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Statement from We Are Seneca Lake on Crestwood-Con Ed Gas Storage Joint Venture

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Apr 252016
 

For Immediate Release

Monday April 25, 2016

Contact: Sandra Steingraber, ssteingraber@ithac.edu, 607.351.0719

 

Statement from We Are Seneca Lake on Crestwood-Con Ed Gas Storage Joint Venture 

Stagecoach Gas Services is a dangerous, archaic plan that undermines Governor Cuomo’s climate goals and pits downstate against upstate residents

 

Watkins Glen, NY – We Are Seneca Lake denounces the ill-conceived venture by Crestwood and Consolidated Edison to jointly own four gas storage facilities that will deepen New York State’s dependency on dirty fracked gas at a time when Governor Cuomo is leading our state toward a renewable energy future. In addition, this alliance results in downstate Con Ed gas customers endangering the drinking water of 100,000 upstate residents, placing them on the hook for possibly tragedies and financial losses.

“At a time when Governor Cuomo has struck a bold course on climate, a New York energy giant is investing nearly a billion dollars to tie a fossil fuel ball and chain to downstate residents while putting upstate lives at risk—along with drinking water and climate,” said Sandra Steingraber, We Are Seneca Lake steering committee member.

Downstate utility giant Consolidated Edison Inc announced last Thursday that it had formed a joint venture with Crestwood Equity Partners to own three pipelines and four gas storage facilities including the controversial Seneca Lake storage facility where Houston-based Crestwood has been pursuing a massive expansion project. Con Ed will invest $975 million to own a 50% stake in the newly named entity, dubbed Stagecoach Gas Services.

“‘Stagecoach’ is a comically apt name for this outdated venture. In an age of Tesla, it’s an investment in the Pony Express,” Steingraber added. “$975 million would buy a lot of off-shore wind,”

For years, local residents have opposed lakeside gas storage expansion in the heart of New York’s wine country because this massive industrial project imperils the wine and tourism industry brings air and noise pollution to the beautiful Finger Lakes region, threatens a source of drinking water, poses a demonstrable health and safety risk to residents, and is destructive to the climate.

Opposition to the facility has been vigorous and widespread, resulting in 549 arrests for civil disobedience and 31 municipal resolutions, representing 1.2 million New York residents.

By providing cash to Crestwood, whose stock has been deeply devalued, Con Ed provides an antiquated gas giant financial life support and undermines New York’s Clean Energy Standard, as announced by Governor Cuomo during the Paris Climate Accord negotiations last December. The Clean Energy Standard mandates that 50 percent of all electricity consumed in New York State is to result from renewable energy sources by 2030.

Winemaker Will Ouweleen, of Eagle Crest and O-Neh-Da wineries on Hemlock Lake, said, “Con Ed is purchasing crumbly salt caverns to store pressurized, explosive hydrocarbons just at the moment when we are hitting cost tipping points in wind and solar such that they will increasingly undermine the viability of expensive gas infrastructure projects.”

He added, “And what kind of neighbor will Stagecoach be for us here in the Finger Lakes? Con Ed was just ordered to pay $171 million for briberies and kickbacks. Meanwhile, Crestwood has a terrible track record in North Dakota regarding spills, including a million gallon spill that made its way into a lake that serves as a source of public drinking water. New York’s winemakers have no trust in these two reckless players.”

We Are Seneca Lake calls on the Public Service Commission, Senators Gillibrand and Schumer, Con Ed investors, and downstate Con Ed customers to join us in opposition to this wrong-headed venture.

 

Background:

We Are Seneca Lake is an ongoing, citizen-based, grassroots campaign that seeks to protect Seneca Lake and the surrounding region from gas storage expansion by Texas-based energy company, Crestwood Midstream. Crestwood’s intention is to repurpose the crumbling salt mines underneath Seneca Lake’s hillside into massive, unlined gas tanks for three highly pressurized products of fracking: methane (natural gas), and propane and butane (LPG, or Liquefied Petroleum Gases) and to turn the Finger Lakes into a fracked gas transportation and storage hub for the entire Northeast. Our intention is to direct the future of our community down sustainable, renewable pathways.

 

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 Posted by at 4:04 pm

12 arrested: Earth Day blockade of Crestwood on Seneca Lake

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Apr 212016
 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – April 21, 2016

media contact: Sandra Steingraber  607.351.0719, ssteingraber@ithaca.edu

photos:    http://www.wearesenecalake.com/earth-day-2016-pix/

video: http://www.wearesenecalake.com/earth-day-2016-vid/

press release: http://www.wearesenecalake.com/earth-day-2016/

 

On Eve of Earth Day, the Whole World Joins Human Blockade at the Gates of Crestwood Midstream  

Irene Weiser, Town of Caroline councilmember, among 12 arrested as total number of arrests reaches 549 

 

Watkins Glen, NY – Five feet in diameter and swirling with clouds, a blue and green replica of Planet Earth helped a dozen human inhabitants block three trucks this morning at the main entrance of Crestwood Midstream. The Earth Day-themed civil disobedience action was part of an ongoing campaign against proposed gas storage in Seneca Lake’s abandoned salt caverns.

Organized by the direct action group, We Are Seneca Lake, the protesters, plus Earth, formed a blockade on the driveway of the Houston-based gas storage and transportation company shortly after sunrise at 6:45 a.m.

The group held banners that read, “Happy Earth Day! Decarbonize Now” and “We All Are on This [Earth] Together.  While blockading, they read aloud together from a new report released this week by the World Resources Institute, which documents alarming new scientific findings about the ongoing climate crisis.  Among them: 2015 was the warmest year on record, and the first three months of 2016 each far surpassed the warmest average temperature ever recorded for those months.

In a public statement to fellow blockaders, Town of Caroline Councilmember Irene Weiser, 57, said:  “Today is the day before Earth Day and the historic signing of the Paris Climate Treaty—enjoining the United States, China, and 195 other nations of the world in a pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to keep global warming below the catastrophic 1.5 degree level. I am proud to stand here today, an elected official, joined by activists from across the region—to say that we stand in solidarity with the people of nations across this one precious earth, with a commitment to hold ourselves and our leaders accountable in upholding that essential promise.”

Weiser is an active member of Fossil Free Tompkins,  working politically across Tompkins County to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and increase renewable energy construction. Their work includes political action against new fossil fuel infrastructure, including the Crestwood storage facility on Seneca Lake.

 

The protesters this morning were all charged with disorderly conduct and arrested at about 7:30 a.m. by Schuyler County deputies and transported to the Schuyler County Sheriff’s department, where they were ticketed and released.

 

Among the 12 arrested was a member of the We Are Seneca Lake media team, Michael Dineen. At the time of his arrest, Dineen, who was not part of the blockade, was photographing the protest from across Highway 14.  Dineen was also charged with disorderly conduct.

The total number of arrests in the eighteen-month-old civil disobedience campaign now stands at 549.

Nathan Lewis, 33, of Hector in Schuyler County, said, “We will not stop blocking the gates of Crestwood until the expansion is canceled. We will not sit idle as our community is threatened. There is more than one way to vote. We vote with our body and soul when we resist the fossil fuel industry.”

 

Debb Guard, 65, of Schenectady in Schenectady County, said, “It’s been six years since the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico; six months since the failure of the methane storage in Aliso Canyon; and over six days since TransCanada’s 16,800 gallon dilbit leak into South Dakota farmland. Earth Day is a time to remind people that water, air, and land are still at risk of contamination by the oil and gas industry. Earth Day is also a time to embrace renewable energy sources: solar, wind, and geothermal.”

 

Crestwood’s methane gas storage expansion project was approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in October 2014 in the face of broad public opposition and unresolved questions about geological instabilities, fault lines, and possible salinization of Seneca Lake, which serves as a source of drinking water for 100,000 people.

Crestwood also seeks to store two other products of fracking in Seneca Lake salt caverns—propane and butane (so-called Liquefied Petroleum Gases, LPG)—for which it is awaiting a decision by Governor Cuomo’s Department of Environmental Conservation.

The 12 arrested today were:

Bruce Agte, 59, Binghamton, Broome County

Jim Crevelling, 70, Keuka Park, Yates County

Michael Dineen, 67, Ovid, Seneca County

August Faller, 25, Ithaca, Tompkins County

Lyn Gerry, 60, Watkins Glen, Schuyler County

Debb Guard, 65, Schenectady, Schenectady County

Nathan Lewis, 33, Hector, Schuyler County

Kelly Morris, 56, Danby, Tompkins County

Mark Pezzati, 57, Andes, Delaware County

John Suter, 70, Dryden, Tompkins County

Irene Weiser, 57, Caroline, Tompkins County

Suzanne Winkler, 57, Burlington Flats, Otsego County

 

Full text of Irene Weiser’s Earth Day statement:

 

Today is the day before Earth Day and the historic signing of the Paris Climate Treaty – enjoining the US, China, and 195 other nations of the world in a pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to keep global warming below the catastrophic 1.5 degree level. I am proud to stand here today, an elected official, joined by activists from across the region –  to say that we stand in solidarity with the people of nations across this one precious earth, with a commitment to hold ourselves and our leaders accountable in upholding that essential promise.

Forty seven years ago a peace activist named John McConnell proposed Earth Day at a UNESCO conference – with a vision to create a special day each year to draw people together in appreciation of their mutual home and to bring a global feeling of community through the realization of our deepening desire for life, freedom, love, and our mutual dependence on each other.

As a peace activist he considered the devastation caused by pollution as acts of violence against the earth. One can only imagine what he would have thought about today’s desperate measures to unearth fossil fuels by blowing off mountain tops, and raping the ground by injecting poisoned waters. What of the violence of slashing trees and leaving huge scars across our landscape to make way for pipelines? And what of the violence of ocean acidification killing countless species, and the warming waters and habitat loss in the arctic? What of the violent storms, massive floods, fires, droughts, and heat waves that have claimed countless lives? And the violence to the workers who are subjected to unsafe conditions to feed this planet’s fossil fuel habit, and the cancers, heart and lung disease, low birth weights to those who live in sacrifice zones? What of the violence that is already visiting the poor in under-developed countries, where sea level rise has caused them to relocate, and where droughts and famine underpin massive uprisings and refugee crises?

As part of his Earth Day proclamation McConnell wrote that “Planet Earth is facing a grave crisis which only the people of the earth can resolve, and in our shortsightedness we have failed to make provisions for the poor as well as the rich to inherit the earth…and our new enlightenment requires that the disinherited be given a just stake in the earth and its future.”

I am not so naïve as to believe that the disinherited will be given that stake. I believe we have to take it – take it back from the purveyors of violence like ExxonMobil who have lied about the harms their industry causes; take it back from Williams and Cabot for their unconstitutional pipeline, take it back from Crestwood who threatens the drinking water for thousands of people, and take it back from the regulators and elected officials who fail to do their jobs of protecting the public and our future.

And so I am proud to stand here today – not in violence – but in peaceful, loving, hopeful protest – to pledge my commitment to preserving this one and only and beautiful and cherished earth for future generations.

 

Read more about the protesters at: http://www.wearesenecalake.com/seneca-lake-defendes/.

Read about Bill McKibben’s March 2016 arrest with We Are Seneca Lake: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/20/science/earth/environmental-activists-take-to-local-protests-for-global-results.html?_r=0

Read more about widespread objections to Crestwood’s gas storage plans: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/26/nyregion/new-york-winemakers-fight-gas-storage-plan-near-seneca-lake.html?_r=0.

Read Gannett’s investigative report about the risks and dangers of LPG gas storage: http://www.democratandchronicle.com/story/news/local/watchdog/2015/06/26/seneca-gas-storage-debated/29272421/.

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 Posted by at 9:55 am

Earth Day 2016 Pix

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Apr 212016
 

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Earth Day 2016 Blockade

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 Posted by at 9:19 am

Public Statement by We Are Seneca Lake Regarding Chaos, Danger and Negligence at the Reading Town Court on March 16, 2016

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Mar 182016
 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | March 18, 2016

Contact: Sandra Steingraber, 607-351-0719, ssteingraber@ithaca.edu

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uv5SQAoeok8

Photos: http://www.wearesenecalake.com/pictures-reading-20160316/

Public Statement by We Are Seneca Lake Regarding Chaos, Danger and Negligence at the Reading Town Court on March 16, 2016

Watkins Glen, NY – On March 16, 70 individuals charged with disorderly conduct violations were scheduled for 5 p.m. arraignments at the Town of Reading Court in Schuyler County. All had been arrested between January and March at one of several peaceful protests against gas storage at Crestwood Midstream.

 

The court was unable to process this large number of defendants in a timely manner, and the courtroom itself, which holds 48 people, could not accommodate them. The court clerk ushered those with appearance tickets into the courtroom in small groups organized by date of arrest. This protocol compelled the remainder—including their loved ones, supporters, and assorted observers—to wait outside in the elements for up to three hours, even during severe rain, hail, and lightning.

 

While court was in session, Schuyler County Sheriff’s deputy J.D. Sworts locked the interior front door of the Reading Town Hall, in which the courtroom is located, and allowed no one into the public building (other than to briefly use the restroom), even though the town hall contains a large meeting space that could have provided shelter during the serious weather event that began shortly after 7 p.m.

 

The appeals of defendants locked outside of the building—who could be heard imploring Deputy Sworts and Town Clerk Alice Conklin to allow them to seek shelter inside the town hall while waiting for their turn before the judge—were audible to those inside the building.

 

Deputy Sworts advised individuals waiting outside to take refuge inside their cars. However, many defendants had carpooled and did not have cars on site. Others had been forced, by restrictions on parking, to park up to a quarter-mile away. Further, had they sheltered in their cars, defendants might have missed the calling of their names and risked a bench warrant for arrest.

 

Town Clerk Alice Conklin told one defendant, “If you can protest in this weather you can stand out in it now.”

 

By 8 p.m., courtroom decorum had completely broken down. Defendants, their supporters, and their attorney, Sujata Gibson, appealed directly to Judge Raymond Berry to allow those waiting outside in an electrical storm to enter the building.

 

In all cases, these requests were denied. Judge Berry claimed on the record that the sheriff, and not the Court, was responsible for the scheduling snafu and that the “town fathers,” and not the Court, were responsible for the decision to declare the interior of the town hall off-limits to defendants waiting to appear before him.

 

By 8:30 p.m., 42 individuals had been arraigned before Judge Berry, and defense attorney Sujata Gibson entered a global plea of not guilty for the remainder.

 

We Are Seneca Lake objects both to the reckless lock-out of defendants, who had no choice other than to appear at court at the assigned hour, and to the negligent scheduling that set the stage for such chaos. This is not the first time that the town hall (courthouse) has been declared off limits to defendants and their supporters during court hearings that take place during hazardous weather conditions. We assert that the physical safety of defendants is a prime responsibility of the court system.

 

With the help of our attorneys, We Are Seneca Lake is now exploring the possibility of filing a motion to transfer cases to a court that can safely accommodate all defendants, their supporters, and members of the press and public, with a law-trained judge outside of Reading Town Court. We are also exploring the possibility of filing a federal lawsuit for violation of due process under the Constitution.

 

The We Are Seneca Lake campaign opposes the expansion of gas storage in abandoned lakeside salt caverns owned by Crestwood. Since the campaign began in October 2014, there have been 537 arrests. Of these, 234 cases have been adjudicated (resulting in 176 total dismissals to date); 303 cases remain open.

 

On March 15, Judge Raymond Berry dismissed 112 violation trespass charges against 110 We Are Seneca Lake protesters after an investigation by Schuyler County District Attorney Joseph Fazzary determined there was insufficient evidence to prosecute them.

 

The list of those scheduled for arraignment at 5 p.m., Wednesday, March 16:

 

Bradford County, PA

Cat Rossiter, 63, Sayre

 

Cayuga County

Kerry Angie, 71, Aurora

Thomas Angie, 63, Aurora

 

Chemung County

Colleen Boland, 60, Elmira

Doug Couchon, 65, Elmira

Patricia Buttolph, 70, Elmira

Hervie Harris, 69, Elmira

 

Chenango County

Ken Fogarty, 76, Guilford

 

Erie County

Charley Bowman, 69, Getzville

 

Fulton County

Bill Kitchen, 63, Johnstown

 

Livingston County

Lyndsay Clark, 55, Springwater

Coby Schultz, 56, Springwater

Holly Adams, 56, Hunt

Bob Thompson, 62, Livonia

Jamie Carestio, 30, Dansville

 

Monroe County

Colleen Coss, 61, Henrietta

Paul Flansburg, 48, Rochester

Susan Hughes-Smith, 44, Rochester

Kit Miller, 53, Rochester

Dwain Wilder, 76, Rochester

 

New York County

Michael Bucci, 67, Manhattan

 

Onondaga County

Howie Hawkins, 63, Syracuse

 

Ontario County

Cynthia Carestio, 55, Canandaigua

Paul Passavant, 49, Geneva

Marty Dodge, 73, Canandaigua

Peggy Abbott, 64, Geneva

Angela Cannon-Crothers, 50, Naples

 

Schenectady County

Debb Guard, 61, Niskayuna

Pete Looker, 65, Glenville

 

Schoharie County

Elliott Adams, 68, Sharon Springs

 

Schuyler County

Daryl Anderson, 46, Burdett

Shirley Barton, 68, Mecklenburg

Phillip Davis, 63, Hector

Paula Fitzsimmons, 58, Hector

Sharon Kahkonen, 66, Mecklenburg

Beth Peet, 48, Hector

Wendell F. Perks, Jr., 67, Hector

Marie Ely Baumgardner, 67, Hector

Nate Lewis, 33, Hector

 

Seneca County

Michael Dineen, 67, Ovid

Kim Knight, 32, Covert

Carrie Fischer, 39, Fayette

 

Steuben County

Louise Sullivan-Blum, 55, Corning

Meg Krywe, 57, Arkport

Jeni Paquette, 63, Corning

 

Tioga County

Rick Rogers, 67, Spencer

Richard Battaglia, 53, Richford

Gerri Wiley, 68, Owego

Wes Ernsberger, 68, Owego

 

Tompkins County

Danielle Angie, 37, Trumansburg

Caroline Byrne, 39, Ithaca

John Dennis, 66, Lansing

Ruth Groff, 64, Ithaca

Stephanie Redmond, 40, Enfield

Therese Araneo, Caroline

Mariana Morse, 67, Caroline

Tom Seaney, 66, Ithaca

Alicia Alexander, 63, Ithaca

Donn Carroll, 66, Ithaca

Ken Zeserson, 68, Ulysses

Arthur Godin, 66, Enfield

George Adams, 66, Danby

Stacey McNeill, 44, Ithaca

Ba Stopha, 70, Ithaca

 

Wayne County

Nancy Kasper, 57, North Rose

 

Yates County

Michael Black, 63, Lakemont

Alison Marshall, 35, Penn Yan

Lynn Donaldson, 72, Keuka Park

 Posted by at 11:14 am

Pictures from Reading Town Court March 16, 2016

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Mar 182016
 

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Reading Town Court March 16, 2016

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 Posted by at 11:13 am

Reading Town Judge Drops 112 Trespass Charges for Seneca Lake Gas Protesters on Eve of Arraignments for 70 Other Protesters

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Mar 162016
 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | March 16, 2016

Contact: Sandra Steingraber, 607-351-0719, ssteingraber@ithaca.edu

Reading Town Judge Drops 112 Trespass Charges for Seneca Lake Gas Protesters on Eve of Arraignments for 70 Other Protesters

 

Green Party leader Howie Hawkins, among those facing judge Weds. evening, will speak at rally and press conference

 

Watkins Glen, NY – In Schuyler County’s Town of Reading Court, Judge Raymond Berry has dismissed 112 violation trespass charges against 110 We Are Seneca Lake protesters, according to an email sent Tuesday afternoon by Reading Town Clerk Joyce Ameigh to We Are Seneca Lake Attorney Sujata Gibson.

This ruling makes official a request to Judge Berry on February 10 by Schuyler County District Attorney Joseph Fazzary. Last month, Fazzary asked the Judge to drop the charges for cases where his investigation determined that the defendants either were not trespassing or there was insufficient evidence to prosecute them for trespassing.

Yesterday’s ruling marks the second round of mass dismissals in the 17-month-old civil disobedience campaign at the gates of Crestwood Midstream. In April 2015, 64 cases were dismissed “in the interests of justice.”

The most recent dismissals come after months of discussions between the prosecution and defense attorneys, who have long argued that most of the protests have taken place on public property and could not involve trespass. In his motion, the District Attorney said that he had reviewed the evidence and agreed that the 112 charges he moved to dismiss should not be prosecuted for trespass.

Defense Attorney Sujuta Gibson said that, while she is pleased with the 112 dismissals, she believes that “all of the trespass charges should be dropped now that it has been established that the property line was unknown and inaccurately marked at the time of the arrests.” Discussions and motions continue for the remaining defendants.

The We Are Seneca Lake campaign opposes the expansion of gas storage in abandoned lakeside salt caverns owned by Crestwood. Since the campaign began in October 2014, there have been 537 arrests. Of these, 234 cases have been adjudicated (resulting in 176 total dismissals to date); 303 cases remain open.

We are Seneca Lake will hold a rally and press conference outside the courthouse in advance of Wednesday night’s arraignments to discuss the recent dismissals and recent ongoing arrests.

What: RALLY & PRESS CONFERENCE immediately prior to 5 p.m. arraignments for 70-plus Seneca Lake protesters

 

When: Wednesday, March 16, 2016, 4:30 p.m.

 

Where: Town of Reading Court, 3914 County Rte 28, Watkins Glen, NY

 

Who: We Are Seneca Lake Attorney Sujata Gibson; Green Party leader and former gubernatorial candidate Howie Hawkins; other defendants facing charges.

Individuals whose charges were dismissed on Tuesday are residents of 25 counties:

Albany County

Daniel Micah Morrissey, 28, Albany

 

Broome County

Bill Huston, 54, Binghamton

 

Cayuga County

Maryl Mendillo, Aurora

Maribeth Rubenstein, 49, Aurora

 

Chemung County

Bonnie Chollet, 70, Horseheads

Cynda Poley, 60, Elmira

 

Clinton County

Lauren Eastwood, 45, Plattsburgh

 

Columbia County

Kevin Kuenster, 60, Copake Falls

 

Cortland County

Colleen Kattau, 56, Cortland

 

Erie County

Charley Bowman, 68, Getzville

 

Fulton County

Bill Kitchen, 62, Johnstown

 

Kings County

Rufus Cappadocia, 47, Brooklyn

Josh Fox, 43, Brooklyn

Kim Fraczek, 40, Brooklyn

Lee, Ziesche, 25, Brooklyn

 

Livingston County

Lyndsay Clark, 54, Springwater

Coby Schultz, 55, Springwater

Bob Thompson, 61, Livonia

 

Monroe County

Colleen Coss, 60, Henrietta

Paul Flansburg, 47, Rochester

Neely Kelley, 37, Rochester

Arlene Leach-Bizari, 47, Rochester

Barbara Schlierf, 60, Henrietta

 

New York County

Michael Bucci, 67, Manhattan

Martha Hennessy, 60, Manhattan

 

Ontario County

Peggy Abbott, 64, Geneva

Cynthia Carestio, 54, Canandaigua

Lynn Cronise, 57, Bloomfield

Hannah Dickinson, 33, Geneva

James-Henry Holland, 58, Geneva

Laura Salamendra, 31, Geneva

 

Otsego County

Robert Eklund, 63, New Lisbon

 

Schenectady County

Pete Looker, 64, Glenville

 

Schoharie County

Elliott Adams, 68, Sharon Springs

Bethany Yarrow, 44, West Fulton

 

Schuyler County

Shirley Barton, 67, Mecklenburg

Gordon Bonnet, 54, Hector

Melissa Chipman, 57, Hector

Alexandra Doniger, 26, Hector

Lisa Fernandez, 47, Hector

Paula Fitzsimmons, 57, Hector

Lyn Gerry, 59, Watkins Glen

Janet McCue, 64, Hector

Daphne Nolder, 29, Hector

Johnno Potts, 34, Hector

Victoria Rasmussen, 42, Hector

 

Seneca County

Peter Arena, 50, Covert

Tony Del Plato, 67, Covert

Ben Guthrie, 63, Covert

Kim Knight, 31, Covert

Mariah Plumlee, 36, Covert

Amanda Postma, 30, Lodi

Barbara Smith, 61, Lodi

 

Steuben County

Nancy Cook, 62, Painted Post

Meg Krywe, 56, Arkport

Stephen Marcus, 60, Arkport

Dianne Roe, 72, Corning

 

Tioga County

Richard Battaglia, 53, Richford

Jon McNamara, 34, Owego

 

Tompkins County

Lesley Adams, 57, Trumansburg

Sylvia Bailey, 65, Ithaca

Robyn Bem, 64, Dryden

Dan Burgevin, 68, Trumansburg

Krys Cail, 62, Ulysses

Greg Copeland, 54, Ithaca

Lisa DeBoer, 46, Ithaca

John Dennis, 65, Lansing

Josh Dolan, 38, Ithaca

Karen, Edelstein, 54, Lansing

Rebecca Elgie, 74, Ithaca

Tobi Feldman, 47, Ithaca

Linda Finlay, 76, Ithaca

Martha Fischer, 58, Enfield

Tessa Sage Flores, 66, Ithaca

Zan Gerrity, 64, Ithaca

Arthur Godin, 66, Enfield

Ariel Gold, 40, Ithaca

Neil Golder, 68, Ithaca

Ira Goldstein, 65, Ithaca

Loretta Heimbuch, 65, Trumansburg

Larry Hirschberger, 60, Ithaca

John Hoffmann, 62, Ithaca

Gabrielle Illava, 26, Ithaca

Joan Jedele, 67, Dryden

Rachel Kennedy, 39, Trumansburg

Nancy Koschmann, 72, Dryden

Kate Lamarre, 39, Trumansburg

Keith Liblick, 41, Ithaca

Margaret McCasland, 69, Lansing

Barbara Pease, 69, Ithaca

Mariah Prentiss, 43, Ithaca

Stephanie Redmond, 39, Enfield

James Ricks, 66, Ithaca

Lisa Ripperton, 64, Ithaca

Todd Saddler, 50, Ithaca

Mark Scibilia-Carver, 62, Ulysses

Jim Shaw, 64, Ithaca

Joe Sliker, 33, Ithaca

Ba Stopha, 70, Ithaca

Ann Sullivan, 68, Ithaca

Regina Teasley, 63, Ithaca

Phil Terrie, 66, Ithaca

Camille Tischler, 66, Ithaca

Irene Weiser, 56, Caroline

Ken Zeserson, 67, Ulysses

 

Ulster County

Andrew Feron, 51, Cottekill

Ryan Solomons, 23, New Paltz

 

Wayne County

Patty Campbell, 72, Rose

 

Yates County

Larry Martin, 65, Torrey

Michelle Van Coppenolle, 62, Penn Yan

 

Read more about the arrested protesters at http://www.wearesenecalake.com/seneca-lake-defendes/.

Read more about widespread objections to Crestwood’s gas storage plans: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/26/nyregion/new-york-winemakers-fight-gas-storage-plan-near-seneca-lake.html?_r=0

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 Posted by at 1:10 am

Bill McKibben Arrested at Civil Disobedience Action Against Gas Storage at Seneca Lake

 Press Kit  Comments Off on Bill McKibben Arrested at Civil Disobedience Action Against Gas Storage at Seneca Lake
Mar 072016
 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – March 7, 2016

media contact: Sandra Steingraber  607.351.0719

photos:  http://wearesenecalake.com/methaneismadness-pix

video:    http://wearesenecalake.com/methaneismadness-vid

press release: http://wearesenecalake.com/methaneismadness

Bill McKibben Arrested at Civil Disobedience Action Against Gas Storage at Seneca Lake

Famed author and climate activist joins 56 people from 20 NYS counties to form human blockade at the gates of Crestwood Midstream, demands halt to climate-damaging fracked gas infrastructure, as total number of arrests in sustained campaign hits 537

Watkins Glen, NY – The fight over the fate of the Finger Lakes became national today when best-selling author, environmentalist, and founder of the international climate campaign, 350.org, Bill McKibben joined the opposition. McKibben, 55, was arrested this morning with 56 area residents as part of an ongoing civil disobedience campaign against proposed gas storage in Seneca Lake’s abandoned salt caverns.

This is a developing story. At this writing, all 57 arrestees have been charged with disorderly conduct and released, except for Bill McKibben, who is still in the custody of the Schuyler County Sheriff’s Office.

Organized by the direct action group, We Are Seneca Lake, the protesters formed a human blockade on the driveway of the gas storage and transportation company, Crestwood Midstream. During the blockade, which began shortly after sunrise at 6:45 a.m., the protesters blocked all traffic entering and leaving the facility.

In a public statement to fellow blockaders, McKibben thanked We Are Seneca Lake for serving as a “curtain raiser” for the larger global movement to break free from fossil fuels that is now unfolding in frontline communities all over the planet: “Today and every day there are places like this where people are standing up…. This place is so important because it’s one of the places where people are understanding that it’s not just carbon dioxide we are fighting, it’s also methane, that there are two greenhouse gases and they are both spurring this incredible heating that we are seeing.… If we can hold off the fossil fuel industry for just a few more years, this stuff will never be built again.

Also arrested today were eight Schuyler County residents. Among them were the Reverend Felicity Wright, pastor of Elmira’s famed Park Church, and Phil Davis, co-owner and operator of Damiani Wine Cellars on the east shore of Seneca Lake and a seventh-generation resident of Schuyler County.

Ranging in age from 30 to 76, today’s protesters represented 19 different New York counties.

At 6:45 a.m. this morning, the group unfurled banners that read, “Methane is Madness. Break Free from Fossil Fuels” and “We Are Seneca Lake. Can You Hear Us Now?”

The group was charged with disorderly conduct and arrested shortly before 8:00 a.m. by Schuyler County deputies, Watkins Glen police, and New York State troopers, and transported to the Schuyler County Sheriff’s department.

The total number of arrests in the seventeen-month-old civil disobedience campaign has now surpassed 500.

Reverend Wright said, “Climate change is not only an economic and ecological crisis. It is also, for many of us, a moral and spiritual crisis.  Pope Francis understood this well when, in his recent encyclical on the climate crisis, he asks, “What kind of world do we want to leave…for those who come after us? And the answer must be: a world that supports creation, and a world that allows us to be divine agents for what is holy, good, and true.”

Phil Davis, 63, of Hector and co-owner/operator of Damiani Wine Cellars said, “I will stand once again in resistance to this imposition of corporate will upon our people and our land and water. There is an attitude of arrogance and dismissiveness in the Crestwood communiqués–regarding environmental concerns, community safety concerns, area business concerns–that I find so offensive that I can’t stand by without joining to further the outcry of opposition. My family has been a part of this community for seven generations. I’m here today to lend my back and all my resolve to this fight.”

Gerry Wiley, 68, of Owego in Tioga County, said, “I am here today as a public health nurse to call attention to the most urgent public health crisis of our time: the effects of climate change. Carbon dioxide lasts a long time in the atmosphere, and reducing it takes time that we no longer have. The only way we can buy more time, while working on cutting carbon dioxide emissions, is to quickly cut methane by ending its extraction, production, distribution, and storage now.”

Crestwood’s methane gas storage expansion project was approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in October 2014 in the face of broad public opposition and unresolved questions about geological instabilities, fault lines, and possible salinization of Seneca Lake, which serves as a source of drinking water for 100,000 people.

Crestwood also seeks to store two other products of fracking in Seneca Lake salt caverns—propane and butane (so-called Liquefied Petroleum Gases, LPG)—for which it is awaiting a decision by Governor Cuomo’s Department of Environmental Conservation.

The 57 arrested today were:

Marguerite (Peggy) Abbott, 65, Phelps, Ontario County

Elliott Adams, 69, Sharon Springs, Schoharie County

George Adams, 66, Danby, Tompkins County

Holly Adams, 56, Hunt, Livingston County

Alicia Alexander, 63, Ithaca, Tompkins County

Daryl Anderson, 62, Hector, Schuyler County

Danielle Angie, 37, Trumansburg, Tompkins County

Kerry Angie, 63, Aurora, Cayuga County

Thomas Angie, 63, Aurora, Cayuga County

Shirley Barton, 68, Hector, Schuyler County

Richard Battaglia, 53, Richford, Tioga County

Marie Ely Baumgardner, 68, Burdett, Schuyler County

Darlene Bordwell, 58, Penn Yan, Yates County

Charley Bowman, 69, Getzville, Erie County

Patricia Buttolph, 70, Elmira, Chemung County

Cynthia Carestio, 55, Canandaigua, Ontario County

Jamie William Carestio, 30, Hector, Schuyler County

Donn Carroll, 65, Ithaca, Tompkins County

Lyndsay Clark, 55, Springwater, Livingston

Colleen A. Coss, 60, West Henrietta, Monroe County

Phil Davis, 63, Hector, Schuyler County

Jodi Dean, 53, Geneva, Ontario County

Martin Dodge, 73, Canandaigua, Ontario County

Joshua Dolan, 38, Ithaca, Tompkins County

Robert Eklund, 63, New Lisbon, Otsego

Wesley (Wes) Ernsberger, 68, Owego, Tioga County

Carrie Fischer, 39, Fayette, Seneca County

Paula Fitzsimmons, 57, Hector, Schuyler County

Paul Matthew Flansburg, 47, Henrietta, Monroe County

Kenneth Fogarty, 76, Guilford, Chenango County

Arthur Godin, 67, Enfield, Tompkins County

Mimi Gridley, 60, Dundee, Yates County

Ruth Groff, 64, Lansing, Tompkins County

Debb Guard, 64, Schenectady, Schenectady County

Susan Hughes-Smith, 44, Brighton, Monroe County

Nancy E. Kasper, 57, North Rose, Wayne County

Bill Kitchen, 63, Johnstown, Fulton County

Sharon Kahkonen, 66, Mecklenburg, Schuyler County

Mary (Meg) Downey Krywe, 57, Almond, Allegany County

Nathan John Lewis, 33, Hector, Schuyler County

Peter Looker, 65, Glenville, Schenectady County

Alison Marshall, 35, Penn Yan, Yates County

Bill McKibben, 55, Ripton, Addison County, VT

Katherine (Kit) Miller, 53, Brighton, Monroe County

Paul A. Passavant, 49, Geneva, Ontario County

Leslie Potter, 72, Big Flats, Chemung County

Stephanie Redmond, 39, Enfield, Tompkins County

Catherine M. Rossiter, 64, Sayre, Bradford County, PA

Coby Schultz, 55, Springwater, Livingston County

Tom Seaney, 66, Ithaca, Tompkins County

Susan Soboroff, 70, Trumansburg, Ulysses County

Ba Stopha, 70, Ithaca, Tompkins County

Louise Sullivan-Blum, 55, Corning, Steuben County

Robert S. Thompson, 62, Hemlock, Livingston County

Gerri Wiley, 68, Owego, Tioga County

Felicity Wright, 68, Alpine, Schuyler County

Ken Zeserson, 68, Ithaca, Tompkins County

 

Read more about the protesters at: http://www.wearesenecalake.com/seneca-lake-defendes/.

Read more about widespread objections to Crestwood’s gas storage plans: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/26/nyregion/new-york-winemakers-fight-gas-storage-plan-near-seneca-lake.html?_r=0.

Read Gannett’s investigative report about the risks and dangers of LPG gas storage: http://www.democratandchronicle.com/story/news/local/watchdog/2015/06/26/seneca-gas-storage-debated/29272421/.

 

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