Archives for category: Environment

Home is where the heart is, and for John Faso, his heart has certainly not been in the 19th Congressional District. For his entire 20+ year political career, his heart has been in the corporate headquarters of the fossil fuel industry, Wall Street, and the ultra-wealthy. In his short time in Washington, his voting record confirms this.

So while he rails against so-called carpetbaggers – claims of dubious credibility – he can most accurately be named one of the nation’s premier CORPORATEBAGGERS, a politician whose every move shows us where his heart really is, from a lifetime of unquestioning support and work for the fossil fuel industry, to his critical support for Trumpcare, to his votes to enable pollution of the nation’s waterways.

His biggest supporters are from outside the 19th District.

Because his continuing failure to represent us is so obvious, and his words so consistently belie his actions, the ultra-wealthy are already pouring millions into the district to shore up his re-election campaign. There is a real opportunity for the voters of the 19th district to show that big money can be defeated by a knowledgeable and active citizenry.

Recent Faso votes against environmental protection and worker protection.

Disapprove Disclosure of Payments by Resource Extraction Issuers Rule – Vote Passed (235-187, 10 Not Voting)
The measure would disapprove of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rule issued in July 2016 that requires resource extraction issuers (companies that extract oil, natural gas or minerals) that are registered in the United States to provide detailed, public reporting of certain payments to governments that equal or exceed $100,000 per project annually.
Rep. John Faso voted YES

Disapprove Stream Buffer Rule – Vote Passed (228-194, 10 Not Voting)
The bill would disapprove the Interior Department’s Stream Buffer Rule requiring that surface coal mining operations be designed to minimize the amount of waste placed outside the mined-out area, thus minimizing the amount of land disturbed.
Rep. John Faso voted YES

Disapprove Labor Law Rule – Vote Passed (236-187, 9 Not Voting)
The bill would disapprove a Defense Department, General Services Administration and NASA rule that requires federal contractors to self-certify violations of 14 specified federal labor laws and equivalent state laws. The laws include the Fair Labor Standards Act, Occupational Safety and Health Act, National Labor Relations Act, Davis-Bacon Act, and Americans with Disabilities Act, among others. Rep. John Faso voted YES

Disapprove BLM Methane Rule – Vote Passed (221-191, 20 Not Voting)
The bill would disapprove, under terms of the Congressional Review Act, a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) rule issued last November that requires oil and gas producers to implement measures that reduce natural gas waste.
Rep. John Faso voted NO


An important report from Working Families:

“This morning, a fracking compressor exploded in Northeast Pennsylvania, just 30 miles south of Binghamton.

As black smoke billows from the site, emergency crews from three counties are on the scene. The most recent reports suggest that workers are still trying to shut off the flow of gas. Luckily, no injuries have been reported so far.

The compressor station takes gas, extracted from the Marcellus Shale by hydrofracking, and pressurizes it for transport. Stations like these would spring up across New York if Governor Cuomo and the Department of Environmental Conservation approve fracking in our state.

Poisoned water, earthquakes, and now explosions. What more evidence do we need that fracking is too dangerous?”

Here is the link to news coverage by the Scranton Times-Tribune.

Governor Cuomo has quietly removed funding for the health assessment of hydrofracking, so that there will be no governmental data to prove that hydrofracking will result in increased levels of toxic chemicals in the air and water, with severe irreversible long-term health consequences for New Yorkers.

Here is the Jewett Town Board’s resolution against using “fracking” brine on local roads:

The Jewett Resolution

The Town Board’s response was made in part because of a post on this site in January, and it’s an important step forward in the fight against environmental damage caused by fracking.

The water we drink today is the water that the dinosaurs drank!

Our fresh water is not a renewable resource. Once it is contaminated, it is gone forever! The chemicals used in fracking are not biodegradable and contamination is irreversible. Contaminated water can flow for miles underground within the water table and ruin our Greene County streams and wells, even coming from adjacent counties and states.

Fracking in the US and Europe will mean the loss of huge quantities of our finite fresh water supply. Such water is already scarce in many places, leading to social and economic conflicts. Greene County is flush with fresh water that will become a valuable resource/commodity. Let us keep our Greene County water pure by opposing fracking anywhere in New York State and beyond.

Paul Trautman
Jewett NY 12444

January 26, 2012

Jewett Town Board
Jewett Municipal Building

3547 County Rte. 23C
P.O. Box 132

Jewett, NY 12444

Dear Carol Muth (Supervisor), Steve Jacobs, James Pellitteri, Michael McCrary, and William Trach:

RE: Use of Fracking Brine on Jewett Roads

As everyone is aware, hydro-fracking for natural gas is not an immediate concern for the Town of Jewett, since both DEP and DEC plans exclude the New York City watershed from any drilling. However, there is a use for the fracking brine on roads that is controversial and of great concern.

A.D. Call & Sons Excavating of Stafford, N.Y has recently received DEP permission to use the fracking brine on the roads of nearby Medina. It seems that the salt from the brine can be used to de-ice the road surface during winter. The water from fracking contains salt, and is being called a “natural brine” to be used for winter snow and ice clearing, and dust management. However, this waste fluid also contains toxic chemicals, heavy metals and radioactive materials. Among the contents of this brine is mineral salts plus arsenic, mercury, thallium, chromium, other heavy metals and NORMs (naturally occurring radioactive materials) – whatever toxins are in the layers that are drilled though.

Since this brine, if used on Jewett roads, would enter our streams and aquifers, I strongly urge the Jewett Town Board to pass a resolution prohibiting the use of the residue brine from fracking on any roads within the town.

We need to protect our water and land, something upon which we can all agree. Thank you very much for your consideration.


Paul Trautman

Write Governor Cuomo by January 11th to prevent contamination of our water and streams! Click on this web site and then step no. 2: “Write the Governor.” You can use their texts, and they will send. You can add your own comments, if you like.

Where does all the water come from for hydrofracking? Out of our streams, rivers, and wells. 3 to 5 million gallons (!) of water are used per well, and there can be as many as 100 wells within an area. Some trout streams in Pennsylvania have already dried up enough to cause massive die-off of fish. 80,000 pounds of chemicals, laced with carcinogens, neurotoxins, and endocrine disrupters (i.e. disruptors of our hormones!) are then added to the water. Half stays underground and will most likely contaminate the water that feeds our wells. Leftover used water is either evaporated in open pits (chemicals and all), spread on roads as de-icer (done now in some NYS towns!), or is processed in water treatment plans that can in no way clean it up. The “treated” water then goes into our streams and rivers—even the Hudson River would receive it.

This process is not safe for our state! Write the Governor. The decisions are now being made.

As many of you know, the Governor of Florida gives new meaning to the idea of Evil Politician. Not only is he a convicted felon, but he is hell-bent on ruining what is left of Florida’s environment and civilization – I am not exaggerating. Moveon is organizing a campaign to bring the right of recall to Florida – something we desperately need here too. They need signatures to bring the right of recall to the ballot, so I am asking that you contact any Florida voters you may know and refer them to this petition website. Here is a link.

If they are successful, we can try the same thing here, and maybe make politicians a little more responsive and honest.

September 7, 2011

The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of the State of New York
State Capitol
Albany, NY 12224

Dear Governor Cuomo,

Your first several months in office have been a resounding success, and I congratulate you on your accomplishments. It is all the more disturbing, therefore, that just a single action has effectively destroyed both your legacy and your political future.

I refer to your lifting of the moratorium on hydrofracking. The inevitable problems that will result, far more dramatic and harmful than any other in New York history, will now inevitably be tied to your administration, and you will be blamed for any and all resulting harm.

Historically, no human technological advance or invention has failed to result in the maximum feasible disaster, whether deliberately the result of sabotage, accidents resulting from faulty design, negligence, or simply a lack of awareness of the dangers. The examples are many and obvious, from the recent nuclear plant disaster in Japan, to environmental and economic results of the use of DDT, to the Bhopal deaths, to the oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska, to jetliner crashes, to the recent spate of sinkhole accidents in Florida resulting from overuse of water. The list is endless.

To assume that hydrofracking will be immune to such accidents is both naïve and dishonest; government oversight has never been able to prevent such problems in any industry. This is all the more true with regard to the energy industries, and more so than in any other area, the oil and gas industry.

Not only is the danger real and imminent (Pennsylvania has already seen examples of relatively minor accidents), but we are dealing with an industry that historically has never paid the least attention to safety and public welfare – its raison e’tre has always been the pursuit of the highest short-term profit without regard for truth, safety, or government/public concerns. That this industry is again lying regarding the safety of the technology is without question, and it is only a matter of time before this is proven by a disaster that could reach epic proportions.

At present, there is no way to hold the officers and owners of the hydrofracking corporations personally responsible for their actions. They will continue to hide behind corporate shields.

If the technology is so safe, and the chemicals used so benign, why are they so reluctant to put their own safety, and that of their families, on the line? I would be more inclined to believe their claims if they agreed to use water from wells near their drilling sites for their own personal needs.
Additionally, their lack of veracity, coupled with the new horizontal drilling technology, will inevitably result in drilling and extraction beneath prohibited areas, including the New York City watershed. To assume otherwise is to ignore their long history of evasion of regulations, and their ability to avoid government oversight. This is especially true in an era where government will have even less money to monitor their actions.

I hope you will more carefully look at the potential for disaster that this technology poses. A small leak could sicken and even kill hundreds of people. Conceivably, a major disaster could result in the contamination of New York City’s water supply. There would be no way to quickly or even feasibly clean this up – current water filtration technologies are not in place to deal with these chemicals and could not be for many years. Were I living in the City, my only reaction would be to move out as soon as possible, and I am sure most New Yorkers would feel the same. The resulting law suits would bankrupt the drilling companies; there is no way to force them to set aside sufficient funds to mitigate a disaster of this scope.

I urge you to reconsider your decision. Hiding behind the DEC reports will not save either the State or your reputation. Hydrofracking will result in a disaster.

The alternatives are also obvious, and we have been avoiding them for far too long, again under pressure from the fossil fuel industry. Changes in building codes and tax credits for retrofits to save energy are proven and simple, investments in mass transit would save even more, and the state has the natural and human resources to more quickly build a large renewable energy sector that would help to revive our economy by providing jobs and be a source of export revenue.
Conservation, and home and town based energy production (geothermal, solar, wind, waste processing), will save far more energy than hydrofracking can produce. In addition to tax credits, financing is relatively simple. As early as the 1970s the public willingly accepted small increases in utility rates to pay for conservation and renewable energy;  a project in California in the 1970s and ‘80s proved this. The California Public Utilities Commission mandated this program, and the New York Public Service Commission could do the same.

I urge you to resist the financial and political pressure of the hydrofracking industry, and to respond to the real needs and opportunities offered by and for the people of New York.


Ronald F. Lipton