Making Democracy Work

Environmental Action

North Country Green Pages


Hydraulic Fracturing Study Committee

League of Women Voters of the North Country Hydraulic -Fracturing Study Group Report, November 01, 2014

Our study group began two years ago in 2012.

Since the New York State moratorium on Hydraulic Fracturing, also known as Fracking, remained in place, our goal was to inform our communities of related health and environmental issues, and support and appropriate state and local legislation to prevent the current unregulated spread of dangerous hydraulic fracturing liquid and solid waste by-products to our communities. Communications with the League in Albany and other downstate leagues, Beth Radow, and Ellen Weininger from Grassroots Environmental Education helped us prepare information to present to local government leaders in Clinton and Essex Counties.

We support the passage of (i) The Hazardous Waste Bill AA1046/S674; (ii) a Bill which suspends hydraulic fracturing for the extraction of natural gas or oil; suspends the issuance of New Permits for such drilling (S01210); (iii) legislation which encourages the development of renewable energy systems throughout New York State.


1. Sponsored two documentaries in Clinton and Essex counties which exposed negative impacts related to hydraulic fracturing. Moderated by Earth Science professor, our committee advisor.

2. Hosted a Senior Research Presentation that was supervised by a SUNY Plattsburgh Geology professor. This was followed by questions and discussion with the community.

3.Met with several community government officials to discuss issues related to controlling unregulated toxic fracking waste and preserving our public health and ecosystems.

4.A letter was written to Vermont Governor Shumlin, requesting that he work with Governor Cuomo to prohibit oil and gas companies the use of Lake Champlain as a source of water for hydraulic fracturing needs, or as a place of disposal for water used in the fracturing process.

5.Created and delivered a visual and oral presentation on public health reasons for enacting a ban on fracking waste for the Clinton County Legislature .

6.Presented negative health impacts of accepting and using fracking wastes to Essex County Supervisors.

7.The City of Plattsburgh Common Council passed a resolution to ban disposal of all hydraulic fracturing byproducts as well as any hydraulic-fracturing-related activities. Although committee didn't directly work with council members, Plattsburgh Council worked with several others whom we had lobbied. Committee attended the Council meeting and applauded their action.

8. In July 2014 the Clinton County Legislature passed a law banning all hydraulic fracturing wastes, solid and liquid, from treatment or storage within the County.

9. Committee members met with Assemblywoman Janet Duprey and traveled to Glens Falls to lobby Assemblyman Dan Stec regarding League issues, including appropriate classification and labeling of hydraulic fracturing byproducts and declaring a moratorium on shale gas extraction in New York State.


Now we are more aware that transportation of gas and oil products in dangerous. All modes of transport + truck, rail, pipeline, barge, special container vessels + have severe safety issues. We feel that localities and their representatives and health and safety officials must urgently address these issues through "home rule" incentives as well as through substantive dialogue with our Department of Conservation, the Legislature in Albany, and the Federal Department of Transportation.

Submitted by Mary Dufort, Co-Chair of the Hydraulic Fracturing Study Group

🎌webmaster's note: The following report is informational and does not reflect a League position opposing or supporting high-volume hydraulic fracturing.

Report to LWV on anti-fracking rally 6/17/13 in NY, by Mary-Alice Shemo

To indicate the size of it, think about how big the square around the capitol building comples is. At one point participants marched, singing & chanting, around it. When the first people to start out returned to the space in front of the capitol steps, the last ones were just leaving. At one point during the speakers, cheering & chanting, someone came out to say we could be heard inside the capitol. No ragtag handful, that.

Natalie Merchant, a wonderful singer & stalwart supporter of WAMC radio, sang repeatedly.

Speakers included: (I didn't get full names & affiliations of all of them. Here's what I wrote down.) David Braun

Julia of Frack Action

Allen of Food & Water Watch

Orrin Lyons of the Onondaga Nation Logan (& son Elijah)

Lois Gibbs, leder of the Love Canal fight

Actress Debra Wenger, Exec. Producer of Gasland (Josh Fox was at another rally)

Maurice Hinchey, ex-Congressman & environmental leader

Jim Dean, chair of Democracy for America

Phil Arenow, VP of

Dr. Mark D. Jacobson, prof. & researcher at Stanford U in Calif.

Alex (Kittle?) prez of Sungevity + business perspective

Dr. Sandra Steingraber, biologist + protested LNG storage facility under Finger Lakes

Arun Gandhi + grandson of Mahatma Gandhi Pledge of Resistance Larry Bennett, businessman Alison Rutherford, Alliance for a Green Economy

Tadd Mechanicals + first net zero energy bldg.

NY Council of Churches rep

Sen Tony Avella, (Ban bill), & Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal (Radon bill) stopped by

Some Important Points that Were Made:

Dr. Mark Jacobson has authored a detailed plan for getting to 100% renewable energy in NYS by (2030? 2050?), including electricity, transportation, cooling/heating, & industry.

Last year, wind generated more energy than natural gas.

Fossil fuel pollution costs NYS $33 billion/yr. The price of energy has increased everywhere, but in states that use wind, water & solar energy, the cost per Kwh/hr has increased less than in others.

Off-shore wind energy installations can help dissipate storm energy.

Renewables can produce a reliable power grid 99.9% of the time (note: it's not 100% now. Ever heard of blackouts?)

There's not reason to continue using coal & gas, the obstacles are social & political, not technical.

Dr. Sandra Steingrab speaks to the health consequences of fracking as a biologist. The highway of fracking leads only to temporary benefits for a few. The infrastructure for it is already under construction, counting on pushing past feeble popular protest. There's another way, a road-less-traveled; the GPS is found in Dr. Jacobson's report. We're already blazing that trail to climate justice. It's a journey to survival.

Arun Gandhi pointed out that uneducated women in villages in India are making solar energy for their communities, so surely we can do more solar here.

From a business perspective, Alex Kittle pointed out that using lots of scarce resources makes them more expensive, whereas using lots of renewables makes them cheaper. The cost of solar energy has decreased 90% over the last 10 years, while the cost of natural gas has stayed the same. Every study indicates that renewables create more jobs per unit of energy than fossil fuels, some as much as 30 times more. Renewables are better for the economy than fossil fuels, as well as for the environment & health.

Larry Bennett said that healthy business should be imaginative, sustainable & responsible, but the way many businesses now operate is unimaginative, unsustainable, irresponsible & unspeakable. It's part of the community, not just about profit. In NYS 291 wineries, 61 cider mills, 181 breweries, cheesreies, organic farms, tourism, & real estate values would be negatively impacted by polluted water from fracking (I didn't get all the numbers). The losses would far outweigh any profits from fracking.

Go to Something worth doing: get more local businesses to join.

Lois Gibbs said that at Love Canal, more & more babies were being born with various birth defects, up to 56% before community action forced it to be shut down. The solution to fracking is in nobody's hands but ours. By building awareness, neighbor to neighbor, we can & will stop fracking. The movie "A Fierce Green Fire" details the Love Canal story.

Jim Dean + Big business has a long history of evading responsibility, not paying taxes fairly, & not fulfilling its obligations. The fossil fuel industry is not up to the job of stewarding resources.

The NY Council of Churches rep saaid that how we get & use energy is a moral issue, a matter of the common good. He quoted a verse from Ps. 11 that asks, when the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do? (not exact quote)

Pledge of Resistance + be modern-day Minute Men, drop everything when demonstrations are called for. Note: there are many ways to be involver other than risking arrest. Go to to sign up & invite others to do so.

NYSERTA offers free energy audits to those in its districts. Investing in reducing your home's carbon footprint is feasible. Financing is available. Contact (or is it .org?)

Other speakers addressed the possibility & necessity of working together as much & as long as it takes to defeat fracking & other threats to a clean, liveable future.

Links to hydraulic fracturing websites

Where to take items for recycling

North Country Green Pages

The following is the link that will describe what and where recyclable items can be taken. Contact information is also provided. North Country Green Pages is a collaborative effort between the League of Women Voters and Learn and Serve. Special thanks is given to Casella Waste Systems for underwriting the printing costs.

If you do not have Adobe Reader, click on the image for a free download.

Get Adobe Reader to read PDF files