ACTION: Call Gov. Cuomo and NY's DEC, Say No to New Fracking Regulations
This week, under Governor Cuomo’s direction, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) filed a new set of fracking regulations with the Secretary of State. But the DEC does not plan to make its new regulations available to the public until Dec. 12 for a public comment period that will only last until Jan. 11. DEC is required to finalize these new regulations by Feb. 27.
The DEC’s action wholly undercuts the governor’s promise to let the science of the Department of Health’s (DOH) review of fracking’s health impacts and DEC’s yet-to-be-completed environmental impact statement guide his decisions on fracking. Neither study will be completed before the public comment on the revised regulations closes. This is a fatal misstep for New Yorkers.
The consequence of filing this revised set of fracking regulations now will be to suppress public participation in the rulemaking process, given that the minimum 30-day comment period that DEC is providing will occur over the holidays.
But the DEC has a better option: it could and should wait for the health and environmental reviews to be completed. Then a decision on whether to move forward with revised regulations could be based on those reviews.
The governor needs to hear from you. Tell the governor that he is making the wrong choice for New Yorkers and that we expect him to keep his promise to allow the science to determine whether New York moves forward with fracking. This holiday season should not be a sleigh full of goodies for the gas and oil industry at the expense of millions of New Yorkers.
You can make a difference by contacting the governor’s office, as well as DEC.
- Ask the Governor to live up to his promise to let science and the facts guide his decision on whether to allow fracking in New York and wait for the health and environmental reviews to be complete and made public before revised fracking regulations are proposed and finalized.
- Call for the DEC and the Governor to withdraw the fracking regulations that they have just filed without being informed by their on-going environmental and health reviews.
Call the Office of the Secretary to the Governor at 518-474-4246.
Call the DEC’s Office of Communications at 518-402-8000.
Watch the Campbell Public Affairs Institute's fracking debate tonight at 7 p.m. live on EcoWatch.org. The proposition to be argued is: “This Assembly Believes Hydrofracking Does More Harm Than Good.” Speaking in favor of the proposition are Paul Gallay, president of Hudson Riverkeeper, and Robert Howarth, the David R. Atkinson professor of Ecology and Environmental Biology at Cornell University. Speaking against the proposition are Edward Hinchey, professional geologist and independent consultant, and Tim Whitesell, supervisor, Town of Binghamton, and president of New York Association of Towns.
Visit EcoWatch’s FRACKING page for more related news on this topic.
- Redwoods are the world's tallest trees.
- Now scientists have discovered they are even bigger than we thought.
- Using laser technology they map the 80-meter giants.
- Trees are a key plank in the fight against climate change.
They are among the largest trees in the world, descendants of forests where dinosaurs roamed.
Pixabay / Simi Luft<p><span>Until recently, measuring these trees meant scaling their 80 meter high trunks with a tape measure. Now, a team of scientists from University College London and the University of Maryland uses advanced laser scanning, to create 3D maps and calculate the total mass.</span></p><p>The results are striking: suggesting the trees <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-73733-6" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">may be as much as 30% larger than earlier measurements suggested.</a> Part of that could be due to the additional trunks the Redwoods can grow as they age, <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-73733-6" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">a process known as reiteration</a>.</p>
New 3D measurements of large redwood trees for biomass and structure. Nature / UCL<p>Measuring the trees more accurately is important because carbon capture will probably play a key role in the battle against climate change. Forest <a href="https://www.wri.org/blog/2020/09/carbon-sequestration-natural-forest-regrowth" target="_blank">growth could absorb billions of tons</a> of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year.</p><p>"The importance of big trees is widely-recognised in terms of carbon storage, demographics and impact on their surrounding ecosystems," the authors wrote<a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-73733-6" target="_blank"> in the journal Nature</a>. "Unfortunately the importance of big trees is in direct proportion to the difficulty of measuring them."</p><p>Redwoods are so long lived because of their ability to <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-73733-6" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">cope with climate change, resist disease and even survive fire damage</a>, the scientists say. Almost a fifth of their volume may be bark, which helps protect them.</p>
Carbon Capture Champions<p><span>Earlier research by scientists at Humboldt University and the University of Washington found that </span><a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378112716302584" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Redwood forests store almost 2,600 tonnes of carbon per hectare</a><span>, their bark alone containing more carbon than any other neighboring species.</span></p><p>While the importance of trees in fighting climate change is widely accepted, not all species enjoy the same protection as California's coastal Redwoods. In 2019 the world lost the equivalent of <a href="https://www.worldwildlife.org/threats/deforestation-and-forest-degradation" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">30 soccer fields of forest cover every minute</a>, due to agricultural expansion, logging and fires, according to The Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF).</p>
Pixabay<p>Although <a href="https://c402277.ssl.cf1.rackcdn.com/publications/1420/files/original/Deforestation_fronts_-_drivers_and_responses_in_a_changing_world_-_full_report_%281%29.pdf?1610810475" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">the rate of loss is reported to have slowed in recent years</a>, reforesting the world to help stem climate change is a massive task.</p><p><span>That's why the World Economic Forum launched the Trillion Trees Challenge (</span><a href="https://www.1t.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">1t.org</a><span>) and is engaging organizations and individuals across the globe through its </span><a href="https://uplink.weforum.org/uplink/s/uplink-issue/a002o00000vOf09AAC/trillion-trees" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Uplink innovation crowdsourcing platform</a><span> to support the project.</span></p><p>That's backed up by research led by ETH Zurich/Crowther Lab showing there's potential to restore tree coverage across 2.2 billion acres of degraded land.</p><p>"Forests are critical to the health of the planet," according to <a href="https://www.1t.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">1t.org</a>. "They sequester carbon, regulate global temperatures and freshwater flows, recharge groundwater, anchor fertile soil and act as flood barriers."</p><p><em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor">Reposted with permission from the </em><span><em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor"><a href="https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2021/03/redwoods-store-more-co2-and-are-more-enormous-than-we-thought/" target="_blank">World Economic Forum</a>.</em></span></p>
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