Open Letter to Governor Cuomo: Signed by Ingraffea; Steingraber; Howarth; Barth & many others

Open Letter to Governor Cuomo: Signed by Ingraffea; Steingraber; Howarth; Barth & many others Susan Arbetter’s Blog, August 9, 2012
We—the undersigned scientists, medical professionals, elected officials, business persons, and economists – protest the exclusion of qualified, independent experts from the decision-making process to permit or prohibit unconventional development of natural gas from shale formations in New York State. Letters we have sent to your office and to the Department of Environmental Conservation have received no replies. Requests for meetings with you have received no response. The failure to engage us in substantive discussions contradicts your repeated statement that science, facts, and information will form the basis of your decision. While our voices have been ignored, the Department of Environmental Conservation has rolled out the red carpet to representatives of the gas industry and engaged them in reciprocal conversation. Gas industry representatives have enjoyed meetings with high-level officials, sneak peaks at the draft environmental impact statement, and same-day responses to emailed requests, as revealed by the recent Environmental Working Group report based on FOIL documents. As the Albany Times Union reports this week that you are now moving actively to release the revised draft regulations and open parts of New York State to unconventional shale gas extraction via hydraulic fracturing, we write to express our complete loss of faith in the Department of Environmental Conservation. This agency has not only colluded with the gas industry in crafting regulations, its preparations to date are wholly inadequate to oversee the roll-out of an industry and practice as inherently dangerous, secretive, and accident-prone as spatially intensive, high-volume fracking. Furthermore, we call for the resignation of Bradley Field, the chief of the DEC’s Division of Mineral Resources. Mr. Field is directly responsible for the scientific integrity of the document on which your decision will rest. As a signatory to a petition that denies the demonstrable harm of climate change, Mr. Field has shown himself wholly unqualified for his position. … We believe that “safe” development of shale gas is not possible at this time using existing technologies. Were the DEC objective and inclusive of evidence and facts, it would come to the same conclusion. … Sincerely,
Lou Allstadt Former executive vice president, Mobil Oil Corporation
Don Barber Town Supervisor of Caroline
Larry Bennett Public relations and creative services manager, Brewery Ommegang
Jannette Barth, PhD Pepacton Institute LLC
Dominic Frongillo Deputy Town Supervisor of Caroline; founder, Elected Officials to Protect New York
Robert Howarth, PhD David R. Atkinson Professor of Ecology and Environmental Biology Cornell University
Anthony Ingraffea, PhD, PE Dwight C. Baum Professor of Engineering Cornell University
Adam Law, MD Endocrinologist, Ithaca, New York; Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of London
Deborah Rogers Energy Policy Forum
Matthew Ryan Mayor of Binghamton
Sandra Steingraber, PhD Distinguished Scholar in Residence Ithaca College

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