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The Environment be Dammed! Full Speed (drilling) Ahead!

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Former NY DEC Commissioner Pete Grannis by Timesunion

Today, in a move that can only be described as brusque as it was ill-founded, Pete Grannis, "the commissioner of the
state Department of Environmental Conservation since 2007, was fired Thursday by Gov. David Paterson for what a state source ascribed to "poor performance and insubordination."" - The Times Union reports. Read the whole story here:

The story goes on to say:
"The immediate cause was the leak of a memo, sent by DEC to the Budget Division, that laid out in stark terms the possible consequences of the planned layoffs of more than 200 agency employees.
The unsigned, undated memo -- the subject of a front-page story in Tuesday's Times Union -- warned that fewer polluted sites would be cleaned up, fewer regulators would be available to oversee the potential natural gas drilling boom in the Marcellus Shale, and stocking of game fish could halt.
"Many of our programs are hanging by a thread," the memo stated. "The public would be shocked to learn how thin we are in many areas. DEC is in the weakest position that it has been since it was created 40 years ago.""

So, who will object to Natural Gas Drilling in the highly sensitive Marcellus Shale region when the DEC is too gutted to object? Who will watch after New York state's environmental conditions when there is an agency that is in the weakest position since it was formed? This is death by a thousand cuts - literally - but not just death to an agency, it is death to New Yorkers, to wildlife, to our way of life, our air and water.

Instead of preserving our natural resources for the betterment of all New Yorkers, this lame duck Governor Patterson wants to sell our assets off to the highest bidder - the Halliburton's and Exxons of the world.

United For Action has already petitioned the DEC in a letter-writing campaign to not open thousands of acres to dangerous Fracking, a Natural Drilling process that has caused everything from water depletion to well-poisoning to explosions and sickness, even death all over the country, as documented in the widely-viewed Sundance-award winning film, Gasland. From UFA's website:
Tell the NY State DEC not to turn our forests into industrial wastelands
Tthe New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) released a Draft State Forest Management Plan that would open up over a thousand square miles of state forest to high volume-hydraulic fracturing. The plan would permit up to one wellpad every 80 acres and could result in thousands upon thousands of new wells, pipelines, and access roads.


Take action, both to save our watchdog agency - which, whatever our complaints about their actions, are better than having nothing at all between us and environmentally destructive practices like Fracking.


 

http://newthinking.blogspot.com/

Scott Baker is a Senior Editor/Economics Editor and Writer at Opednews, and a blogger for Huffington Post.
Scott Baker is President of Common Ground-NYC (http://commongroundnyc.org/), a Geoist/Georgist group. He has written dozens of (more...)
 

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The Times Union has published the internal memo - ... by Scott Baker on Friday, Oct 22, 2010 at 12:55:27 PM