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Archive for the ‘Energy’ Category

A Crude Reality: Oil Fueling Renewables for Capitalist System

In Capitalism, Energy, Interpretive Editorial, Uncategorized on March 6, 2016 at 10:37 am

The new year of 2016 has proven quickly that recession is continuing to prevent us from a working, efficient world economy.  Closely linked to this phenomenon is a rugged, dirty economy that has made its way across the globe through groups of various competitive business owners and oil sucking hopefuls.  While many countries, like India and China; are working their way into an industrialized world economy as working class nation-states within a world economy, the oil industry is still a key resource and non-renewable dependency that globalization is contingent on.  Despite changing thoughts of ethics and morals when it comes to energy, the price of a barrel of oil reached a twelve-year low in the beginning of 2016 and now proves to be the answer to the United States avoiding another recession.  

This January in 2016, at a new ten-year low of $26.55, the price of oil per barrel has now ensured investors security, a basis to a process of expected cleansing and renewal within the dirtiest economy on the face of the planet. The new year seems to be the most volatile market yet as smaller and less efficient oil companies and producers are expected to run out of business.  Capitalism is a key component to this crumbling business economy as the largest corporations will be fit for the long hull with investments secured in studies of gas, bio-fuel and other environmentally sustainable solutions backed by credible research.   Have you made an investment in your own future this year?

Removing the dependency of oil and other non-renewable resources is now a goal of many but also an issue related closely to political chaos and scientific suicide.  Political organizations and candidates alike have been campaigning upon promises and ideas of renewable energy throughout the past decade.  Others have taken the chance to make political gains with hopes that their partisan organization has something in store for them personally because they can deny the effects of global warming and climate change on the television.  Marco Rubio, a Senator from Florida and presidential hopeful has been on Face the Nation twice now, repealing his first denial of scientific climate change by saying, “I do not believe in climate change in the same way some of these people out there are trying to make us believe” (https://youtu.be/aiczDqY-RrI, 0:13).  The Rubio campaign is still a possibility in 2016 as the last major botch from the candidate was when he broke a molar on a frozen Twix bar last week, however; with any more denials of climate change and global warming you can count on the towel from the Rubio campaign in 2016.  

Times are changing, so are candidates; will political organization be next?  Tragedy within the British Petroleum corporation during the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill couldn’t stop money from still flowing into Europe’s back pocket, emergency funds from other competitive corporations like British Gas would ensure the production of oils and gases for consumption would be a reality in Europe to support the working world economy.  Importantly; on a serious note, the year 2030 has now become a campaign of itself; demanding alternative energy sources as a point of business that Green Party members throughout the United States hold dear to themselves, as talks in the past between the major political organizations had been marked as a goal for the year 2050!  The reality of the situation is crude larger oil production companies are able to stay in business because of the investments they have in renewable energy sources and research they have done within those fields within the same company.  

It is no secret in today’s world that a good investment into the future can be the saving grace later in life and during retirement.  Prices on the New York Stock Exchange throughout the month of February have also affirmed that the recent prices of a barrel of oil have proven to be a solid investment and answer to the ailing thoughts of another recession. A larger surprise; a record twelve-year low was recorded by Bloomberg Business at $26.14 a barrel this month (http://bloom.bg/1V5MHci).   An article from CNBC explains the situation upon market close, as of four o’clock in the afternoon on February 17th; EST, “US oil closes 1.36% lower, or 40 cents, at $29.04 a barrel” (http://cnb.cx/1WoADDs).  The oil industry is staying active and the continual dependency upon non-renewables like petroleum and liquid natural gas as resources within the process of globalization and industrial globalization is a back bone to the future.  Corporations in the oil industry providing oil services throughout the world are and have been the reason for many things happening around the world; terrorism, just and unjust war but also daily transportation, public transportation and shipping are dependent of oil.     

Right now I would like to invite you all to the battle royal of the lasting oil production and oil service companies in the United States, pay attention in 2016.  As for now we will be watching the most fit oil corporations flex, show their muscles as they endure the competitive nature of the alternative energy age in which all larger oil productions companies, ironically, have investments in new renewable energy concepts and plans for business in the future.  Even though you can think oil is out of the question today as an investment with all the new renewable energy sources, oil sinks to all times lows; many countries are ready to trade and for those who are, it means business as barrels of oil reach highs of $35.00 daily during market hours (http://cnb.cx/1WoADDs). Good luck, dive head first when diving!

Weston Hoy, Syracuse, NY.

Wes holds a degree in Political Science from Syracuse University and is a local peace, justice, race, and economics activist.  

 

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Veterans Lead Civil Disobedience Action at Crestwood

In Anti-War, Energy, Renewables on January 26, 2016 at 12:53 pm

U.S. Vets Lead Civil Disobedience Action at Crestwood to Protest Seneca Lake Gas Storage

Green leader, former NY gubernatorial candidate Howie Hawkins among 13 arrested in human blockade

Watkins Glen, NY – Eleven veterans representing all branches of the U.S. armed forces, were among 13 arrested on Tuesday morning in a human blockade at Crestwood Midstream on Route 14 as part of We Are Seneca Lake’s ongoing civil disobedience campaign against gas storage in underground lakeside salt caverns. The protesters blocked all traffic entering and leaving the facility.

Among them was former NY gubernatorial candidate Howie Hawkins (Green Party), a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps.

Hawkins said, “The massive gas leak in Porter Ranch, California shows the inherent dangers of underground gas storage. The shores of Seneca Lake—New York’s own Napa Valley—are the wrong place for a massive gas storage hub. The salt caverns are too geologically unstable. One accident would turn visitors away and ruin the economy.”

Also joining the protest were Schuyler County resident and U.S. Army veteran Nathan Lewis, who served in Iraq, and Colleen Boland, U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sergeant (retired), who served in the White House during the George W. Bush Administration. Boland served an 8-day jail sentence in November 2014 for a previous act of civil disobedience at the Crestwood entrance.

At 8:45 a.m. this morning, the 13 ceremoniously unfurled banners that read, “Veterans Against Crestwood / Defending the Climate and Seneca Lake,” and formed a human chain across the north entrance of Crestwood Midstream, blocking chemical tanker trucks from leaving and entering the facility.

The group was arrested shortly after 9:00 a.m. by Schuyler County deputies, transported to the Schuyler County Sheriff’s department, charged with disorderly conduct, and released.

The total number of arrests in the sixteen-month-old civil disobedience campaign now stands at 480.

While blockading, the veterans from all branches of the military made public statements about the duty they feel to protect water and the climate.

“I continue to be mindful of my past oath to protect against all enemies, foreign and domestic,” said Colleen Boland, who traveled to more than 20 countries while on active duty.

In her remarks at the gate, Boland addressed recent, accusations that Seneca Lake protesters are “outsiders”:

“When the science on climate change is ignored, when our political leaders do the bidding of the gas industry rather than protect us, people rise up. Veterans rise up. And when we do, we should never—in any instance—be called outsiders here in our own country, in our own state, in the regions where we grew up. Veterans should never be dismissed when we speak out on issues that threaten our well-being and the security of our loved ones.”

Jenifer Paquette, 63, Corning, Steuben County said, “From 1970 to 1973, I served in the U.S. Navy as a Personnelman 3rd Class Petty Officer. Except for that military time, I have lived all of my 63 years in Corning, New York and feel a right and a duty to protect the air, land, and water that is my birthright. The Crestwood gas storage expansion is a threat to those basic rights for me, my son, and my granddaughter.”

Nathan Lewis, 33, Hector, Schuyler County said, “I served 2.5 years in the U.S. Army as a field artilleryman. What I saw in Iraq was that the war on terror is a catastrophe. What I see here at home, in Schuyler County, is that the fossil fuel industry is pushing our ecosystem to the point of collapse.”

The We Are Seneca Lake movement opposes Crestwood’s plans for methane and LPG storage in lakeside salt caverns and has been ongoing since October 2014.

Crestwood’s methane gas storage expansion project was approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in October 2014 in the face of broad public opposition and unresolved questions about geological instabilities, fault lines, and possible salinization of Seneca Lake, which serves as a source of drinking water for 100,000 people.

The 13 arrested today were:

Elliott Adams, 69, Sharon Springs, Schoharie County (veteran, U.S. Army)

Colleen Boland, 59, Elmira, Chemung County (veteran, U.S. Air Force and U.S. Army)

Colleen Condon Coss, 60, West Henrietta, Monroe County

Doug Couchon, 65, Elmira, Chemung County (veteran, U.S. Army National Guard)

Martin C. Dodge, 73, Canandaigua, Ontario County (veteran, U.S. Coast Guard)

Hervie Harris, 70, Elmira, Chemung County (veteran, U.S. Navy)

Howie Hawkins, 63, Syracuse, Onondaga County (veteran, U.S. Marine Corps)

Nathan Lewis, 33, Hector, Schuyler County (veteran, U.S. Army)

Peter Looker, 65, Glenville, Schenectady County

Jenifer Paquette, 63, Corning, Steuben County (veteran, U.S. Navy)

Wendell F. Perks, Jr., 67, Mecklenburg, Schuyler County (veteran, U.S. Army)

Richard Rogers, 67, Spencer, Tioga County (veteran, U.S. Army)

Dwain Wilder, 76, Brighton, Monroe County (veteran, U.S. Navy)

Read more about the protesters at: http://www.wearesenecalake.com/seneca-lake-defendes/.

Read more about widespread objections to Crestwood’s gas storage plans: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/26/nyregion/new-york-winemakers-fight-gas-storage-plan-near-seneca-lake.html?_r=0.

Read Gannett’s investigative report about the risks and dangers of LPG gas storage: http://www.democratandchronicle.com/story/news/local/watchdog/2015/06/26/seneca-gas-storage-debated/29272421/.

Background on the Protests:

Protesters have been blocking the Crestwood gas storage facility gates since Thursday, October 23, 2014, including a rally with more than 200 people on Friday, October 24th. On Wednesday, October 29th, Crestwood called the police and the first 10 protesters were arrested. More information and pictures of the actions are available at www.WeAreSenecaLake.com.

The unified We Are Seneca Lake protests started on October 23rd because Friday, October 24thmarked the day that major new construction on the gas storage facility was authorized to begin. The ongoing acts of civil disobedience come after the community pursued every possible avenue to stop the project and after being thwarted by an unacceptable process and denial of science. The protests are taking place at the gates of the Crestwood compressor station site on the shore of Seneca Lake, the largest of New York’s Finger Lakes.

The methane gas storage expansion project is advancing in the face of broad public opposition and unresolved questions about geological instabilities, fault lines, and possible salinization of the lake, which serves as a source of drinking water for 100,000 people. 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.Note that the WE ARE SENECA LAKE protest is to stop the expansion of methane gas storage, a separate project from Crestwood’s proposed Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) storage project, which is on hold pending a Department of Environmental Conservation Issues Conference on February 12th, 2015.

As they have for a long time, the protesters are continuing to call on President Obama, U.S. Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, Governor Cuomo, and Congressman Reed to intervene on behalf of the community and halt the dangerous project. In spite of overwhelming opposition, grave geological and public health concerns, Crestwood has federal approval to move forward with plans to store highly pressurized, explosive gas in abandoned salt caverns on the west side of Seneca Lake. While the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has temporarily halted plans to stockpile propane and butane (LPG) in nearby caverns—out of ongoing concerns for safety, health, and the environment—Crestwood is actively constructing infrastructure for the storage of two billion cubic feet of methane (natural gas), with the blessing of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

More background, including about the broad extent of the opposition from hundreds of wineries and more than a dozen local municipalities, is available on the We Are Seneca Lake website at http://www.wearesenecalake.com/press-kit/.

#  #  #

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – January 26, 2016

media contact: Sandra Steingraber  607.351.0719

photos:   http://www.wearesenecalake.com/veterans-pic/

video:   http://www.wearesenecalake.com/veterans-vid

Bomb Trains in Syracuse?- What You Need to Know

In Activism, Energy, Video Documentation on May 12, 2015 at 10:07 pm

Exclusive Video by Indy Media CNY – http://bambuser.com/v/5508440

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A presentation on Bakken crude oil trains with Sandy Steubing, an activist and organizer with PAUSE, People of Albany United for Safe Energy.

“Every week trains loaded with volatile crude oil “fracked” in North Dakota’s Bakken shale travel through Syracuse. With very little public awareness and no study of environmental impacts, the gas & oil industry has made our region a dangerous hub for highly flammable oil using these “bomb trains.” The rail system was never built for this kind of dangerous cargo, yet these trains travel through population centers and next to schools, homes, and businesses.”

As a next step in, you can also submit supportive comments, and share on social media, the Letter to the Editor on Syracuse.com by Indy Media CNY Publisher Frank Cetera – http://www.syracuse.com/opinion/index.ssf/2015/05/new_york_must_take_steps_to_stop_oil-train_transit_your_letters.html

LARGEST EVER COMMUNITY SOLAR ENERGY PROGRAM IN NEW YORK STATE TO KICKOFF IN SYRACUSE THURSDAY MARCH 26 @ 6 PM

In Energy, Renewables, Solar on March 26, 2015 at 12:39 pm

AN INDY MEDIA CNY VIDEO EXCLUSIVE.  Archived Video of the Event Now Available at http://bambuser.com/v/5381717

JessicaChrisSolarizeCapture

Announcement for SolarizeCNY will take place at WCNY at the celebration of Solarize Syracuse 2014

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SYRACUSE, NY — MARCH 25, 2015 — Central New York has a chance to become the Solar Center of NY State in 2015, as organizations in five counties take part in the bulk discount purchasing, easy, convenient enrollment, permitting and installation process that comprises a “Solarize” program.

Last year, in just 5 months, during the Solarize Syracuse program, 77 buildings were signed up to generate more than 500KW electricity of solar power, more than doubling the amount of solar previously installed in subject areas. The program, which was run by a consortium of area non profits working with the Central NY Regional Planning and Development Board, was limited to the City of Syracuse, and Towns of Manlius, DeWitt, and Onondaga Hill.

“Many people don’t know that Syracuse has more sun that Germany, the world leader in solar photovoltaics,” commented Chris Carrick, Energy Program Manager at the Central NY Regional Planning and Development Board. “People often think that having a solar array installed will be expensive, and complicated, possibly even confusing or a hassle. The Solarize Syracuse program demonstrated that people are eager to equip their properties with solar power when they are offered accurate, credible information, attractive pricing, and simplified processes.”

Pete Wirth, a Solarize volunteer, equipped his home with solar panels two years ago. “I wish I’d done it sooner, because I really wanted to use a clean, renewable energy source,” he says. “But I had to sort through a lot of information. That’s one of the advantages of a Solarize program: it makes it easy for homeowners and businesses to switch to solar. What’s beautiful is that it is price competitive with what they might be paying for electricity now,” he commented, adding that he expected his own system to have paid for itself within about seven or eight years.

The dozen or so volunteers who ran the 2014 SolarizeSyracuse Program, along with the program’s non-profit sponsors, and the participants in the program will celebrate the success of SolarizeSyracuse at a party at the WCNY Broadcast & Education Center, 415 W. Fayette St. Syracuse on Thursday, March 26, at 6 pm. The party will also mark the kickoff of SolarizeCNY.

Like the SolarizeSyracuse program, the Solarize CNY program will offer free community workshops where interested property owners can investigate enrolling in the program, and even sign up to receive a free site assessment to determine the suitability of their property. If their sites are suitable, they will be able to purchase a solar installation at substantial cost savings from a locally approved Solarize approved installer, during a limited time enrollment period. Counties in the program include Cayuga, Cortland, Madison, Onondaga, and Oswego.

Solarize Syracuse was organized by Alliance for a Green Economy, Central New York Regional Planning and Development Board, Frack Action, Greening USA, New York Interfaith Power and Light, and Syracuse Peace Council. Additional support was offered by Alchemical Nursery, EnergyWright, Partnership for Onondaga Creek, Syracuse Community Choir and People for Animal Rights.

Contact: Chris Carrick, 315-439-7748, Central New York Regional Planning and Development Board

http://www.solarizesyracuse.org/

“Epic” Video Push For a Fossil-Free, Nuclear-Free Clean Energy Future

In Climate, Energy, Fossil Fuels, Nuclear, Renewables, Solar, Wind on March 12, 2015 at 11:57 am

Five groups mount “epic” push to enlist more Americans to join movement for a fossil-free, nuclear-free clean energy future – As Fukushima anniversary nears, interactive video at www.MakeNuclearHistory.org allows visitors to experience three very different energy futures, get involved in groups’ pushes on nuclear, wind power initiatives.

Epic Labs Capture

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A week ahead of the fourth anniversary of the Fukushima reactor disaster, five leading organizations fighting for America’s clean-energy future – Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, the Nuclear Information and Resource Service, Public Citizen, and the Sierra Club – are unveiling an interactive online video, “Our Epic Future: Create It With Clean Energy.”

Available at www.MakeNuclearHistory.org, the entertaining, fact-filled video allows visitors to explore three scenarios in the “Epic Energy Labs” with very different future outcomes: one dominated by fossil fuels, another in which nuclear power is the focus, and a third relying on renewable energy.

After viewing the video, visitors can get involved in clean energy campaigns of the five groups, including urging the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to put in place post-Fukushima safety measures at U.S. reactors and petitioning Congress to reinstate the Production Tax Credit support for the wind energy.

The Make Nuclear History Web site explains: “There is a better way. There is a way to power our lives without fossil fuels.  There is a solution to climate change without nuclear energy. There is a future where we can solve the climate crisis and power our lives from 100 percent renewable sources and energy efficiency. Now is the time to create our fossil and nuclear-free future … A fossil and nuclear-free future powered by renewable sources is possible and the transition is happening now. The benefits of clean, affordable and renewable energy compared with the dirty, expensive legacy of fossil fuels and nuclear reactors are obvious.”

“The Fukushima disaster shows us exactly why we cannot and should not try to rely on nuclear energy to solve the climate crisis,” said Tim Judson, Executive Director of NIRS. “Japan’s decision to invest in nuclear rather than renewables left the country totally unprepared when calamity struck. Clean, renewable energy sources are abundant, affordable, and ready to go. They can replace nuclear and fossil fuels, which are two sides of the dirty, extreme energy coin.”

“We no longer need to be shackled to dirty and dangerous energy,” said Robert Weissman, Executive Director of Public Citizen, “A sustainable energy economy is not only possible but necessary if we are to avoid irreversible climate disruption and safeguard our communities against radioactive contamination.”

“While the nuclear industry continues to grasp at straws for relevance, it is more apparent than ever that the clean energy revolution has taken hold in communities across the country,” said Greenpeace Executive Director Annie Leonard. “The Fukushima disaster is a constant reminder that nuclear energy is a dirty and dangerous distraction from real solutions like wind and solar. We should commit to rejecting costly nuclear pipe dreams and supporting the renewable efforts that can help avert our climate crisis.”

“Choosing between clean energy and dangerous fuels like coal and nuclear isn’t difficult. Nuclear has proven time and time again to be too expensive, too slow to build, and far too dangerous. Meanwhile, burning fossil fuels is making our families sick and making the climate crisis worse. That’s a huge part of the reason our clean energy economy is growing by leaps and bounds, creating jobs while keeping pollution out of our air, our water, and our communities.” – Michael Brune, Executive Director, Sierra Club

“Fukushima was a global water shed moment illustrating the potential for catastrophic nuclear accidents to occur,” said Friends of the Earth President Erich Pica. “This video contributes to a growing people’s movement demanding a fossil free, nuclear free future.”

About the groups:

Friends of the Earth strives for a more healthy and just world. We understand that the challenges facing our planet call for more than half measures, so we push for the reforms that are needed, not merely the ones that are politically easy. Sometimes, this involves speaking uncomfortable truths to power and demanding more than people think is possible. It’s hard work. But the pressures facing our planet and its people are too important for us to compromise. http://www.foe.org/

Greenpeace is the leading independent campaigning organization that uses peaceful direct action and creative communication to expose global environmental problems and to promote solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future. www.greenpeace.org

2014 marked the 36th anniversary of Nuclear Information and Resource Service. We were founded to be the national information and networking center for citizens and environmental activists concerned about nuclear power, radioactive waste, radiation and sustainable energy issues. www.nirs.org

Public Citizen serves as the people’s voice in the nation’s capital. Since our founding in 1971, we have delved into an array of areas, but our work on each issue shares an overarching goal: To ensure that all citizens are represented in the halls of power. www.citizen.org

The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 2.4 million members and supporters. In addition to helping people from all backgrounds explore nature and our outdoor heritage, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. www.sierraclub.org

Contacts:
Alex Frank, (703) 276-3254, afrank@hastingsgroup.com
Tim Judson, for Nuclear Information and Research Service, (301) 270-6477, timj@nirs.org
Benjamin Schreiber, for Friends of the Earth, (202) 222-0752, bschreiber@foe.org
Allison Fisher, for Public Citizen, (202) 454-5176, afisher@citizen.org
Perry Wheeler, for Greenpeace, (202) 319-2461, perry.wheeler@greenpeace.org
Trey Pollard, for the Sierra Club, (202) 495-3058, trey.pollard@sierraclub.org

– See more at: http://www.foe.org/news/news-releases/2015-03-groups-mount-push-for-nuclear-free-clean-energy-future#sthash.CXUiMiNS.dpuf

The Landscape Of Fracking in NY

In Direct Action, Energy, Video Documentation on February 28, 2015 at 6:06 pm

http://bambuser.com/v/5317540

Many are under the impression that New York is safe from fracking now because high-volume horizontal drilling will be banned. But the reality is that industry is on the attack with multiple proposals for pipelines, compressor stations, storage caverns, waste dumping and service facilities. Find out what’s happening near the Syracuse area via an online mapping tool that demonstrates that New York is in fact being fracked in every way except the drilling.  Learn how you can help stop the infrastructure projects that are threatening communities across NY.

LandscapeCapture

Speakers:
Doug Couchon, People for a Healthy Environment about We Are Seneca Lake Salt Cavern Storage;

Suzy Winkler, Concerned Citizens of Burlington about the Dominion New Market Project;

Mary Menapace, GDACC about Northern NY injection wells

Sponsored by (List in formation):
Sane Energy Project, Coalition to Protect New York, Syracuse Peace Council, Frackbusters NY, Mohawk Valley Keeper, We Are Seneca Lake, Shaleshock CNY, People for Animal Rights

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New York’s Hydrofracking “Ban” and what It Does or Doesn’t Mean for the Environment

In Climate, Energy, Fracking on February 26, 2015 at 12:14 pm

The Landscape of Fracking in NY: What’s Changed and What Hasn’t

Saturday, February 28 at 1:00pm

University United Methodist Church, 1085 E. Genesee St.

Environmental Groups have hailed Governor Cuomo’s recent (Dec. 2014) decision to ban hydrofracking in New York as the first ban by a state with significant natural-gas resources. While this is undoubtedly a step in the right direction in terms of environmental regulations, we as citizens need to turn an analytical eye to this new policy to determine if it is doing enough to control this harmful practice in our home state. First, we need to familiarize ourselves with the official definition of hydrofracking– “a stimulation technique involving the pumping of hydraulic fracturing fluid, possibly with a proppant, into a formation to create fractures to increase formation permeability and productivity”. In other words ‘fracking’ is a technique of drilling for natural gas in which large amounts of water and relatively small amounts of chemicals are forced into shale deposits in order to release natural gas.

The specifics of how this new law will affect drilling practices in New York are still uncertain, but the law does prohibit oil companies to “drill, deepen, plug back or convert a well for oil and gas exploration, production, input, or storage purposes to any depth… greater than 500 feet” until the well owner has applied and received a permit from the state. The basis of this decision came from a cabinet meeting in which the acting state health commissioner, Dr. Howard A. Zucker, said the public health examination on hydrofracking had found “significant public health risks” associated with drilling. Dr. Zucker listed concerns about water contamination and air pollution, [not to mention earthquakes, a common occurrence in heavily fracked areas].

So knowing that the new legislation is not exactly a Hail Mary for citizens concerned about fracking, activists can still work on these issues on a local level. Since the New York Court of Appeals ruled that towns could use zoning ordinances to ban fracking in June, dozens of communities across New York have passed moratoriums and bans on fracking.

Finally, what average New Yorkers should do before taking any further action in this arena is educate themselves on the ‘wheres’, ‘whats’ and the ‘whys’ of hydrofracking. A great way to get started, and to meet similarly minded people, is to attend “The Landscape of Fracking in NY: What’s Changed and What Hasn’t”. This event will be held Saturday, February 28 at 1:00pm in University United Methodist Church, 1085 E. Genesee St. This teach-in will focus on the non-drilling aspects of fracking that are being pursued by industries in New York, including proposals for pipelines, compressor stations, storage caverns, and waste dumping. Speakers will include Doug Couchon, from People for a Healthy Environment and Mary Menapace, from Gas Drilling Awareness for Cortland County. I hope to see fellow environmentally conscious citizens there, since as we all know, more often than not, the solution to pollution is… education!

Rand Aaron Michaels a freshman at SUNY school of Environmental Science and Forestry studying environmental education and interpretation, and is dedicated to providing members of the public with accurate non-biased information about issues relating to the environment and social justice. 

Green Party: Katko Wrong on Keystone, Urge Climate Action and Divestment from Fossil Fuels 

In Climate, Corporations, Energy, Government, Katko, Media Advisory on February 12, 2015 at 1:37 pm

SYRACUSE, NY – The Green Party of New York expressed disappointment with Rep. John Katko’s vote in support of the Keystone XL pipeline.

“Rep. Katko vote in support of the Keystone XL pipeline shows that he is blind to the climate crisis. It’s disgraceful that our representative in Congress would support further development of infrastructure to exploit the Canadian Tar Sands, the most intensive and dirty extractive projects on the planet.  This pipeline will further lock the world into massive carbon emissions, with inevitable spills like the one we saw last month which dumped thousand 30,000 gallons of tar sands oil into the Yellowstone River,” said Ursula Rozum, Green Party of Onondaga Secretary and a former Green candidate for Congress.

“The Keystone XL pipeline is the opposite of progress. Climate scientists tell us that to avoid catastrophic climate change, we have to ensure that 80% of the existing fossil fuel reserves remain in the ground.  We must to halt all new investments in fossil fuels infrastructure, and commit to a swift transition to renewable energy, ASAP. We should commit to 100% clean energy by 2030,” added Rozum.

The Keystone XL would carry 830,000 barrels of oil a day from Canada to the GulfCoast. Oil from tar sands, or bitumen, is the dirtiest kind of crude of oil. Refining tar sands oil requires four times the energy and produces 5 to 20 percent more greenhouse gases compared to light crude oil. Northern Alberta is home to indigenous populations whose cultural traditions and livelihood are coming under attack because of the tar-sands operations.

The Keystone XL pipeline would cross farms, parks, wetlands, forests, conservation lands, protected wildlife areas, as well as tribal lands. The Rosebud Sioux Tribe (Sicangu Lakota Oyate) has called the U.S. House’s authorization of the Keystone XL pipeline an act of war (http://boldnebraska.org/rosebud-sioux-tribe-house-vote-in-favor-of-keystone-xl-pipeline-an-act-of-war/). It has the potential to contaminate over 1,000 water­ways in­cluding the Ogalala aquifer, which supplies drinking water to millions of people in the midwest and is used for irrigation of vast acres of farmland.

Recent spills are irrefutable proof that pipeline safety cannot be guaranteed. Recent examples include the July 2011 and January 2015 pipeline ruptures that dumped tens of thousands of gallons of Canadian crude oil into the Yellowstone River and the March 2013 ExxonMobil spill in Mayflower, Arkansas. The derailment of tank cars carrying crude oil in July 2013 caused an explosion that killed 47 people in Lac Megantic, Quebec.

The Green Parties of Maine, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, and New Jersey have banded together against a proposed fossil-fuel pipeline through the region, calling themselves the Green Alliance to Stop the Pipelines, or GASP (https://www.facebook.com/StopThePipelines).

GASP opposes a plan by the six New England governors to spend $6 billion on the Kinder Morgan gas transmission pipeline, which would bring fracked natural gas to export terminals in Maine and Canada.

The Green Party is part of the February 13th Global Fossil Fuel Divestment Day which in New York State is pressuring Comptroller Tom DiNapoli to divest New York’s pension fund from fossil fuel investments.

Contact Ursula Rozum, Green Party of Onondaga, Secretary, (315) 414-7720, ursula.rozum@gmail.com

Reforming the Energy Vision Teach-in and Community Forum

In Community, Energy, Video Documentation on January 24, 2015 at 1:42 pm

Syracuse, NY.  Teach-in and community forum that explains what REV is (Reforming the Energy Vision), how the reform affects rate-payers, especially low-income residents, and how to engage community in the process to transition Central New York to a clean energy economy and renewable, stable, utility system.  For more information about Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) please visit: http://allianceforagreeneconomy.org/content/reclaiming-energy-vision.  Click the picture below to link to the video documentation of the event.

Capture REV Teach In

What Next?  Attend a REV Public Hearing!  Thanks to the advocacy of the Energy Democracy Working Group, the PSC (Public Service Commission) has announced it will hold a series of public hearings on REV.

SYRACUSE
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 28, 2015
6pm, The Oncenter

BUFFALO
THURSDAY, JANUARY 29, 2015
3:00pm and 6:00pm, Buffalo Central Library

NEW YORK CITY
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 2015
3:00pm and 6:00pm, Borough of Manhattan Community College

KINGSTON
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2015
6:00pm, Council Chambers

ALBANY
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 2015
6:00pm, State University of New York at Albany

View all the details about the hearings here.

Click the link below to download a worksheet to help you develop your testimony for any of the hearings listed above.

Testimony worksheet

Grassroots Solar Movement Spreading Across the US Lands in Syracuse

In Energy on July 31, 2014 at 8:33 pm

Solarize is a grassroots solar movement that is spreading across the US, from its origins as developed by residents of Portland, Oregon, to make solar power more affordable and more accessible than ever. In the past few years, successful Solarize campaigns have spread from Oregon to Massachusetts to New York, including neighboring Madison and Tompkins Counties. Solarize campaigns have the power to double or even triple the amount of installed solar in their communities and invigorate the local solar market.

In Syracuse, the effort is organized by Alliance for a Green Economy, Central New York Regional Planning and Development Board, Frack Action, Greening USA, New York Interfaith Power and Light, Peace Action CNY, and Syracuse Peace Council. And co-sponsoried by Partnership for Onondaga Creek, Syracuse Community Choir, and People for Animal Rights. Together, they are taking collective action to reduce the use of fossil fuels and nuclear power in our communities and to shift our region to clean, sustainable energy.

In June, Solarize Syracuse asked area solar installers for bids to partner on the campaign. The qualified contractor selected was CNY Solar based on criteria such as a priority on being located in Upstate New York, payment of a living wage, a proven reputation and experience with solar energy, and offers US-made components and options for purchase and leasing.

From July 31-September 12, 9 free public workshops will be hosted to provide an introduction to solar power, an overview of the systems and financial options available, relevant subsidies and tax credits, and other ways to save money and energy. Download the flyer here.

Residents, business owners, and nonprofits in the city of Syracuse and the towns of Dewitt, Manlius and Onondaga can enroll in the Solarize Syracuse program for a free solar assessment. If the assessment is positive, participants can take advantage of volume discount pricing from our partner contractor as well as assistance qualifying for state and federal subsidies and tax credits to install a solar system at a significantly reduced price. The contract signing deadline for the program will be September 30.

How to Participate:
Attend any of nine free public workshops from July 31 – September 12.
Enroll on the website.
Volunteer for anything from outreach to event set up.
Spread the Word on Facebook, post flyers, forward this article.

Solarize Syracuse Kickoff Workshop
Thursday, July 31, 6:00-7:30 pm
City Hall Commons Atrium (201 E. Washington St, Syracuse)

Solarize DeWitt Workshop
Tuesday, August 12, 6:00-7:30 pm
DeWitt Town Hall (5400 Butternut Dr, East Syracuse)

Solarize Fayetteville – Let’s Do This!
Saturday, August 16, Noon-1:30 pm
Fayetteville Free Library (300 Orchard St, Fayetteville)

Solarize Syracuse at Spa at 500
Tuesday, August 19, 6:00-7:30 pm
Spa at 500 (500 W Onondaga St, Syracuse)

Solarize Onondaga
Monday, August 25, 6:00-7:30 pm
Onondaga Free Library (4840 W Seneca Turnpike, Syracuse)

Solarize Manlius
Thursday, September 4, 6:00-7:30 pm
Manlius Public Library (1 Arkie Albanese Ave, Manlius)

Solarize Workshop at ArtRage Gallery
Tuesday, September 9, 7:00-8:30 pm
ArtRage Gallery (505 Hawley Ave, Syracuse)

Greening USA Green Bag Lunch
Friday, September 12, Noon-1:30 pm
Center of Excellence (727 E Washington St, Syracuse)

Last Chance Workshop at Natur-Tyme
Saturday, September 13, 12:30-2:00 pm
Natur-Tyme (3160 Erie Blvd E, Syracuse)