Wednesday, August 11, 2010

EPA fracking forum moved, then cancelled - to be moved again

I registered for the upcoming August 12 EPA frack gas drilling forum in Binghamton N.Y.  It was a little over an hour away and I really did want to go.  A few days ago the forum was moved to Syracuse.  Today it is canceled altogether.  Tentatively rescheduled for September, it is to be held in upstate N.Y. 

This foils a lot of plans of course.  Environmental groups have rented buses.  People put in for personal time.  Arrangements for babysitters have been made.  The EPA changes were all last minute.  People put a lot of effort into scheduling.   Having to do it all over again can be exhausting.

Binghamton was convenient for me.  Syracuse, which would involve an overnight stay was unlikely.  Upstate N.Y. will be impossible.  And I'm not the only one.  If you look at any PA. / N.Y. map, you will see that that virtually all of the region's high density areas are finding themselves further and further away from the EPA forum.

Remember the July Public Utility Committee hearing?  To attend, I drove about as far north as you can go and still be in Pennsylvania. On the long empty road outside of Dimock, I stopped my car to get directions from an old man with a Amish style beard.  He was riding a bicycle that was too old for gears and it was getting dark underneath the trees.

He didn't know how many miles there were between us and the PUC.  "I'm trying to get there too," he said.  Later that night, moved by his tenacity, I got up in front of an overflow crowd and spoke in public for the first time ever.

We won't all make it to upstate N.Y., but we can demonstrate bravery and determination - whatever our limitations. 


  1. Very poignant post! It does indeed seem like someone is doing whatever is within their powers to shake as many activists and concerned citizens off.

    I think the organizations should use those delays to their advantage by recruiting vigorously in response and drawing citizens at further away areas that are closer to the meetings. Ultimately this will result in more of an exposure to the dissatisfaction of the Gas companies.

  2. Thank you for your comments. I think that what angers me the most about the venue locations, changes and limitations imposed so far by, what has become, the opposition is that their tactics are so dishonorable. The public deserves better.