New York Crossroads

What: New York Crossroads: Rally to Stop Fracking and Demand Renewable Energy
When: Monday, June 17th, 12pm-3pm
Where: Rally and March in East Capitol Lawn, Albany, NY

NYCrossroads

My name is Joseph Varon, and I live in West Hempstead, Long Island.

I知 an environmental activist, retired teacher, and native New Yorker, who volunteers with Food & Water Watch.

I知 also an Orthodox Jew, whose faith inspires a reverence for our Earth. On June 17, I値l be taking the bus to Albany for New York Crossroads, the rally against fracking and for renewable energy.

I love nature and the outdoors, and I知 terrified that fracking could destroy some of our beautiful state痴 most precious landscapes. And, of course, I知 worried about the threat of climate change and how fracking could poison our water, air, and food.

I hope you値l join me in making New York Crossroads an amazing event.

If you want to arrange a car pool, email Corinne Rosen.

Thank you so much for helping protect our state.

– Joseph Varon

Good News

Two pieces of good news:

  1. On Monday the states that are a part of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), including New York, agreed to a reduction in the emissions cap, from 141 million tons to 91 million tons. This will reduce the amount of carbon being put into our atmosphere.
  2. On Tuesday the Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Shah said that he needs more time to complete the health review on hydrofracking, effectively keeping the state from rushing a decision.

New York Interfaith Power and Light and many of you have written letters and made phone calls to push for these two things, and our state痴 leaders have heard our call. Thank you for all you have done and continue to do!

NYIPL Calls on Governor Cuomo to Hold off on Fracking

hydrofrackingNew York Interfaith Power & Light (NYIPL), a nonprofit organization of 90 congregations of different faiths, called on the Governor and the Department of Environmental Conservation in a letter Wednesday to prohibit high-volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing (吐racking) until safety and environmental concerns have been addressed.

New York Interfaith Power and Light also issued a new position statement on the issue.

As people of faith concerned with climate change, said Executive Director Janna Stieg Watkins, NYIPL is particularly interested in the methane leaks associated with fracking. 溺ethane is a potent greenhouse gas said Stieg Watkins, 殿nd leaking methane is a serious issue. Numerous other environmental and health hazards are products of fracking, the group noted.

The Vice-Chair of NYIPL痴 board, Dr. Patricia Townsend, said 的f one applies the precautionary principle to the discussion, it becomes clear that it is inappropriate to open New York to fracking at this time, with the current state of drilling technology and environmental science. The precautionary principle states that if a practice has a suspected risk of causing harm to the public or to the environment, that the burden of proof that it is not harmful falls on those promoting the practice. In this case that would be those entities promoting hydraulic fracturing.

Townsend continued 展e support creation stewardship, including intelligent energy use, energy efficiency, and community health. It has become clear that serious questions are yet to be answered about both the health and climate impacts of fracking.

An Open Letter to Governor Cuomo

January 9, 2013

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

Dear Governor Cuomo,

New York Interfaith Power & Light is a non-profit organization made up of 90 congregations of all faiths located throughout the state of New York. We are deeply concerned about the environmental and health affects of high-volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing, and are particularly concerned about the impact on our climate from methane leaks.

In the past we have called for the precautionary principle to be applied. We have not joined the anti-fracking coalition because we realize that these are hard decisions for communities of faith in the area currently being targeted for drilling. Now that a decision is at hand, however, it is clear that serious questions are yet to be answered about both health and climate impacts. Applying the precautionary principle, it is clear that it would be inappropriate to open New York to high-volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing at this time, with the current state of drilling technology and environmental science.

We are writing to you to add our names to the letter previously sent to you and signed by hundreds of other faith leaders:

As people of reason and faith, care of the earth, its inhabitants, and future generations are of great importance to us. We have been supportive of the current moratorium on hydraulic fracturing for natural gas extraction in New York so that impacts can be assessed. However, in light of mounting evidence of significant harm to the environment, human health, and communities in areas where fracking has occurred and indications that the DEC could soon begin issuing permits, we are now compelled to speak out in opposition to use of the technology as it has been presently developed.

Fracking activities underway in Pennsylvania and elsewhere have been shown to cause significant and irreversible damage, both above and below ground. As proposed, the technology constitutes a grave danger to land, air, and water resources of our entire region, should it come to New York. While we appreciate the economic difficulties of neighbors, we believe it is a moral obligation for all of us to work together toward addressing human needs while building a sustainable future that is respectful of the earth and the well-being of future generations who shall inherit this world. The intrinsic beauty of our planet and abundance of life it sustains are far beyond the capacity of humankind to create; however they are not beyond the capacity of humankind, as creatures with intelligence and compassion, to protect.

In consideration of the above, we join the numerous clergy, religious leaders, and communities of faith who have signed a resolution in support of bans on the use of hydraulic fracturing for the extraction of natural gas throughout the past several months since the ceremony of the blessing of the waters at Cooperstown. Furthermore, we strongly encourage the pursuit of sustainable economies, renewable energy, and conservation so that New York may be an example of good stewardship of the earth and an advocate for the well-being of its inhabitants.

Sincerely,

The Board of New York Interfaith Power & Light

Gerard A. Falco, Esq., Board Chair
Harrison, NY

Dr. Patricia Townsend, Vice-Chair
Amherst, NY

J. Henry Neale, Jr., Esq., Treasurer
White Plains, NY

Sister Mary Ann Garisto
Bronx, NY

Rev. Henry Frueh
Queensbury, NY

Elysa Hammond
New Rochelle, NY

Rabbi Linda Motzkin
Gansevoort, NY

Edward Smyth
Wyantskill, NY

POSITION STATEMENT: High-volume Horizontal Hydraulic Fracturing

New York Interfaith Power and Light Position Statement on high-volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing
January 9, 2013

New York Interfaith Power & Light calls upon the DEC and Governor Cuomo to prohibit high-volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing at this time.

New York Interfaith Power & Light is a non-profit organization representing 90 congregations of all faiths across the state of New York. We regularly communicate with more than 1600 people via email. We are a part of the national Interfaith Power and Light movement, with chapters in 39 states and we address climate change from a faith perspective.

We support creation stewardship, including intelligent energy use, energy efficiency, and community health. It has become clear that serious questions are yet to be answered about both the health and climate impacts of high-volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing (吐racking).

Scientists continue to gather evidence about methane leaks from fracked wells (P騁ron, G. et al. J. Geophys. Res. 117, D04304, 2012). Methane is a potent greenhouse gas, and leaking methane will likely negate any climate benefits that fracked gas has over coal.

Evidence of other health and environmental concerns continues to mount as well. And there is not sufficient corresponding evidence that the natural gas industry has adequately addressed these safety concerns.

Our previous position statement on hydrofracking calls upon the EPA to use the precautionary principle when assessing this type of natural gas extraction. The precautionary principle states that if a practice has a suspected risk of causing harm to the public or to the environment, that the burden of proof that it is not harmful falls on those promoting the practice. In this case that would be those entities promoting hydraulic fracturing.

Now that a decision is at hand it is clear that serious questions are yet to be answered about both health impacts and climate impacts. Applying the precautionary principle, it is clear that it would be inappropriate to open New York to high-volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing at this time, with the current state of drilling technology and environmental science.