwood Midstream — a Houston-based company that drills, stores, and distributes fracked natural gas — wants to put my community on the map as a hub for dirty energy.

Although New Yorkers had the good sense to ban the practice of “fracking” last year, the industry still has big plans to expand its infrastructure in my state. Developers have proposed hundreds of miles of new pipeline, along with ports for export.

At Seneca Lake, Crestwood Midstream wants to build one of the nation’s largest storage facilities for compressed gas.

For this purpose, it selected a structurally unsound old salt mine beneath Seneca Lake — right in the heart of our tourism, wine, and food industry.

Our economy is built on tourism. Wine Enthusiast magazine recently selected the Finger Lakes as one of the world’s top 10 “wine travel” destinations, ranking it alongside destinations in Italy, New Zealand, France, and Spain. Nearby Watkins Glen was recently voted the third most popular state park in the country by USA Today lesers.

New York State’s $4.8-billion wine industry is more than a source of pride for the Finger Lakes. It employs over 1,000 people and is growing year by year.

Farming and food production are mainstays as well, with the majority of land in our region devoted to farming. New York ranks third in the nation for organic farms, many of which are located right here in the Finger Lakes. Tourists come to visit our farms and enjoy a growing number of farm-to-table restaurants.

Gas storage, though, threatens all of this.

That’s one reason 324 local businesses have formed a coalition to oppose the gas storage facility. There’s great concern about what increased truck traffic, noise, and pollution could mean for their livelihoods. There’s also the risk of a catastrophic accident.

Salt mines, after all, make for a dangerous storage option. Since 1972, there have been 10 incidents of catastrophic failure at underground gas storage facilities, all of which were salt caverns — even though salt caverns make up only 7 percent of storage sites.

The risk is increased at Seneca Lake, where Crestwood plans to use a structurally unsound cavern that runs beside an earthquake fault.

During the 1960s, the roof of this cavern collapsed without warning. A similar accident with the cavern full of gas would be catastrophic. Nearby residents fear the risk of explosion or the contamination of the lake, which is a source of drinking water for 100,000 people.

The risks associated with handling the highly combustible gases Crestwood wants to stockpile are high at every step.

There’s a risk of a truck or train explosion, a wellhead failure, or migration of the gas and its brine into our lake. Tourists will have to dodge trucks carrying explosive materials on our rural roads.

Even under the best circumstances, the site will produce high levels of air pollution from compressors and open pits, light pollution from a 60-foot flare, and loud and continuous noise.

No wonder it’s not just local businesses that are concerned.

At least 22 local governments representing 740,000 residents have passed resolutions opposing the gas storage plan, and more than 200 citizens have been arrested while protesting at the proposed site. This summer, perhaps tourists will join in the civil disobedience at our lake.

We’ve banned fracking here in New York. It’s time for legislators to take the next step and tell the oil and gas industry that the Finger Lakes aren’t an appropriate warehouse for these dangerous materials.

Our future is in wine and renewable energy, not explosive trucks and brine.


Anti-Fracking Filmmaker Among 20+ Arrested at Latest Seneca Lake Blockade

According to organizers, regional opposition to gas storage in Seneca Lake salt caverns reflects a growing commitment to a thriving renewable Finger Lakes and is part of a nationwide rejection of a backwards-looking fossil fuel industry. (Photo: We Are Seneca Lake)

Another 21 people were arrested outside the controversial Crestwood Midstream gas storage facility in upstate New York on Wednesday, bringing the total number of arrests since the We Are Seneca Lake civil disobedience campaign began seven months ago up to 272.

Oscar-nominated filmmaker Josh Fox, whose documentary Gasland focuses on communities affected by fracking, was among those arrested during the human blockade.

"I'm here to support my friends and my community who are protecting Seneca Lake from underground gas storage," Fox said in a statement, noting that Crestwood's methane gas storage expansion project, which would see vast quantities of methane stored underground in questionably sound salt caverns, is situated in an "incredibly important location."

Seneca Lake is the largest of New York's Finger Lakes, providing drinking water for 100,000 people, and supporting local distilleries, wineries, breweries, and agriculture.

"I'm here primarily though because this is a fracking site," Fox continued.

As We Are Seneca Lake has repeatedly pointed out, Texas-based Crestwood has indicated that it intends to make Seneca Lake the gas storage and transportation hub for the northeast, as part of the gas industry's planned expansion of infrastructure across the region. Though New York recently banned the dangerous practice of hydraulic fracturing, Crestwood opponents are concerned that this infrastructure expansion would turn the area into a "gas station for fracking."

"We have to stop fracking all across America, wherever it is going to be," Fox added, before taking aim at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), which approved Crestwood's project last October in the face of broad public opposition and unresolved questions about geological instabilities, fault lines, and possible salinization of the lake.

FERC, Fox charged, "is really acting like a subsidiary of the fossil fuel industry masquerading as a government agency. FERC has to be overhauled. FERC is a disaster…So today is very important because it is a national moment." The protesters have a "very clear message," he concluded. "We want renewable energy, and not these kinds of crazy projects."


Winter’s effect on American vines

While we spent last month shivering and complaining about the polar vortex, local vintners were nervously checking their thermometers as record low temperatures threatened to damage their vines.

Grapevines are dormant this season, but they are not immune to the vagaries of winter. Sustained low temperatures can damage the buds that eventually will carry this year’s crop, and sudden, severe temperature drops can even kill the vines. Vintners won’t know the winter’s true effects until the growing season starts in spring, but there have been reports of extensive damage to vineyards in Ohio and Michigan. Cornell University reported bud damage in New York’s Finger Lakes, especially to Riesling and merlot vines around the northern end of Seneca Lake.

“When temperatures get to the single digits, grape growers tend to get concerned,” says Doug Fabbioli, owner and winegrower at Fabbioli Cellars in Virginia’s Loudoun County. “Each varietal has its winter damage temperature. On the higher number would be merlot at 0 degrees, meaning that it’s more sensitive than cabernet franc at minus 10.” The windchill factor magnifies winter’s effects on humans but not on vines.

Healthy vines are a vineyard’s best defense, Fabbioli said. Vines contain stored energy in the form of sugars from photosynthesis during the past year’s growing season, and the sugars act as a sort of antifreeze during harsh winters.

“Many growers have not surveyed their buds yet. I think they’re scared,” Mark Chien, viticulture educator for Penn State Extension, said in a Jan. 28 e-mail. Chien said he’d conducted a pruning workshop the day before at Waltz Vineyards in Lancaster County and found the vines in good shape: “We had good acclimation conditions in the fall, and I think that has led to very cold-hardy vines.”

So if the worst we can expect locally is bud damage, what does that mean for the 2014 growing season? A smaller crop, potentially, but even that effect can be moderated with care in the vineyard. “You’re going to cut most buds away during pruning anyway,” Joseph Fiola, viticulturist at the University of Maryland, explained to me in early January. So if some buds are damaged, the grower can prune accordingly to give the vine more chances to produce fruit. “As long as you haven’t pruned too early, you’re fine,” Fiola said.

Most growers begin pruning in late January or February, though some have moved pruning earlier after several mild winters reduced the concern over winter damage, according to Tony Wolf, Virginia Tech’s viticulturist.

Wolf cites a “silver lining” for regional vintners in this year’s harsh weather. Pierce’s disease, a vine-killing virus carried into vineyards by insects called sharpshooters, thrives on warm winter conditions and had been creeping north into Virginia’s vineyards. “Cold winter temperatures are beneficial in keeping this particular disease further to our south,” he said via e-mail.

California vintners are dealing with the opposite problem, and with potentially serious effects. With temperatures in northern California unseasonably warm, early-budding grape varieties such as chardonnay are showing signs of growth already — a month earlier than normal — while the region deals with record drought.

Last year was the driest ever measured for Napa Valley, with just four to eight inches of rain, according to the Napa Valley Grapegrowers. The area typically gets 12 to 25 inches of rain annually, with eight inches on average falling in January. This past January was dry.

Winery ponds that collect rainwater to use in irrigating vineyards during the summer are drying up, so growers are already planning for lower crop yields. If you visit California wine country this year, you might notice less-abundant foliage on the vines and a lack of cover crops between the vine rows. Those cover crops provide nutrients to the soils and guard against erosion, but they compete with the vines for water.

The ponds are also used for frost protection: Spraying the vines during a frost protects the fragile flowers from the cold. With the season starting early, the vines will be at greater risk for frost damage.

As with conditions here in the East, it’s too early to gauge what effect this unusual winter will have on the 2014 California harvest. But the concerns demonstrate that even in the dormant season, vineyards are susceptible to nature’s whims.


Kyk die video: Vinarija Belje: Najstariji i najveći podrum vina na Balkanu (Januarie 2022).