Protect Our Only Home Press Release

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Dec 092015
 

Nineteen Americans arrested defending community, Seneca Lake, and world from fossil fuel industry

Concerned citizens from NC, NJ join local protest in NY to point out the global climate impacts of expanding storage, transport, and extraction of natural gas.

Videos:   http://wearesenecalake.com/protect-our-only-home-vid

Pictures: http://wearesenecalake.com/protect-our-only-home-pix

December 9, 2015 – Watkins Glen, NY – Nineteen people from New York, New Jersey, and as far away as North Carolina added their bodies and voices to the blockade at Crestwood’s proposed methane gas storage facility on the shores of Seneca Lake on Wednesday morning. They stood in an orderly line with banners reading “Protecting Our Only Home” and “There Is No Plan(et) B” across the entrance to Crestwood’s facility on Route 14 in Watkins Glen. This is the third blockade in the past week, timed to coincide with the COP21 climate negotiations in Paris. Over 400 people have been arrested in similar actions over the past year.

“Crestwood’s plans endanger the drinking water for 100,000 people, and the fracking industry’s extraction, transportation and storage of fracked gasses are major contributors to our planetary climate chaos,” said John Wagner, 62, of Pittsboro, North Carolina. “I am also here today as a small act of support and solidarity with Vanda Shiva, indigenous groups, Sandra Steingraber and others that are in Paris to try to keep the Climate Summit goals from being derailed by powerful corporations.”

Crestwood’s methane gas storage expansion project was approved by the United States 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.

The facility plans to store natural gas and then sell it to urban areas such as New York or Boston during times of increased demand and profit. It is one of many projects, including pipelines, which aim to develop “new markets” for the current glut of natural gas from the fracking boom, committing people to using natural gas in the future. Natural gas is primarily methane, a significantly more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide over a 20-year timeframe.

Whether due to low natural gas prices or the ongoing direct action campaign, construction of Crestwood’s natural gas storage expansion has not yet begun.

“When my grandchildren ask me if I knew about climate change long ago in the early 2010’s, I will say yes,” said Richard Battaglia, 53, of Richford, NY. “I am standing here so when they ask me what I did about it, I will not have to hide in shame.”

“We need to stop investing in fossil fuel infrastructure,” said Charley Bowman, 69, of Getzville, NY.

“The climate negotiations in Paris are important,” said Karin Suskin, 58, of Ithaca, “but words on paper take time to implement. We are quite literally ‘thinking globally, acting locally’ and stopping the fossil fuel industry where we can – in our own backyard.”

Schuyler County deputies arrested the nineteen at 9:40 a.m. as they blocked a pickup driven by Crestwood’s Director of Operations, Barry Moon, from leaving the facility. They sang “We are a peaceful gentle people / and we are standing for our home,” referring to both Seneca Lake and the world.

The nineteen protesters were transported to the Schuyler County Sheriff’s department, charged with disorderly conduct, and released. The total number of arrests in the civil disobedience campaign over the past year now stands at 432.

The nineteen arrested today were:

George Adams, 65, Danby, Tompkins County, NY

Richard Battaglia, 53, Richford, Tioga County, NY

Charley Bowman, 69, Getzville, Erie County, NY

Heather Cook, 53, Dundee, Yates County, NY

Richard Evert, 68, Princeton, Mercer County, NJ

Martha Fischer, 58, Enfield, Tompkins County, NY

Ellen Grady, 53, Ithaca, Tompkins County, NY

Jim Gregoire, 46, Geneva, Ontario County, NY

Ben Guthrie, 63, Covert, Seneca County, NY

Lyn Hamilton, 68, Princeton, Mercer County, NJ

Gabrielle Illava, 26, Ithaca, Tompkins County, NY

Astrid Jirka, 44, Ithaca, Tompkins County, NY

Nancy Kasper, 56, North Rose, Wayne County, NY

Kelly Morris, 55, Danby, Tompkins County, NY

Haley Pasquale, 24, Livonia, Livingston County, NY

Todd Saddler, 51, Ithaca, Tompkins County, NY

Karin Suskin, 58, Ithaca, Tompkins County, NY

Phil Terrie, 66, Ithaca, Tompkins County, NY

John Wagner, 62, Pittsboro, Chatham County, NC

###

 

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/.

 

Background on the protests:

Protesters have been blocking the Crestwood gas storage facility gates since Thursday, October 23, 2014, including a rally with more than 200 people on Friday, October 24th. On Wednesday, October 29, Crestwood called the police and the first 10 protesters were arrested.  More information and pictures of the actions are available at www.WeAreSenecaLake.com.

The unified We Are Seneca Lake protests started on October 23rd because Friday, October 24th marked the day that major new construction on the gas storage facility was authorized to begin. The ongoing acts of civil disobedience come after the community pursued every possible avenue to stop the project and after being thwarted by an unacceptable process and denial of science. The protests are taking place at the gates of the Crestwood compressor station site on the shore of Seneca Lake, the largest of New York’s Finger Lakes.

The methane gas storage expansion project is advancing in the face of broad public opposition and unresolved questions about geological instabilities, fault lines, and possible salinization of the lake, which serves as a source of drinking water for 100,000 people. Crestwood has indicated that it intends to make Seneca Lake the gas storage and transportation hub for the northeast, as part of the gas industry’s planned expansion of infrastructure across the region. Note that the WE ARE SENECA LAKE protest is to stop the expansion of methane gas storage, a separate project from Crestwood’s proposed Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) storage project, which is on hold pending a decision from a Department of Environmental Conservation Administrative Law Judge on whether the matter needs a full adjudicatory review.

As they have for a long time, the protesters are continuing to call on President Obama, U.S. Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, Governor Cuomo, and Congressman Reed to intervene on behalf of the community and halt the dangerous project. In spite of overwhelming opposition, grave geological and public health concerns, Crestwood was given approval by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in October 2014 to move forward with plans to store highly pressurized, explosive gas in abandoned salt caverns on the west side of Seneca Lake. However, despite ongoing activity on site, Crestwood reports to FERC that construction of the methane storage expansion has not yet begun.

More background, including about the broad extent of the opposition from hundreds of wineries and more than a dozen local municipalities, is available on the We Are Seneca Lake website at http://www.wearesenecalake.com/press-kit/.

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 Posted by at 1:17 pm

Six New Yorkers arrested protesting fracking infrastructure at Seneca Lake as Paris climate negotiations enter second week

 Press Kit  Comments Off on Six New Yorkers arrested protesting fracking infrastructure at Seneca Lake as Paris climate negotiations enter second week
Dec 072015
 

 

Protesters create new verse to John Lennon’s “Imagine”

Videos:  http://wearesenecalake.com/stop-infrastructure-vid

Pictures: http://wearesenecalake.com/stop-infrastructure-pix

Seneca Lake protesters 12-7-2015

December 7, 2015 – Watkins Glen, NY – As the COP21 climate negotiations in Paris enter the second week, six people blockaded the gates at Crestwood’s proposed methane gas storage facility on the shores of Seneca Lake Monday morning to draw attention to the impact of fracking and fracking infrastructure on the climate. They peacefully stretched a banner that said “Leave fossil fuels in the ground / not in our salt caverns” and “No fracking infrastructure – it leaks! #COP21 Paris” across Crestwood’s entrance on Route 14. The action follows similar arrests last Wednesday demanding “Climate Action Now!”

The protesters sang John Lennon’s “Imagine,” adding in a new verse: “Imagine 2050 / It isn’t far away / Think about your grandkids / Imagine what they’d say / Thanks for the world you left us / You really made us proud.” December 8, 2015 will mark 35 years since Lennon’s assassination. Both Yoko Ono and their son, Sean Ono Lennon, helped ban fracking in New York.

“We’ve banned fracking in New York, but are still facing massive impacts from pipelines, storage, and waste disposal,” said Debb Guard, 64, of Niskayuna. “Each part of the infrastructure supporting fracking and the distribution of natural gas are places where the methane can leak, and that is far more damaging to our atmosphere than carbon dioxide.”

The We Are Seneca Lake movement opposes Crestwood’s plans for methane and LPG storage in lakeside salt caverns and has been ongoing since October 2014. It is one of many pieces of fracking infrastructure currently proposed in New York State. Others include the Northeast Direct, AIM, Dominion, and Constitution pipelines; and disposal of toxic and radioactive fracking waste at landfills, including a proposed expansion of the Chemung County landfill.

“Governor Cuomo’s ban on fracking and Port Ambrose veto has positioned him to become a true national climate leader, which we desperately need,” said Bill Kitchen, 62, of Johnstown. “It all hinges on his decisions regarding infrastructure. We hope he doesn’t let his leadership role evaporate by allowing fracking infrastructure to be built in our great state.”

“Keep it in the ground” is a common refrain among climate activists. Experts estimate that the vast majority of fossil fuel reserves, including natural gas, must be left untouched in the ground in order to prevent a worldwide increase of more than 2 degrees centigrade. Protesters emphasize that storing the methane in underground salt caverns does not count as “keeping it in the ground,” because it is the extraction, transport and storage process that leaks methane. A scientific study in August 2015 documented that the sensors used to measure methane leakage rates underreport actual methane leakage, accounting for the discrepancy between ground-level measurements and aerial measurements.

“The natural gas industry is the major source of the methane [in the atmosphere],” said Robert Howarth, professor at Cornell University, at the Finger Lakes Climate March in Watkins Glen on November 29. Howarth is currently in Paris. “The shale gas revolution has aggravated that to no end. Satellite data show that the methane concentrations have been rising rapidly globally in the atmosphere since 2010. That is a result of shale gas and shale oil development in the United States. It’s globally noticeable.  It’s globally warming the temperature now, it’s the wrong trajectory.”

“It is terribly urgent that for the sake of human life on the planet we do everything we can to stop extracting and using fossil fuels everywhere,” said John Suter, 70, of Dryden.

Schuyler County deputies arrested the six shortly before 9:30 a.m. as they blocked a flatbed truck carrying construction equipment from entering the facility, and a pickup from leaving.

The six protesters were transported to the Schuyler County Sheriff’s department, charged with disorderly conduct, and released. The total number of arrests in the civil disobedience campaign over the past year now stands at 413.

Crestwood’s methane gas storage expansion project was approved by the United States 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. Whether due to low natural gas prices or the ongoing direct action campaign, construction has not yet begun.

The six arrested today were:

Debb Guard, 64, Niskayuna, Schenectady County

Hervie Harris, 69, Elmira, Chemung County

Rick Hoyt, 65, Geneva, Ontario County

Bill Kitchen, 63, Johnstown, Fulton County

Elan Shapiro, 68, Ithaca, Tompkins County

John Suter, 70, Dryden, 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/.

 

Background on the protests:

Protesters have been blocking the Crestwood gas storage facility gates since Thursday, October 23, 2014, including a rally with more than 200 people on Friday, October 24th. On Wednesday, October 29, Crestwood called the police and the first 10 protesters were arrested.  More information and pictures of the actions are available at www.WeAreSenecaLake.com.

The unified We Are Seneca Lake protests started on October 23rd because Friday, October 24th marked the day that major new construction on the gas storage facility was authorized to begin. The ongoing acts of civil disobedience come after the community pursued every possible avenue to stop the project and after being thwarted by an unacceptable process and denial of science. The protests are taking place at the gates of the Crestwood compressor station site on the shore of Seneca Lake, the largest of New York’s Finger Lakes.

The methane gas storage expansion project is advancing in the face of broad public opposition and unresolved questions about geological instabilities, fault lines, and possible salinization of the lake, which serves as a source of drinking water for 100,000 people. Crestwood has indicated that it intends to make Seneca Lake the gas storage and transportation hub for the northeast, as part of the gas industry’s planned expansion of infrastructure across the region. Note that the WE ARE SENECA LAKE protest is to stop the expansion of methane gas storage, a separate project from Crestwood’s proposed Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) storage project, which is on hold pending a decision from a Department of Environmental Conservation Administrative Law Judge on whether the matter needs a full adjudicatory review.

As they have for a long time, the protesters are continuing to call on President Obama, U.S. Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, Governor Cuomo, and Congressman Reed to intervene on behalf of the community and halt the dangerous project. In spite of overwhelming opposition, grave geological and public health concerns, Crestwood was given approval by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in October 2014 to move forward with plans to store highly pressurized, explosive gas in abandoned salt caverns on the west side of Seneca Lake. However, despite ongoing activity on site, Crestwood reports to FERC that construction of the methane storage expansion has not yet begun.

More background, including about the broad extent of the opposition from hundreds of wineries and more than a dozen local municipalities, is available on the We Are Seneca Lake website at http://www.wearesenecalake.com/press-kit/.

Climate Action Now Protest Press Release

 Press Kit  Comments Off on Climate Action Now Protest Press Release
Dec 032015
 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – December 3, 2015

Contact: Lindsay Speer, lindsayspeer@gmail.com 315-383-7210
Videos:  http://www.wearesenecalake.com/climateactionnowvideo/

Pictures: http://www.wearesenecalake.com/climateactionnowpics/

 

Seven New Yorkers arrested protesting proposed fracked gas storage on fourth day of Paris climate negotiations 

Watkins Glen, NY – On the fourth day of the COP21 climate negotiations in Paris, seven people blockaded the gates at Crestwood’s proposed methane gas storage facility on the shores of Seneca Lake. At dawn this morning, the seven peacefully stretched a banner that said “From Seneca Lake to Paris: Climate Action Now!” across Crestwood’s entrance on Route 14. The action comes four days after 350 people marched through Watkins Glen as part of the broader Global Climate March.

“The time for action is now,” said Reverend Nancy Kasper, 56, of North Rose. “We all must do what is within our power to do to stop climate change. We look to the negotiators in Paris to create a strong, binding agreement. We look to Congress to support the President in addressing this difficult issue. And we look to ourselves to stand up, wherever we are, and oppose projects that threaten our future. We have a responsibility to humanity and the planet to stop the expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure.”

“Methane is over 120 times more powerful a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide when it’s in the atmosphere,” said Robert Howarth, professor at Cornell University, at the Finger Lakes Climate March in Watkins Glen on November 29. “Methane is currently accounting for about 60% of the rate of warming we’re seeing, as compared with carbon dioxide. If we start reducing methane emissions now we will see immediate results in the slowing of global warming.”

“Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si, On Care for Our Common Home, which we have read sections of at the gates of Crestwood on a half dozen occasions, has helped make a moral/spiritual perspective part of the discussion on the environment,” said Mark Scibilia-Carver, 62, of Ulysses. “Previously, this discussion was most often framed in political, scientific and economic language.  I have no faith in corporate America, as represented here by Crestwood, to care for our common home… I do hope and pray that more people will read Francis’ letter, especially the members of St. Mary’s in Watkins Glen.”

Marty Dodge, 73, of Canandaigua said: “My intent in standing before the Crestwood gate today is to inspire others to act to protect the Earth we love and to call for attention from media and political leaders that there exist many who are willing to put themselves on the line to protest further development of the fossil fuel industry.

Schuyler County deputies arrested the seven shortly before 8:30 a.m. as they blocked four trucks from entering the facility, chanting “Seneca Lake to Paris: Climate Action Now!” “nous sommes Seneca Lake” and “du lac Seneca á Paris!” All were transported to the Schuyler County Sheriff’s department, charged with disorderly conduct, and released.

The total number of arrests in the civil disobedience campaign over the past year now stands at 407.

The We Are Seneca Lake movement opposes Crestwood’s plans for methane and LPG storage in lakeside salt caverns and has been ongoing since October 2014.

Crestwood’s methane gas storage expansion project was approved by the United States Federal Energy Regulatory Commission last October 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.

The seven arrested today were:

Ryan Acuff, 33, Rochester, Monroe County

Marty Dodge, 73, Canandaigua, Ontario County

Patricia Heckart, 63, Ulysses, Tompkins County

Reverend Nancy Kasper, 56, North Rose, Wayne County

Blake Reid, 44, Trumansburg, Tompkins County

Laura Salamendra, 31, Geneva, Ontario County

Mark Scibilia-Carver, 63, Ulysses, 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/.

 

Background on the protests:

Protesters have been blocking the Crestwood gas storage facility gates since Thursday, October 23, 2014, including a rally with more than 200 people on Friday, October 24th. On Wednesday, October 29, Crestwood called the police and the first 10 protesters were arrested.  More information and pictures of the actions are available at www.WeAreSenecaLake.com.

The unified We Are Seneca Lake protests started on October 23rd because Friday, October 24th marked the day that major new construction on the gas storage facility was authorized to begin. The ongoing acts of civil disobedience come after the community pursued every possible avenue to stop the project and after being thwarted by an unacceptable process and denial of science. The protests are taking place at the gates of the Crestwood compressor station site on the shore of Seneca Lake, the largest of New York’s Finger Lakes.

The methane gas storage expansion project is advancing in the face of broad public opposition and unresolved questions about geological instabilities, fault lines, and possible salinization of the lake, which serves as a source of drinking water for 100,000 people. Crestwood has indicated that it intends to make Seneca Lake the gas storage and transportation hub for the northeast, as part of the gas industry’s planned expansion of infrastructure across the region. Note that the WE ARE SENECA LAKE protest is to stop the expansion of methane gas storage, a separate project from Crestwood’s proposed Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) storage project, which is on hold pending a decision from a Department of Environmental Conservation Administrative Law Judge on whether the matter needs a full adjudicatory review.

As they have for a long time, the protesters are continuing to call on President Obama, U.S. Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, Governor Cuomo, and Congressman Reed to intervene on behalf of the community and halt the dangerous project. In spite of overwhelming opposition, grave geological and public health concerns, Crestwood has federal approval to move forward with plans to store highly pressurized, explosive gas in abandoned salt caverns on the west side of Seneca Lake. While the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has temporarily halted plans to stockpile propane and butane (LPG) in nearby caverns—out of ongoing concerns for safety, health, and the environment—Crestwood is actively constructing infrastructure for the storage of two billion cubic feet of methane (natural gas), with the blessing of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

More background, including about the broad extent of the opposition from hundreds of wineries and more than a dozen local municipalities, is available on the We Are Seneca Lake website at http://www.wearesenecalake.com/press-kit/.

 Posted by at 12:38 pm

Finger Lakes Climate Action March

 Press Kit  Comments Off on Finger Lakes Climate Action March
Nov 292015
 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—November 29, 2015

Media Contact: Sandra Steingraber | 607.351.0719; Lindsay Speer | 315.383.7210

photos: http://www.wearesenecalake.com/climate-action-march-pix/

video: http://www.wearesenecalake.com/flxclimatemarchvid/

350 March through Watkins Glen on Eve of Paris Climate Summit 

Marchers call for climate action and halt to Crestwood gas transport, storage plans; NYS Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton, Schuyler County Legislator Michael Lausell, Cornell climate scientist Robert Howarth address crowd

Watkins Glen, NY – The day before the commencement of United Nations climate change negotiations in Paris, 350 upstate residents marched through downtown Watkins Glen on Sunday afternoon, calling globally for worldwide action on climate change and locally for an end to gas transport and storage at Seneca Lake, in the Finger Lakes region of NY. Organized by the grassroots group We Are Seneca Lake, marchers wore blaze orange safety vests to symbolize the emergency that climate change represents. It also was a direct response showing that they will not be intimidated by an ominous comment on Facebook last week.

The Finger Lakes March for Global Climate Action was one of more than 2,000 marches that took place this weekend in 175 countries as delegates gather in Paris for the World Climate Summit.  At 1 p.m., the event kicked off at the Seneca Lake marina with a rally, music and speeches from political leaders and sustainable energy innovators.

New York State Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton (D) of the 125th Assembly District opened the rally, saying, “Tomorrow, world leaders gather in Paris to begin negotiating a binding climate treaty. The future of your children and mine depend on a strong treaty. The more citizens we have marching on the streets today with love and resolve, the stronger the message we send to Paris tomorrow—and the more hope we create for our children and grandchildren in all the days after that. That’s why I’m here. This is an historic day. The people are mobilizing and speaking all over the country and the world. The tide is turning. The work must continue in the months and years ahead, but today I am feeling great hope that we will build a sustainable future for ourselves and for all the world.”

Schuyler County legislator Michael Lausell addressed the health and safety risks of Crestwood Midstream’s proposed gas storage facility in the nearby town of Reading. Crestwood proposes to store Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) and natural gas (methane) in abandoned salt caverns on the west shore of Seneca Lake. Referring to Crestwood’s plans to transport LPG by rail through Watkins Glen State Park and over its famous gorge, Lausell said, “Our Watkins Glen State Park is a natural wonder and a very popular destination. Visitors from near and far enjoy its unique charm. It would be a mistake to subject our beautiful gorge to the risk of daily transport of explosive fossil fuels over the tall rail trestle that crosses through the park.”

Tompkins County legislator Martha Robertson said, “With our national politics hijacked by huge corporate interests, mega-donor money, and Fox News, local elected officials and political leaders can and must lead the way on climate change. We saw that succeed in the fracking fight, with the communities of Dryden and Middlefield making history and making law. Never doubt that your local vote makes a difference.”

Suzanne Hunt of Branchport in Yates County, and president of Hunt Green LLC, which provides sustainable energy solutions to wineries, government agencies, and businesses, emphasized that the technical feasibility of renewable energy solutions. “We need to come together as communities—big and small—to understand everyone’s needs in creating a solution,” said Hunt. Addressing global climate change is *the* challenge of our lifetime, but it’s also an unprecedented opportunity to create jobs, enhance security, and improve the health and quality of life for us all.”

Joe Sliker, president and C.E.O. of Renovus Solar in Tompkins County, spoke to the economic promise of solar energy. “Solar power has the potential to provide tens of thousands of times more energy than humanity could ever consume, while providing good paying jobs and dramatic economic benefits to upstate New York. We have reached an historic tipping point, and the time is now to come together with the shared purpose to revolutionize our power infrastructure, put good people to work, and permanently address the imminent threats climate change brings to our lives.”

Carrying signs and banners reading, “Seneca Lake to Paris, Climate Action Now!,” “Leave it in the Ground!” and “Climate Justice Builds Peace and Hope,” marchers walked south along Route 14 through downtown Watkins Glen to the main entrance of the Watkins Glen State Park.

Marchers reassembled at the gorge trailhead where Bob Howarth, PhD, climate scientist and ecologist at Cornell University spoke about the climate threat posed by natural gas and the products of fracking:

“The leaders of the world are meeting in Paris for the next two weeks, working on a plan to slow the rate of global warming. While it seems certain steps finally will be taken after decades of debate, these steps are too little. As more and more natural gas comes from fracking of shale, methane emissions have risen dramatically.  In fact, satellite observations show a global rise in methane since 2010, quite likely driven by shale gas and oil development in the United States. Natural gas is no bridge fuel, and shale gas is a disaster for the climate. The path forward must be to embrace the technologies of the 21st Century and move rapidly to a fossil-fuel-free society powered by wind and solar energy. This transition has begun, and it leads to healthier people and a healthier economy, as well as addressing global change. We must accelerate the transition. The time is now.”

Sandra Steingraber, PhD, biologist and co-founder of We Are Seneca Lake, said, “Today we declare, together with people all over the world, that we are turning our back on coal, oil, and gas.  From this moment forward, we will be looking up rather than down for our energy. Our future will be powered by wind, water, and sun.”

Both Howarth and Steingraber will attend the climate talks in Paris later this week.

After marching back to the marina, marchers heard about the dangers of fracking infrastructure from Dennis Higgens of People Not Pipelines in Otsego County, who said, “One pipeline leads to another. Our struggles to halt natural gas infrastructure projects are connected, just like the pipelines themselves, and we need to stand in solidarity with one another.”

The rally closed with music by local singer-songwriter Edith McCrae and a children’s chorus performing “That’s What the Children Say (the Ballad of Seneca Lake)”, which has become an unofficial anthem for the We Are Seneca Lake movement. Marchers then joined hands at the water’s edge to show their resolve for protecting the lake against dangerous fossil fuel projects and to show solidarity with climate activists in Paris who, earlier on Sunday, joined hands across the city to form a 1.2 mile human chain after the police prohibited the planned climate march due to security concerns.

 

Background on the Global Climate March

The Finger Lakes March for Climate Justice was part of a day of marches, concerts, rallies and workshops spanning all continents that take place the day before the start of global climate negotiations in Paris. Loosely organized by 350.org and the online activist network Avaaz, the 2,460 different Global Climate March events are united by twin demands: “Keep fossil fuels in the ground and finance a just transition to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050” and intend to push leaders at every level of government to commit to a rapid transition to renewable energy.

Background on We Are Seneca Lake

We Are Seneca Lake is a grassroots, citizens’ movement that opposes Crestwood’s plans for methane and LPG storage in Seneca Lake salt caverns. Civil disobedience has been ongoing since October 2014 when Crestwood’s methane gas storage expansion project was approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 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. The total number of arrests in the year-old campaign now stands at 400.

Crestwood has indicated that it intends to make Seneca Lake the gas storage and transportation hub for the Northeast, as part of the gas industry’s planned expansion of infrastructure across the region.  As part of the plan, LPG-filled railcars will travel a railway that traverses Watkins Glen State Park, passing within 60 feet of campsites and over the heads of hikers in the gorge via a 1937 rail trestle. The struggle for the energy future of Seneca Lake was the subject of a recent New Yorker video report, a New York Times profile, and a Gannett investigative report.

More background about the project, including the broad opposition from  31 municipalities and more than 300 wineries and local businesses, is available on the We Are Seneca Lake website at www.WeAreSenecaLake.com

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 Posted by at 6:41 pm

We Are Seneca Lake to Host Rally and Climate March in Watkins Glen as Part of Worldwide Mobilization on the Eve of Paris Climate Summit

 Press Kit  Comments Off on We Are Seneca Lake to Host Rally and Climate March in Watkins Glen as Part of Worldwide Mobilization on the Eve of Paris Climate Summit
Nov 262015
 

For Immediate Release: November 25, 2015

Contact: Sandra Steingraber 607.351.0719

 

***MEDIA ADVISORY FOR SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 29***

We Are Seneca Lake to Host Rally and Climate March in Watkins Glen as Part of Worldwide Mobilization on the Eve of Paris Climate Summit

Finger Lakes March for Climate Justice will spotlight renewable energy initiatives and call for a halt to fossil fuel build-out in the Finger Lakes; marchers will wear orange as symbol of emergency and safety

Watkins Glen, NY – Hosted by the grassroots group We Are Seneca Lake, the Finger Lakes March for Climate Justice will bring the global call for an end to fossil fuel investments and a rapid deployment of renewable energy to the streets of Watkins Glen this Sunday afternoon. One of more than 2,000 marches taking place in 150 countries as delegates gather in Paris for the World Climate Summit, the march begins with a rally at the Seneca Lake marina and then winds through downtown Watkins Glen to the foot of the Watkins Glen State Park gorge and back.

Martha Robertson, 64, Tompkins County Legislator since 2002, former kindergarten teacher and small business owner in Dryden said, “With our national politics hijacked by huge corporate interests, mega-donor money, and Fox News, local elected officials and political leaders can and must lead the way on climate change. We saw that succeed in the fracking fight, with the communities of Dryden and Middlefield making history and making law. Never doubt that your local vote makes a difference.”

Joe Sliker, 34, president and C.E.O. of Renovus Solar in Tompkins County, said, “Solar power has the potential to provide tens of thousands of times more energy than humanity could ever consume, while providing good paying jobs and dramatic economic benefits to upstate New York. We have reached an historic tipping point, and the time is now to come together with the shared purpose to revolutionize our power infrastructure, put good people to work, and permanently address the imminent threats climate change brings to our lives.”

Sandra Steingraber, 56, biologist and co-founder of We Are Seneca Lake, said, “From Seneca Lake to Lake Como, the people of the world—in 150 nations across all continents–are marching today to amplify the message that science shows—that 80 percent of all remaining fossil fuels must be left unburned in the ground in order that our children have a liveable future.  Here on the the banks of Seneca Lake, the site of so much contention over New York’s energy future, we declare our faith in wind, water, and sun. We turn our backs on coal, oil, and gas. From this moment on, we are looking up, not down, for energy.”
What: Finger Lakes march and rally for climate action with signs, banners, speakers, and music

When: 1 pm, Sunday, November 29
Who: Families, renewable energy advocates, opponents of fracking infrastructure projects throughout the Finger Lakes.  Speakers Sandra Steingraber and Robert Howarth will be heading to the Paris Climate Summit soon after the march.
Confirmed speakers:

  • Cornell University climate scientist Robert W. Howarth, Ph.D.
  • Tompkins County legislator Martha Robertson
  • Renovus Solar C.E.O. Joe Sliker
  • solar energy expert Suzanne Hunt of Hunt Country Vineyards in Yates County
  • We Are Seneca Lake co-founder and biologist, Sandra Steingraber, Ph.D.

Where: Watkins Glen Marina on North Decatur Street, Watkins Glen, NY 14891. (Follow Decatur St. north to to its end, cross the railroad tracks and drive into the parking lot at the foot of Seneca Lake.)
Why: Seneca Lake is targeted by Houston-based Crestwood Midstream to serve as an LPG and gas storage hub for the Northeast, a plan opposed by 31 Finger Lakes muncipalities and more than 300 local business and that is the subject of persistent civil disobedience protest. In the past year, 400 arrests have taken place at Crestwood’s gates. LPG-filled railcars will travel a railway that traverses Watkins Glen State Park, passing within 60 feet of campsites and over the heads of hikers in the gorge via a 1937 rail trestle. The struggle for the energy future of Seneca Lake was the subject of a recent New Yorker video report and New York Times profile.
Globally, 2015 is on track to be the hottest year in recorded history. The Finger Lakes March for Climate Justice amplifies and exemplifies the worldwide surge in climate action and is part of a day of marches, concerts, rallies and workshops spanning all continents. In Paris, where the government has prohibited the climate march from taking place due to security concerns in light of recent attacks in the city, people will join hands to form a human chain.
Visual interest: Marchers will wear blaze orange to symbolize the emergency of the climate crisis and as a direct response to an intimidating Facebook comment. (Background here.)

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 Posted by at 2:12 am

28 Protestors Arrested in Civil Disobedience Blockade at Crestwood Appeal to Pope Francis

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Sep 102015
 

28 Protesters Arrested in Civil Disobedience Blockade at Crestwood Appeal to Pope Francis

Martha Hennessy—granddaughter of Catholic Worker Movement Founder, Dorothy Day—joins opposition to Seneca Lake gas storage as total number of arrests hits 400

Watkins Glen, NY – Just two weeks before Pope Francis’ visit to the United States, where he is widely expected to call for urgent action to protect the world’s environment, 28 people, led by local members of the Catholic Worker Movement, formed human chains shortly after sunrise this morning across both entrances of Crestwood Midstream on Route 14. Joining the protest was famed peace activist Martha Hennessy—the granddaughter of Catholic Worker co-founder and candidate for sainthood, Dorothy Day.

Today’s blockaders held banners that said, “Pope Francis, We Hear You” and “We Are Seneca Lake Caring for Our Common Home.”

As in previous blockades this summer, the protesters carried with them a seven-foot-tall replica of Pope Francis’ recent encyclical letter on climate change, Laudato Si! On Care for Our Common Home, as they blocked trucks from entering or leaving.

Schuyler County deputies arrested the 28 shortly before 7:30 a.m. as they read from the Pontifical document. All but Hennessy were transported to the Schuyler County Sheriff’s department, charged with trespassing, and released. Hennessy was held briefly in custody, transported to the Town of Hector court where she was arraigned and released on bail at 11:00 a.m.

This blockade comes just three days after the Labor Day morning fire on Crestwood’s lakeshore property sent smoke billowing over the lake, alarming local residents, boaters, and tourists. The fire started in a generator that services Crestwood’s U.S. Salt plant.

The Catholic Worker Movement was founded by journalist Dorothy Day and social activist Peter Maurin in 1933. Its purpose is to “live in accordance with the justice and charity of Jesus Christ.”

Delivering a statement on behalf of the group, blockader Martha Hennessy, 60, of Manhattan, said, ”The Pope has put his finger right on what we need to do to change direction. As it says in Laudato Si!, whatever issue affects one of us affects us all. Seneca Lake is one body of water that we all now have concerns about. Catholic Workers was founded in 1933, another time of ecological catastrophe, including the Dust Bowl. My grandmother witnessed all of that. She fed striking and unemployed workers. She understood that we are all the body of Christ. We are all one of another. That’s what I learned from her.”

Mark Scibilia-Carver, 61, a Catholic Worker from the Town of Ulysses in Tompkins County, said, “Pope Francis has issued a powerful reminder to people of all faiths that the Earth is a shared inheritance. Water and climate are ours to safeguard, not plunder. Our peaceful act of civil disobedience today—at the gates of a fossil fuel company that threatens our children’s drinking water with explosive gases—says that we are listening. A Papal Encyclical is the second-highest teaching authority in the Catholic Church. The Pope understands well the threats posed to our common home by entities like Crestwood. Catholics, in particular, need to act on what the Pope has said and oppose these threats.”

The total number of arrests in the nine-month-old civil disobedience campaign now stands at 400.

The We Are Seneca Lake movement opposes Crestwood’s plans for methane and LPG storage in lakeside salt caverns and has been ongoing since October 2014.

Crestwood’s methane gas storage expansion project was approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission last October 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.

The 28 arrested today were:

Peggy Abbott, 64, Geneva, Ontario County

Shirley Barton, 67, Mecklenburg, Schuyler County

Richard Battaglia, 53, Richford, Tioga County

Robyn Bem, 64, Dryden, Tompkins County

Dan Burgevin, 68, Trumansburg, Tompkins County

Lyndsay Clark, 54, Springwater, Livingston County

Nancy J. Cook, 62, Painted Post, Steuben County

John Dennis, 65, Lansing, Tompkins

Josh Dolan, 38, Ithaca, Tompkins County

Tessa Sage Flores, 66, Ithaca, Tompkins County

Zan Gerrity, 64, Ithaca, Tompkins County

Lyn Gerry, 59, Watkins Glen, Schuyler County

Ira Goldstein, 65, Ithaca, Tompkins County

Martha Hennessy, 60, Manhattan, New York County

Gabrielle Illava, 26, Ithaca, Tompkins County

Margaret McCasland, 69, Lansing County

Barbara Pease, 69, Ithaca, Tompkins County

Mariah Plumlee, 36, Covert, Seneca County

Cynda Poley, 60, Elmira, Chemung County

Stephanie Redmond, 39, Enfield, Tompkins County

James Ricks, 65, Ithaca, Tompkins County

Todd Saddler, 50, Ithaca, Tompkins County

Laura Salamendra, 31, Geneva, Ontario County

Coby Schultz, 55, Springwater, Livingston County

Mark Scibilia-Carver, 62, Ulysses, Tompkins County

Barbara Smith, 61, Lodi, Seneca County

Ba Stopha, 70, Ithaca, Tompkins County

Ann Sullivan, 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/.

Background on the protests:

Protesters have been blocking the Crestwood gas storage facility gates since Thursday, October 23, 2014, including a rally with more than 200 people onFriday, October 24th. On Wednesday, October 29, Crestwood called the police and the first 10 protesters were arrested.  More information and pictures of the actions are available at www.WeAreSenecaLake.com.

The unified We Are Seneca Lake protests started on October 23rd because Friday, October 24th marked the day that major new construction on the gas storage facility was authorized to begin. The ongoing acts of civil disobedience come after the community pursued every possible avenue to stop the project and after being thwarted by an unacceptable process and denial of science. The protests are taking place at the gates of the Crestwood compressor station site on the shore of Seneca Lake, the largest of New York’s Finger Lakes.

The methane gas storage expansion project is advancing in the face of broad public opposition and unresolved questions about geological instabilities, fault lines, and possible salinization of the lake, which serves as a source of drinking water for 100,000 people. Crestwood has indicated that it intends to make Seneca Lake the gas storage and transportation hub for the northeast, as part of the gas industry’s planned expansion of infrastructure across the region.Note that the WE ARE SENECA LAKE protest is to stop the expansion of methane gas storage, a separate project from Crestwood’s proposed Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) storage project, which is on hold pending a Department of Environmental Conservation Issues Conference on February 12th.

As they have for a long time, the protesters are continuing to call on President Obama, U.S. Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, Governor Cuomo, and Congressman Reed to intervene on behalf of the community and halt the dangerous project. In spite of overwhelming opposition, grave geological and public health concerns, Crestwood has federal approval to move forward with plans to store highly pressurized, explosive gas in abandoned salt caverns on the west side of Seneca Lake. While the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has temporarily halted plans to stockpile propane and butane (LPG) in nearby caverns—out of ongoing concerns for safety, health, and the environment—Crestwood is actively constructing infrastructure for the storage of two billion cubic feet of methane (natural gas), with the blessing of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

More background, including about the broad extent of the opposition from hundreds of wineries and more than a dozen local municipalities, is available on the We Are Seneca Lake website at http://www.wearesenecalake.com/press-kit/.

College Students and Great Grandmother Stand Up for Future Generations at Seneca Lake

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Aug 262015
 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—August 26, 2015

Media Contact: Sandra Steingraber | 607.351.0719

photos: http://www.wearesenecalake.com/7th-generation/

video: http://tinyurl.com/ow7un6n

 

College Students and Great Grandmother Stand Up for Future Generations at Seneca Lake

 

13 Finger Lakes Residents, Including Students from 5 Colleges, Arrested in Civil Disobedience Blockade at Crestwood

 

Watkins Glen, NY – Led by college students and inspired by the Haudenosaunee directive to consider how our decisions will affect the next seven generations, 13 people, including a great grandmother from Yates County, blockaded the north entrance of Crestwood Midstream on Route 13 just after dawn this morning. They blocked two tanker trucks attempting to enter the facility.

The protesters held banners that said, “We Must Safeguard the Planet for Those Who Follow.”

Among the blockaders were two family pairs. Tamar Law, 20, a student at Cornell University, blockaded together with her sister Hannah Law,18, who attends Hampshire College. Liz Brown, 53 of Mecklenberg in Schuyler County stood with her son, Owen Senders, 23, a student at Harvard University.

Also joining the human chain was retired art teacher Donn Carroll, 65, from Ithaca, formerly employed at the Boynton Middle School.

Schuyler County deputies arrested the 13 at about 7:30 a.m. All were taken into custody, charged variously with trespassing and disorderly conduct, and released.

Today’s arrests bring the total number of arrests to 372 in the ten-month-old civil disobedience campaign.

None of the protesters this morning had been previously arrested as part of the We Are Seneca Lake movement, which opposes Crestwood’s plans for gas storage in lakeside salt caverns and which has been ongoing since October 2014.

Owen Senders, 23, of Mecklenburg in Schuyler County and a student at Harvard University, said, “Crestwood threatens us, Crestwood threatens those we love, and Crestwood threatens the lives of the kids we dream of one day raising in this region. Crestwood’s plan for massive gas storage comes in direct conflict with the vision of a better planet that we are fighting for. We are writing a different story for our species and our world, and this is the first chapter.”

Sheila Brown, 20, of Ithaca in Tompkins County and a student at Hampshire College, said, “Young people are taking a stand to protect the Finger Lakes Region. We millennials are facing a future of global uncertainty and chaos. We value clean water, air, land, and a thriving economy that works for all who reside here.”

Janie Meaney, 77, of Starkey in Yates County, a grandmother of ten and a great grandmother of three, said, The dangers of gas storage in the leaky, old salt caverns in Watkins Glen are shrugged off by Crestwood. Children who live in Schuyler County are the basis for my decision to risk arrest to protest the debacle of endangering children and the ruin of Seneca Lake that provides drinking water for their families and neighbors. My children and grandchildren safely attended Watkins Glen schools, played and swam in Seneca Lake as did my grandchildren and as do my great grandchildren.”

Crestwood’s methane gas storage expansion project was approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission last October 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.

Those arrested today were:

Zachary Birnbaum, 23, Geneva, Ontario County (student, Hobart and William Smith Colleges)

Elizabeth Brown, 53, Mecklenburg, Schuyler County

Sheila Brown, 20, Ithaca, Tompkins County (student, Hampshire College)

Donn Carroll, 64, Ithaca, Tompkins County (retired teacher, Boyton Middle School)

Georgia Decker, 22, New York City, New York County (alumna, Hobart and William Smith Colleges)

Aidan Hodges, 20, Ithaca, Tompkins County (student, Tompkins County Community College Farm-to-Table Program)

Tamar Law, 20, Ithaca, Tompkins County, (student, Cornell University)

Hannah Law, 18, Ithaca, Tompkins County (student, Hampshire College)

Janie Meaney, 78, Starkey, Yates County

Owen Senders, 23, Mecklenburg, Schuyler County (student, Harvard University)

Sam Schmidt, 20, Interlaken, Seneca County (student, Tompkins County Community College)

Rachel Shapiro, 57, Ithaca, Tompkins County

Ray Vanek-Johnson, 18, Ithaca, Tompkins County (student, Tompkins County Community College)

 

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/.

 

Background on the protests:

Protesters have been blocking the Crestwood gas storage facility gates since October 23rd, 2014. On October 29, Crestwood called the police and the first 10 protesters were arrested. More information and pictures of the actions are available at www.WeAreSenecaLake.com.

The unified We Are Seneca Lake protests started on October 23rd because Friday, October 24th marked the day that major new construction on the gas storage facility was authorized to begin. The ongoing acts of civil disobedience come after the community pursued every possible avenue to stop the project and after being thwarted by an unacceptable process and denial of science. The protests are taking place at the gates of the Crestwood compressor station site on the shore of Seneca Lake, the largest of New York’s Finger Lakes.

The methane gas storage expansion project is advancing in the face of broad public opposition and unresolved questions about geological instabilities, fault lines, and possible salinization of the lake, which serves as a source of drinking water for 100,000 people. Crestwood has indicated that it intends to make Seneca Lake the gas storage and transportation hub for the northeast, as part of the gas industry’s planned  expansion of infrastructure across the region.

Note that the WE ARE SENECA LAKE protest is to stop the expansion of methane gas storage, a separate project from Crestwood’s proposed Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) storage project, which is on hold pending a Department of Environmental Conservation Issues Conference held on February 12th, 2015.

As they have for a long time, the protesters are continuing to call on President Obama, U.S. Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, Governor Cuomo, and Congressman Reed to intervene on behalf of the community and halt the dangerous project. In spite of overwhelming opposition, and grave geological and public health concerns, Crestwood has federal approval to move forward with plans to store highly pressurized, explosive gas in abandoned salt caverns on the west side of Seneca Lake. While the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has temporarily halted plans to stockpile propane and butane (LPG) in nearby caverns—out of ongoing concerns for safety, health, and the environment—Crestwood is actively constructing infrastructure for the storage of two billion cubic feet of methane (natural gas), with the blessing of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

More background, including about the broad extent of the opposition from hundreds of wineries and more than a dozen local municipalities, is available on the We Are Seneca Lake website at http://www.wearesenecalake.com/.

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 Posted by at 1:32 pm

Beyond 350 Press Release

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Aug 182015
 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—August 18, 2015

Media Contact: Sandra Steingraber | 607.351.0719

photos: http://www.wearesenecalake.com/beyond-350/

video: http://bit.ly/WASL350

 

Climate Change Protest at Crestwood Gas Storage Facility Leads to 19 Arrests

 

Rev. Lesley Adams of Schuyler County Leads Recitation of Pope Francis’ Encyclical on Climate Change as Number of Total Arrests in Ongoing Civil Disobedience Campaign Surpasses 350; Famed Chef and Moosewood Owner Tony Del Plato Among the Arrested

 

Watkins Glen, NY – In a peaceful act of civil disobedience against proposed gas storage that highlighted the climate crisis, 19 people formed a human chain shortly after sunrise this morning at the north entrance of Crestwood Midstream on Route 14. They blocked two tanker trucks attempting to enter the facility. Among the blockaders were Tony Del Plato, famed chef and co-owner of the Moosewood Restaurant, and the Reverend Lesley Adams, retired chaplain of Hobart and William Smith Colleges and current resident of Schuyler County.

Schuyler County deputies arrested the 19 shortly after 7 a.m. as they read aloud from Pope Francis’ recent encyclical letter on climate change, “On Care for Our Common Home.” All were taken into custody, charged with trespassing, and released.

To illustrate the contribution of natural gas to global warming, blockaders held banners that said “Methane = Climate Crisis” and “Climate Defenders Against Crestwood.” A seven-foot replica of the Encyclical was also part of the blockade.

Today’s arrests bring the total number of arrests to 359 in the ten-month-old civil disobedience campaign.

Their recitation from the Pontifical document continued the reading that began on June 30 and has continued throughout the summer.

None of the protesters this morning had been previously arrested as part of the We Are Seneca Lake movement, which opposes Crestwood’s plans for gas storage in lakeside salt caverns and which has been ongoing since October 2014.

Moosewood co-owner and chef, Tony Del Plato, 67, said, “Scientists tell us that 350 parts per million is the upper limit for carbon dioxide if we want a stable climate for food production. We have far surpassed 350. That’s an S.O.S. signal. Today, we surpassed 350 arrests at the gates of Crestwood. That’s an S.O.S. signal, too. Crestwood’s plans to store massive amounts of leaky methane here is a threat to water, food, climate, and life itself.”

Earlier this month, the 19 owners of Ithaca’s famed Moosewood Restaurant joined a coalition of over 340 Finger Lakes businesses and municipalities in opposition to Crestwood.

Reverend Lesley Adams, 57, now a resident of Hector, in Schuyler County, said, “In the Episcopal church, we often end our service with the words, ‘Send us into the world to do the work you have given us to do, to love and serve.’ My work today is to resist Crestwood. I just don’t feel I can sit idly by while Crestwood fills unstable, unlined salt caverns under Seneca Lake with highly pressurized flammable material. If there are fiery explosions killing people or huge increases of salinity killing fish and plants, and I have not worked to prevent it, how will I be able to live with my conscience?”

Peter Arena, 50, of Interlaken in Seneca County said, “The plans of Crestwood Midstream to inject millions of cubic feet of pressurized, volatile gases beneath Seneca Lake are a direct threat to the well-being of myself and all that I love. I believe, as a man raised in the teachings of St. Francis, I have been entrusted to protect and steward this place where I am rooted. Standing here in the path of this industrialization and its consequent damages is my moral duty and obligation.”

Crestwood’s methane gas storage expansion project was approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission last October 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.

Those arrested today were:

Elliott Adams, 68, Sharon Springs, Schoharie County

Lesley Adams, 57, Hector, Schuyler County

Peter Arena, 50, Interlaken, Seneca County

Sylvia Bailey, 66, Ithaca, Tompkins County

Melissa Chipman, 57, Hector, Schuyler County

Colleen Condon Coss, 60, Henrietta, Monroe County

Lynn Cronise, 57, Bloomfield, Ontario County

Kim Fraczek, 40, Brooklyn, Kings County

Lisa DeBoer, 46, Ithaca, Tompkins County

Tony Del Plato, 67, Covert, Seneca County

Karen Edelstein, 54, Lansing, Tompkins County

Bob Eklund, 63, Town of New Lisbon, Otsego County

Paul Flansburg, 47, Rochester, Monroe County

James-Henry Holland, II, 58, Geneva, Ontario County

Nancy Koschmann, 72, Dryden, Tompkins County

Pete Looker, 64, Glenville, Schenectady County

Daniel Micah Morrissey, 28, Albany, Albany County

Mariah Prentiss, 43, Ithaca, Tompkins County

Regi Teasley, 63, 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/.

 

Background on the protests:

Protesters have been blocking the Crestwood gas storage facility gates since  October 23rd, 2014. On October 29, Crestwood called the police and the first 10 protesters were arrested. More information and pictures of the actions are available at www.WeAreSenecaLake.com.

The unified We Are Seneca Lake protests started on October 23rd because Friday, October 24th marked the day that major new construction on the gas storage facility was authorized to begin. The ongoing acts of civil disobedience come after the community pursued every possible avenue to stop the project and after being thwarted by an unacceptable process and denial of science. The protests are taking place at the gates of the Crestwood compressor station site on the shore of Seneca Lake, the largest of New York’s Finger Lakes.

The methane gas storage expansion project is advancing in the face of broad public opposition and unresolved questions about geological instabilities, fault lines, and possible salinization of the lake, which serves as a source of drinking water for 100,000 people. Crestwood has indicated that it intends to make Seneca Lake the gas storage and transportation hub for the northeast, as part of the gas industry’s planned expansion of infrastructure across the region.

Note that the WE ARE SENECA LAKE protest is to stop the expansion of methane gas storage, a separate project from Crestwood’s proposed Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) storage project, which is on hold pending a Department of Environmental Conservation Issues Conference held on February 12th, 2015.

As they have for a long time, the protesters are continuing to call on President Obama, U.S. Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, Governor Cuomo, and Congressman Reed to intervene on behalf of the community and halt the dangerous project. In spite of overwhelming opposition, grave geological and public health concerns, Crestwood has federal approval to move forward with plans to store highly pressurized, explosive gas in abandoned salt caverns on the west side of Seneca Lake. While the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has temporarily halted plans to stockpile propane and butane (LPG) in nearby caverns—out of ongoing concerns for safety, health, and the environment—Crestwood is actively constructing infrastructure for the storage of two billion cubic feet of methane (natural gas), with the blessing of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

More background, including about the broad extent of the opposition from hundreds of wineries and more than a dozen local municipalities, is available on the We Are Seneca Lake website at http://www.wearesenecalake.com/press-kit/.

 

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 Posted by at 10:44 am

Eight Arrested in Civil Disobedience Blockade at Crestwood Include Two From Schuyler County

 Press Kit  Comments Off on Eight Arrested in Civil Disobedience Blockade at Crestwood Include Two From Schuyler County
Aug 132015
 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—August 13, 2015

Media Contact: Sandra Steingraber | 607.351.0719

photos: http://www.wearesenecalake.com/encyclical-v/

video: http://www.wearesenecalake.com/video/

 

Eight Arrested in Civil Disobedience Blockade at Crestwood Include Two from Schuyler County

Rev. Felicity Wright of Elmira’s Park Church Leads Recitation of Pope Francis’ Encyclical on Climate Change as Number of Total Arrests Hits 340

 

Watkins Glen, NY – In a peaceful act of civil disobedience against proposed gas storage, eight people from six different New York State counties, led by the Reverend Felicity Wright, pastor of the historic Park Church in Elmira and resident of Schuyler County, formed a human chain shortly after 7 a.m. this morning at the north entrance of Crestwood Midstream on Route 14. They blocked all traffic entering and leaving the facility.

The eight were arrested by Schuyler County deputies at 7:37 a.m. as they read aloud from Pope Francis’ recent encyclical letter on climate change, “On Care for Our Common Home.” All were taken into custody, charged with trespassing and released.

Musician Ed Nizalowski of Newark Valley accompanied the reading on saxophone, playing “Amazing Grace” and “We Shall Overcome.” He was not arrested.

Immediately after their arrest, two large tanker trucks left the facility, with deputy cars assisting, and one large tanker entered.

The blockaders held banners that said “What Kind of World Do We Want to Leave…” “…For Those Who Come After Us?” which are lines from the Pope’s letter. Their recitation from the Pontifical document continued the reading that began on June 30 and has continued throughout the summer.

Today’s arrests bring the total number of arrests to 340 in the ten-month-old civil disobedience campaign.

None of the protesters this morning had been previously arrested as part of the We Are Seneca Lake movement, which opposes Crestwood’s plans for gas storage in lakeside salt caverns and which has been ongoing since October 2014.

The Reverend Felicity Wright, 67, of Elmira, said, “Many of the early writers and thinkers—both Jewish and Christian—celebrated “God in all things,” where God is found in all things on earth and in heaven. It was thrilling to learn that many of the greatest people of faith could recognize God in birds, flowers, shamrocks, rivers — and so much more. These natural gifts are not themselves divine, but they are representations of the divine, and God expects us to care for them as the treasures that they are. So, I am here to worship, treasure, and protect the God that lives in the Seneca Lake waters, the God that nourishes our bodies with pure refreshment, and the God that calls us to be divine agents for what is holy, good, and true.”

Claire Holzner, 50, of Watkins Glen in Schuyler County, said, “I live one block away from Seneca Lake. I can see the lake from my front yard, and I walk along her shoreline every day. The lake is the source of drinking water for me and my husband, a lifelong non-smoker with stage 4 lung cancer. Why should Crestwood have more say than we residents of this region about what happens here? The Encyclical says that safe drinking water is a basic human right. That statement has real meaning for us in Schuyler County.”

Crestwood’s methane gas storage expansion project was approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission last October 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.

Those arrested today were:

Fred Conner, 59, Freeville, Tompkins County

Barbara Deitz, 49, Rochester, Monroe County

Jim Gregoire, 46, Geneva, Ontario County

Claire Holzner, 50, Watkins Glen, Schuyler County

Donald Kitzel, 51 Brighton, Monroe County

Elizabeth Mozer, 54, Binghamton, Broome County

Frank Potter, 73, Big Flats, Chemung County

Felicity Wright, 67, Alpine, Schuyler 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/.

Background on the protests:

Protesters have been blocking the Crestwood gas storage facility gates since Thursday, October 23rd, including a rally with more than 200 people on Friday, October 24th. On Wednesday, October 29, Crestwood called the police and the first 10 protesters were arrested.  More information and pictures of the actions are available at www.WeAreSenecaLake.com.

The unified We Are Seneca Lake protests started on October 23rd because Friday, October 24th marked the day that major new construction on the gas storage facility was authorized to begin. The ongoing acts of civil disobedience come after the community pursued every possible avenue to stop the project and after being thwarted by an unacceptable process and denial of science. The protests are taking place at the gates of the Crestwood compressor station site on the shore of Seneca Lake, the largest of New York’s Finger Lakes.

The methane gas storage expansion project is advancing in the face of broad public opposition and unresolved questions about geological instabilities, fault lines, and possible salinization of the lake, which serves as a source of drinking water for 100,000 people. Crestwood has indicated that it intends to make Seneca Lake the gas storage and transportation hub for the northeast, as part of the gas industry’s planned expansion of infrastructure across the region.

*Note that the WE ARE SENECA LAKE protest is to stop the expansion of methane gas storage, a separate project from Crestwood’s proposed Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) storage project, which is on hold pending a Department of Environmental Conservation Issues Conference on February 12th.

As they have for a long time, the protesters are continuing to call on President Obama, U.S. Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, Governor Cuomo, and Congressman Reed to intervene on behalf of the community and halt the dangerous project. In spite of overwhelming opposition, grave geological and public health concerns, Crestwood has federal approval to move forward with plans to store highly pressurized, explosive gas in abandoned salt caverns on the west side of Seneca Lake. While the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has temporarily halted plans to stockpile propane and butane (LPG) in nearby caverns—out of ongoing concerns for safety, health, and the environment—Crestwood is actively constructing infrastructure for the storage of two billion cubic feet of methane (natural gas), with the blessing of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

More background, including about the broad extent of the opposition from hundreds of wineries and more than a dozen local municipalities, is available on the We Are Seneca Lake website at http://www.wearesenecalake.com/press-kit/.

13 Arrested While Reading Pope’s Encyclical on Climate Change in Blockade

 Press Kit  Comments Off on 13 Arrested While Reading Pope’s Encyclical on Climate Change in Blockade
Aug 042015
 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—August 4, 2015

Media Contact: Sandra Steingraber | 607.351.0719

photos: http://www.wearesenecalake.com/encyclical-iv/

video: http://www.wearesenecalake.com/video/

13 Arrested While Reading Pope’s Encyclical on Climate Change in Blockade at Crestwood

 

 Action Against Gas Storage at Seneca Lake Comes One Day After President Obama Releases Clean Power Plan

 

Watkins Glen, NY – Early this morning, in a peaceful act of civil disobedience action against gas storage in Seneca Lake salt caverns that took place the day after President Obama and the EPA announced the Clean Power Plan to move the nation away from fossil fuels, thirteen people from six New York counties were arrested while reading verses from Pope Francis’ recent encyclical letter on climate change.

Just after dawn, the 13 formed a human blockade at the north and south entrances of Crestwood Midstream’s gas storage facility on Route 14, preventing all traffic from entering or leaving, and began their reading. Joining the pontifical read-aloud was the Reverend John D. Elder, former pastor of the historic First Church in Oberlin, Ohio, and present part-time resident of Schuyler County. Rev. Elder was not arrested.

The words on the banners carried by today’s protesters—“Love the Common Good,” “And Care for This World”—were lines from the prayer that closes the encyclical.

Large trucks attempting to leave the facility were blocked at both the north and south gates of the Crestwood property shortly after 7 a.m. Schuyler County deputies arrested the blockaders at about 7:30 a.m. The 13 were taken into custody, charged with both trespassing and disorderly conduct, and released. None of the 13 blockaders this morning had been previously arrested as part of the We Are Seneca Lake movement, which opposes Crestwood’s plans for methane and LPG storage in lakeside salt caverns.

Two other individuals photographing and videotaping the event were inadvertently arrested and charged with trespassing.

Dan Taylor, 64, of Oxford in Chenango County said, “Yesterday, President Obama released the Clean Power Plan and put the nation on the path to renewable energy. Today, we are standing at the gates of dirty energy to say that Crestwood’s plan for the Finger Lakes is not a clean power plan. I am here to help impede the build-out of fossil fuel infrastructure.”

This morning’s recitation continued the read-aloud from the Pontifical document, Laudato Si! On Care for Our Common Home, that began during a blockade on June 30 and that continued during blockades on July 7 and July 20. All together, 44 people have been arrested as part of encyclical-themed blockades at Crestwood.

One of today’s arrestees, Faith Muirhead, 45, of Beaver Dams in Steuben County, grew up in the Town of Reading near the salt caverns. She said, “We are all of us stewards of the earth. I am a native of Reading and know that this area and Seneca Lake are gifts to be cherished and protected. I feel a responsibility to do what I can to protect these waters and this land. So I pray, I walk, I send letters, I call my state representatives, and today, I stand at the gates of Crestwood to demonstrate my resolve. I am a teacher, and a teacher of teachers. Today, I teach by putting my freedom in jeopardy in order to bring attention to the potential risks inherent in Crestwood’s plans.”

The total number of civil disobedience arrests in the eight-month-old campaign against gas storage now stands at 332.

Crestwood’s methane gas storage expansion project was approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission last October 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.

 

The 13 blockaders arrested today were:

George Adams, 65, Ithaca, Tompkins County

Pat Buttolph, 69, Elmira, Chemung County

Joshua Enderle, 20, Cuba, Allegany County

Ruth Groff, 63, Ithaca, Tompkins County

Mary Kirkpatrick, Ithaca, Tompkins County

Richard Hoyt, 64, Geneva, Ontario County

Susanne McNally, 70, Geneva, Ontario County

Faith Muirhead, 45, Beaver Dams, Steuben County

Patricia Rodriguez, 46, Brooktondale, Tompkins County

Trellan Smith, 49, Oxford, Chenango County

Dan Taylor, 64, Oxford, Chenango County

Lynn Westmoreland, 62, Naples, Ontario County

Robyn Wishna, 56, Slaterville Springs, 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=1

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/.

Background on the protests:

Protesters have been blocking the Crestwood gas storage facility gates since Thursday, October 23rd, including a rally with more than 200 people on Friday, October 24th. On Wednesday, October 29, Crestwood called the police and the first 10 protesters were arrested.  More information and pictures of the actions are available at http://www.wearesenecalake.com.

The unified We Are Seneca Lake protests started on October 23rd because Friday, October 24th marked the day that major new construction on the gas storage facility was authorized to begin. The ongoing acts of civil disobedience come after the community pursued every possible avenue to stop the project and after being thwarted by an unacceptable process and denial of science. The protests are taking place at the gates of the Crestwood compressor station site on the shore of Seneca Lake, the largest of New York’s Finger Lakes.

The methane gas storage expansion project is advancing in the face of broad public opposition and unresolved questions about geological instabilities, fault lines, and possible salinization of the lake, which serves as a source of drinking water for 100,000 people. Crestwood has indicated that it intends to make Seneca Lake the gas storage and transportation hub for the northeast, as part of the gas industry’s planned expansion of infrastructure across the region.

*Note that the WE ARE SENECA LAKE protest is to stop the expansion of methane gas storage, a separate project from Crestwood’s proposed Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) storage project, which is on hold pending a Department of Environmental Conservation Issues Conference on February 12th.

As they have for a long time, the protesters are continuing to call on President Obama, U.S. Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, Governor Cuomo, and Congressman Reed to intervene on behalf of the community and halt the dangerous project. In spite of overwhelming opposition, grave geological and public health concerns, Crestwood has federal approval to move forward with plans to store highly pressurized, explosive gas in abandoned salt caverns on the west side of Seneca Lake. While the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has temporarily halted plans to stockpile propane and butane (LPG) in nearby caverns—out of ongoing concerns for safety, health, and the environment—Crestwood is actively constructing infrastructure for the storage of two billion cubic feet of methane (natural gas), with the blessing of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

More background, including about the broad extent of the opposition from hundreds of wineries and more than a dozen local municipalities, is available on the We Are Seneca Lake website at http://www.wearesenecalake.com/press-kit-archive/.