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ReNEW New York

Solar in the City Discussion Series on Renewable Energy
What is New York’s Solar Energy Potential?

January 19th 6:15–9:30pm
The Community Church of New York
40 East 35th Street (Park & Madison)
Suggested $5-10 donation

What are the best methods to make solar power a reality in New York? Among the suggested models are: Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs); Net Metering; Feed-in Tariffs; and Community Choice Aggregation. How is the average New Yorker to make sense of these options?

Panel Discussion with:

Alison Kling, NYC Solar Map
Anthony Pereira, altPOWER, Inc.
John Siciliani, JFS Renewables LLC
Megan Matson, Lean Energy, US
Moderator: Ran Kohn, Cleantech Corridor

Series Co-Sponsors: The Environmental Task Force of The Congregation of Saint Saviour; The Green Sanctuary Committee of the Community Church of New York, UU; NYC Friends of Clearwater; Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter Gas Drilling Task Force; Tri-State Food Not Lawns/Neighborhood Energy Network; NY Climate Action Group; Sane Energy Project; United for Action; WBAI’s Eco-logic

Deadline for Comments to the DEC on SGEIS

Thanks to our friends at United for Action for compiling this information. http://unitedforaction.org/2011/10/13/dec-sgeis-comment-action-center/

Submit Comments to DEC on the SGEIS by 5:00 pm January 11, 2012! Postmarked by then or sent via DEC website.

We want the DEC to receive as many comments as possible on its Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement which paves the way for fracking in NY State. We’re hoping to drown DEC in comments. Please write comments using your own words. Form letters are less effective. Written comments will be accepted by DEC if received by DEC or postmarked by January 11, 2012 by two methods only. Written letter mailed to DEC or electronic submission using a web-based comment form available on DEC’s website http://www.dec.ny.gov/energy/76838.html which we’ve been told is not that user friendly. Comments that are faxed, telephoned, or emailed to the DEC will not be accepted for the official record. We’re encouraging people to submit comments to DEC by regular mail because we’ve been told that letters are more effective.

Mail your comments to:

Attn: dSGEIS Comments
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
625 Broadway
Albany, NY 12233-6510 

Mail a copy to the Governor, your State Senator, and your Assemblyperson to let them know how seriously voters are taking this and that we’re holding them accountable:
The Honorable Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York State
NYS State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224

For more info: http://unitedforaction.org/2011/10/13/dec-sgeis-comment-action-center/

If you are submitting your comments to DEC electronically, please remember to print out a hard copy and send it to Cuomo, your State Senator and Assemblyperson.

Suggestions for Writing Comments

  • Keep your comments focused. Give a paragraph or two to each concern rather than discussing all of your concerns in one long paragraph.
  • If you can, make it clear what section and topic in the Draft you are referring to in your comments.
  • Every comment matters, but comments with concrete suggestions and with references to articles and papers, are especially useful.
  • For clarity, we encourage you to write separate comments on each topic. You may send in multiple letters to DEC covering different topics in each letter.
  • Sign your letter individually with your address. If you include a group affiliation, they could be grouped together and counted as one single comment.


FIFTEEN WAYS TO FIGHT FRACKING: Yes, things that you can actually do that will make a big difference!

Tell everyone about the dangers of fracking. Educate your friends, family, neighbors, co-workers. Explain the many ways in which fracking is devastating to humans, water, air, forests, agriculture, livestock and wildlife. Explain why the DEC’s guidelines don’t go far enough, and why we need a complete ban on fracking in NY State.

Let Governor Cuomo know your opinions on fracking. Call him every Monday at 212-681-4580 or 518-474-8390. Send him letters, emails and faxes. And encourage others to do the same.

Contact other elected officials. For example, President Obama, senators, congressional representatives, state senators, assemblypersons, city council members. The League of Women Voters can provide all necessary contact info. Encourage others to do the same.

Write letters to editors. Express yourself in major newspapers, local newspapers, magazines and newsletters. Even better, write your own newsletter article. Encourage others to do this also.

Blog On. Respond to articles or posts about fracking, wherever you see them on the internet. Better still, start your own blog. Get your friends to do this, too.

Make a Visual Statement. Wear anti-fracking buttons and t-shirts as conversation starters. Put a sign in your window or on your front porch or lawn. And yep, encourage others (you get the idea by now).

Blanket the Neighborhood. Post literature on bulletin boards and leave materials in health food stores, supermarkets, banks. One good source of materials is Food and Water Watch.

Get Petitions Signed. Right in your own neighborhood, you can set up a table, or just speak to people with a clipboard. Or just give out informational fliers. We’ll help you get started.

Activate Your Networks. Everybody belongs to groups of one kind or another, and you’re the best person to start getting your group involved. Give out material, and make everyone aware of the issues. Better still, we can arrange a PowerPoint presentation, or a screening of Josh Fox’s anti-fracking movie Gaslands for your group. Or, you could have a Gaslands party in your home.

Become an Expert. Learn as much as you can about fracking, so that you can educate other folks. One good place to start is with the resource materials found at unitedforaction.org.

Become a “Bird Dog.” Attend events where public figures are speaking, and ask them tough questions about fracking. The media will love this.

Create a Happening. Got creativity? Get some friends and do some street theater to increase public awareness, or organize a flash mob. The possibilities are endless.

Comment on the draft supplemental EIS. This is very important. The formal comment period on the DEC guidelines should begin August 1st. It’s essential that as many people as possible submit lengthy and detailed comments explaining why the guidelines are totally inadequate to protect New York from this dangerous drilling process.

Show Up at the Rallies. There will be some truly major anti-fracking rallies happening in the late summer and fall. It is ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL that as many people as possible show up. So make sure that you will be there, and bring as many friends as possible. There will be other protest demos going on all summer, too. (Gee, you could even organize one of your own.)

Work with Other Groups. There are lots of great activist groups already working in a coalition against fracking. Contact United For Action, Food and Water Watch, Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter, NYH2O, and many others. Join with us, and let’s work together to STOP FRACKING NOW!

GOP senators stonewall growing opposition to fracking

The last week of legislative session in Albany is usually an intense time of late-night negotiations and fierce public advocacy as state government tries to make up for months of inaction in just a few days.

This has been exceptionally busy year, with major issues (same sex marriage, rent control, property taxes, SUNY tuition hikes and power plant siting) dominating the back room sessions and flooding the halls with protesters.

Noticeably absent from the end-of-session calendar is hydrofracking, the controversial natural gas extraction technique that in previous months dominated headlines and captured the attention of lawmakers.

In April and May, the Sierra Club helped bring thousands of activists to Albany in a relentless string of protests, marches, lobby days and hearings to call for bans, closure of drilling loopholes, and the strengthening of environmental laws. And while the noise in Albany intensified, events were unfolding elsewhere that only increased the urgency to stop this mad march toward expanded drilling:

• The New York Times presented a scathing, three-part series revealing that the EPA had suppressed reports concluding that New York and Pennsylvania’s sewage treatment facilities are incapable of treating drilling wastes --– including levels of radioactivity 100 to 1000 times higher than drinking water safety standards.

• Attorney General Schneiderman sued the Delaware River Basin Commission for failing to conduct an environmental impact statement on hydraulic fracturing permits before going forward with an ill-conceived rule-making process.

• The Assembly held hearings on the public health impacts of hydrofracking and the testimony of a dozen medical professionals, endocrinologists and public heath experts revealed how little we know about the human pathology of drilling –-- and what we do know indicates there could be widespread issues.

• Dozens of municipalities and townships amended zoning regulations to prohibit fracking within their borders.

• Credit unions and lending agencies sounded the alarm that drilling is a liability to property values and they will not provide mortgages to leased land or the land immediately adjacent to drilling activity, potentially preventing millions of acres of New York real estate from being bought or sold.

• And a natural gas well in Bradford County, Pennsylvania, blew out, discharging thousands of gallons of water containing fracking chemicals into a nearby creek. Seven households were evacuated from the area as a result. Chesapeake Energy, the state’s largest drilling company, suspended all operations until it could determine what went so catastrophically wrong.

Article reprinted from http://newyork.sierraclub.org/index.html

Bernice Silver, 97 Years Young Goes Kayaking!

This is the first event of Pete's Vision, a new focus of NYCFC on recreational boating to have people fall in love with and appreciate the waterways.

Bernice Silver is going kayaking for the first time!   We hope you all come down and join us Saturday Aug 13th*, to enjoy a fun morning on the Hudson River either to kayak or just observing. Meet us at Downtown Boathouse Pier 96 at 56th Street and the Hudson River at 10:30 am.

Bernice Silver is a long time member of the NYC Friends of Clearwater, an environmentalist, a puppeteer and a songwriter. She will be showing us all that anyone and everyone can enjoy the river. At 97 years young Bernice is “game for anything” she says.

Pete Seeger, legendary folk singer and environmental activist, 40 plus years ago envisioned a Hudson River that was clean for his children and grandchildren to play in. Back then you couldn’t walk a few blocks away without smelling the stench of the water. The sails of the Sloop Clearwater went up and a symbol of a cleaner river was born.

Bernice has sailed on the Clearwater many times and now its time for a new adventure. Kayaking, rowing and paddle boarding are human powered recreation many enjoy on the Hudson these days. (We won’t be seeing Bernice on a paddle board :).

Part of Pete’s vision was to turn people onto the beauty of being on the river, loving the river and appreciating the need to protect it. Thousands of people have sailed on the Clearwater over the years and learned valuable lessons of the environment.

*Date change is due to the ecological crisis on the Hudson caused by the fire 7.22 at the North River Wastewater Treatment Plant. The river has been off limits to kayaking and swimming for a few days. The plant is back online and the river is expected to be safe again soon. Westchester County just lifted its advisory, 7.27,  on recreational activities on the river and Manhattan will soon follow. We have been working closely with the Department of Environmental Protection, Dept of Health and Riverkeeper specifically about Bernice and the water quality.  Mother nature will assure that the water quality will as be excellent as Riverkeeper’s testing deemed it was on the day before the current crisis.

Click here for the NY Times article on the treatment plant fire.

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