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Tell Congress to Vote No on “Fast Track” TPP

A bill to Fast Track the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has already passed the Senate. The House of Representatives is expected to vote on Fast Track legislation for TPP this coming Friday. This could be our last chance to stop Fast Track for the TPP. Calls are the fastest and most effective way to get our message through. Your call is critical.

Both the big business and the White House are putting enormous pressure on members of Congress to support this toxic trade bill. The White House is pulling out all stops to court House Democrats to support TPP. President Obama hosted four pro-TPP House Democrats on Air Force One this past weekend as he traveled to the G-7 summit meeting in Germany.

TPP is a trade agreement in name only. It is a corporate wish list written by some of the world’s largest and most powerful corporations. TPP is bad for jobs, food safety, internet freedom, drug affordability, financial regulation, labor rights and environment. The “investor state” provisions would allow corporations to sue nations for millions of dollars in private international tribunals over laws or regulations they claim affect their “expected future profits”, like banning fracking, defend the climate and build a green economy.

Thousands of organizations, including many labor, environmental, family farm, consumer, faith, civil rights, human rights, digital rights, immigrant, indigenous, LGBT, women’s, public health and students groups, are working hard to defeat this bill. Please join us.

Please pick up the phone and call your member of the House of Representatives to commit to vote No on Fast Track. You can click here to Find Your Member of the House of Representatives. If your representative is committed to vote No on Fast Track, thank your representative and ask him/her to persuade their colleagues to vote No on Fast Track as well.

In addition, please call Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (202) 225-4965 and Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (202) 225-4131 and ask them to exert their leadership and come out against Fast Track for TPP.

If you feel especially inspired, please call one or all of the following Democrats who are leaning in favor of voting for Fast Track and tell them why this is a very bad idea, especially Rep. Kathleen Rice (N.Y.) (202)-225-5516 who caved under pressure and switched from no to yes on Fast Track.

Rep. Ami Bera (Calif.) – (202) 225-5716
Rep. Jim Costa (Calif.) – (202) 225-3341
Rep. Jared Polis (Colo.) – (202) 225-2161
Rep. Mike Quigley (Ill.) – (202) 225-4061
Rep. John Delaney (Md.) – (202) 225-2721
Rep. Brad Ashford (Neb.) – (202) 225-4155
Rep. Gregory Meeks (N.Y.) – (202) 225-3461
Rep. Earl Blumenauer (Ore.) – (202) 225-4811
Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (Ore.) – (202) 225-0855
Rep. Kurt Schrader (Ore.) – (202) 225-5711
Rep. Jim Cooper (Tenn.) – (202) 225-4311
Rep. Henry Cuellar (Texas) – (202) 225-1640
Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (Texas) – (202) 225-8885
Rep. Don Beyer (Va.) – (202) 225-4376
Rep. Gerry Connolly (Va.) – (202) 225-1492
Rep. Rick Larsen (Wash.) – (202) 225-2605
Rep. Derek Kilmer (Wash.) – (202) 225-5916
Rep. Ron Kind (Wis.) – (202) 225-5506

The vote in the House is expected to be close. Every call you make is crucial. Only you can help us win this fight by taking action. Thank you for all that you do.

Tuesday June 23, 2015 – United for Action Monthly Meeting

When: Tuesday 6/23/15 6:30 pm to 8:45 pm

Where: The Nation, 33 Irving Place, 8th Floor Conference Room, New York, NY 10003 (near 15th Street at Union Square)

We invited special guest Bridget Anderson, Deputy Commissioner Recycling & Sustainability of New York City, to come to our meeting and give us a brief presentation on how the recycling program works in the 5 boroughs of New York City. What kind of public education programs are in place to educate the public. What can we as activists help in this regard. There will be time for Q&A after the presentation.

We have much to cover and discuss at the meeting. We hope to see many of you at the meeting. We need your participation and appreciate your input.

Watch Online – UFA Forum on Challenges and Solutions for Renewables

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Thanks to Owen Crowley for making these videos of the Friday May 8th event at Rutgers Presbyterian Church.

 

Thursday May 14, 2015 – Port Ambrose Resolution 549 Passed Unanimously in NYC Council

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Port Ambrose is a liquefied natural gas (LNG) port that has been proposed to be built by Liberty Natural Gas about 17 nautical miles southeast of Jones Beach for the New York/New Jersey Harbor where a proposed wind farm is to be built in the same area. LNG is natural gas that has been super-chilled to -260 degrees; turning it into a liquid that is 1/600th the original volume of gas so large volumes can be shipped overseas in LNG tankers which are as long as the Empire State Building is tall. This project threatens our health, safety, security, environment and climate.

Port Ambrose would

* Endanger our beaches, ocean ecology, tourism, fishing industries and shore economy.

* Increase our reliance on natural gas, a methane-emitting fossil fuel which is 86 times more effective than carbon dioxide at trapping heat in our atmosphere over a 20-year period contributing significantly to climate change and put pressure to frack for more natural gas across the Northeast region.

* Present a potential terrorist target. Any explosion or fire from an LNG facility in the New York harbor would be catastrophic.

* Interfere with the development of a wind farm providing clean renewable energy proposed for the same area.

Governor Cuomo and Governor Christie have the authority to veto this project. It’s up to us to make sure they both do the right thing and protect our public health.

NYC Council Member Donovan Richards, Chairman of the NYC Council Environmental Protection Committee, introduced Resolution 549 on 1/22/15 opposing Port Ambrose and calling on Governor Cuomo to veto Port Ambrose. After months of calling, writing and meeting various council members by the grassroots groups, this resolution was brought to the City Council for a vote on 5/14/15 and passed unanimously. There was no opposing or abstaining votes. This resolution had 32 sponsors as it headed for a vote in the City Council. This result is a testament to all your hard work. It would not have happened without all your help and effort. Thank you.

Our target remains to be Governor Cuomo and Governor Christie since they are the only ones who can stop this project by exercising their authority to veto Port Ambrose. We need you to continue to call Governor Cuomo and Governor Christie, as often as you can, and tell them to veto Port Ambrose. We just need one of the Governors to exercise his veto power. If they remain silent, then it is deemed that they have given their approval.

Cuomo (518) 474-8390

Christie (609) 292-6000.

When you call Governor Cuomo please thank him for banning fracking in NY State; then ask him to veto Port Ambrose for the security and health of New Yorkers. When you call Governor Christie please remind him to keep his promise to veto Port Ambrose since he vetoed the same project once before in 2011.

Thursday May 14, 2015 – Indian Point Resolution 694 Introduced in NYC Council

At the same NYC Council meeting, Chairman Donovan Richards introduced Res 694 http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=2286840&GUID=0B3FFD2B-EF46-4EA1-951F-185E2E9692F6&Options=ID|Text|&Search=res+694 calling on the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to shut down Indian Point nuclear power plant which is located approximately 25 miles north of New York City. There are about 20 million people living and working within a 50 mile radius of Indian Point. It’s impossible to evacuate such a large population from this area in the event of an emergency at Indian Point. The original license for Indian Point 2 expired in 2013 and the license for Indian Point 3 expires in 2015. Indian Point should not be relicensed.

Please click here to Find Your NYC Council Member and a Full List of NYC Council Members by Boroughs http://council.nyc.gov/html/members/members.shtml and call your Council Member and others to sign on to sponsor Res 694 if they have not yet done so.

Monday April 13, 2015 – Rally to Tell Governor Cuomo to Veto Port Ambrose

Cuomo Harvard Club

When: Monday 4/13/15 11:15 am to 1:00 pm

Where: Outside of Harvard Club at 27 West 44th Street, between 5th Avenue and Avenue of the Americas, New York City

Governor Cuomo will be coming to speak at a fundraiser at the Harvard Club. It’s a chance for us to bring our message directly to Governor Cuomo to urge him to veto Port Ambrose. Please bring your banners and homemade signs. We hope to see many of you at the rally.

Congratulations! You did it!

Because of your relentless effort and fierce commitment to keep fracking from polluting our water, air and harming our health, last Wednesday on December 17, 2014, at a public, livestreamed meeting of Governor Cuomo’s cabinet in Albany, Governor Cuomo acknowledged the overwhelming science that speaks to the inherent dangers of fracking to public health and the environment presented by Joseph Martens, Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation, and Dr. Howard Zucker, Commissioner of the Department of Health, Governor Cuomo banned high volume horizontal fracturing in New York State. This is truly a historic day. Let’s celebrate and savor this incredible moment.

We all know that this is only a step in the right direction, albeit a huge step. There is still a lot more work to be done. The only way we achieve our goal is to show up and not give up. Our hard won victory showed us that together we can do this. We will need you to show up as soon as the holidays are over.

Wednesday January 7, 2015 – Port Ambrose LNG Project Public Hearing

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Port Ambrose is a liquefied natural gas (LNG) port that has been proposed by Liberty Natural Gas off Jones Beach, Long Island for the New York/New Jersey Harbor where a proposed wind farm is to be built in the same area.

LNG Port

Liquefied natural gas is natural gas that has been super-chilled to -260 degrees, turning it into a liquid that is 1/600th the original volume of gas so large volumes can be shipped overseas in LNG tankers which are as long as the Empire State Building is tall. This project would damage our marine ecosystem, put us at risk from terrorist attacks, exacerbate climate change and put pressure to frack for more gas across the Northeast region.

Governor Cuomo and Governor Christie have the authority to veto this project. It’s up to us to make sure they both do the right thing and protect our public health. Call Cuomo (518) 474-8390 Call Christie (609) 292-6000. Ask them to veto Port Ambrose!

The Maritime Administration (MARAD) and U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) issued the draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) recently during the holidays and scheduled only one public hearing in New York State on the same day as Governor Cuomo’s State of the State address, as well as only one public hearing in New Jersey. They may hope we will not be paying attention. But we will show them we are. We will turn out a massive number of people at these hearings to send a message that we will not allow our shores to be put in danger.

When: Wednesday 1/7/15. There will be an open house from 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm where people can sign up to speak at the hearing and pick up information material. The hearing will start at 6:00 pm.

Where: The JFK Hilton, located at 144-02 135th Avenue, Jamaica, NY 11436, right outside JFK airport

Our friends at Food and Water Watch has arranged for a bus to take people from Manhattan to JFK Hilton and back. The bus will leave at 2:00 pm from 34th Street and 8th Avenue and will be back at the same location by 9:30 pm. Please click here: Bus to Port Ambrose Hearing and sign up.

Alternatively, you may wish to take public transport to the hearing at JFK Hilton: Take the LIRR to Jamaica station, or the E, J, Z train to the Sutphin Blvd/ Archer Avenue stop. Transfer to the Q40 bus, and take it to the end of the line, which is right in front of the hotel where the hearing will be held.

We would encourage everyone to attend the hearing. We hope many of you would sign up to speak at the hearing and remember to tell Governor Cuomo to veto Port Ambrose. You may find this link to the No LNG Coalition website helpful for some talking points.

The New Jersey public hearing will be held on Thursday, January 8 at Sheraton Hotel, 6 Industrial Way East, Eatontown, NJ 07724

United for Action’s Christmas Party 2014

Enjoy the good food, cheer and companionship of NYC’s most outstanding Grassroots frontline group of anti-fracking activists. One of this group’s main activities for the last 4 years has been to hand out literature and talk to the public on street corners and any other place that they can put down a table and spread the words: FRACKING IS HARMFUL TO ALL LIVING AND NON-LIVING THINGS.

Friday December 12, 2014 – Deadline for Comment on DEC’s Revised Proposed LNG Regulations

The deadline for comment on the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)’s Revised Proposed Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Regulations is December 12, 2014. There is an important change in the revised proposed regulations which is a direct result of our actions. DEC proposed a revision which would establish an upper limit of 70,000 gallons on the amount of LNG that a facility would be permitted to store. According to DEC, this revision is being made in response to approximately 57,000 submittals representing over 131,000 individual comments received during the proposed rule making about a year ago this time.

As you can see your comments really matter. DEC must hear from you on its revised proposed LNG rules. While we support the revised capacity limit, other changes are minor which means the proposed revised rules are still flawed and New Yorkers are still exposed to unnecessary risks. You can click on this link to see: How to Comment to DEC. Please take a few minutes to send in your comment today to DEC by sending an email to: derweb@dec.ny.gov and be sure to insert in the subject line: “Comments on Revised Proposed Part 570″.

For talking points, you may wish to refer to or copy and paste the below sample letter prepared by the amazing activist Keith Schue and Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy:

Dear Mr. Brauksieck:

I appreciate that the DEC has revised its proposed regulations for Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) to prohibit facilities exceeding 70,000 gallons in capacity. This will hopefully prevent disasters like the one which killed 40 workers on Staten Island in 1973. However I remain concerned that the proposed regulations still expose New Yorkers to unnecessary risk.

State statute specifically requires that the DEC establish “siting criteria” for new LNG facilities, yet the proposed regulations fail to do this. While municipalities may have the ability to zone out facilities, this does not release DEC from its statutory obligation of promulgating rules necessary to protect the public in jurisdictions where LNG is allowed. As presently proposed, the regs defer to industry fire codes that let an ambiguously defined “authority having jurisdiction” waive any requirement therein. Clear rules regarding the safe siting and operation or facilities must be adopted by DEC.

The proposed regulations also contain no requirement for the recapture of methane gas, which is commonly vented from storage tanks, lost during LNG transfer, or bled from vehicles prior to refueling. Today, industry codes only require that methane be vented away from facilities to prevent fire or explosion. Furthermore, while the proposed regs mandate that LNG “spills” be reported, there is no requirement whatsoever to report the intentional or accidental venting of methane gas. This is an area in which Governor Cuomo–who professes to be concerned about climate change–could lead the nation. The issue must not be ignored.

The proposed regs are deficient in several other ways too. Requirements remain vague on mandatory emergency training and responsibility for the purchase of equipment or personnel. This could leave first responders, who are often local volunteers, unprepared to deal with serous industrial catastrophes. The regulations also lack any solid requirement for financial security to ensure that taxpayers will not be on the hook for abandoned facilities. Furthermore, the regs lack a credible permit structure, guaranteeing no more than a miniscule one-time application fee of $1000 or less. This is completely inadequate to administer a program that requires perpetual monitoring and enforcement. In other deficiencies, an important provision allowing for unannounced inspection was deleted from the most recent revision and the deadline for filing written spill reports was extended from 48 hours to ten days.

These are all serious deficiencies indicating that New York remains unprepared to deal with the public safety and climate impacts of LNG.

Sincerely,

Moreover, please click here: Thirty Days of Fracking Regs website by the incomparable Sandra Steingraber is an excellent source of talking points on DEC LNG rules.

The number of submittals made by us will show the strength of our movement and that citizens in New York State care about their health and environment. So please just do it and email your comment to DEC.

People’s Climate March: a Day to Remember

On Sunday, September 21st an estimated 400,000 citizens came together and marched through the streets of Manhattan to demand serious action from world leaders, who were meeting that week at the UN Climate Summit.  Although there were a few politicians and celebrities in the ranks, the march truly lived up to its name and it was ordinary people from all walks of life who made the day special with their voices, their creativity and their passion to change the world for better.  United for Action friends and families were part of the beautiful medley.  Below are some of their experiences and thoughts about the march.  We thank them for sharing their words and photos and are also grateful to photographers such as Erik McGregor and videographers Charlie Olson, John Duffy and the rest of the Environment TV crew who are sharing their amazing work.  Continue reading…

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Congratulations Staten Island! NYC’s 1st Net-Zero School

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P.S.62 will be the first net-zero energy school in New York City and one of the first of its kind worldwide. The 68,680-square-foot, two-story school will serve 444 pre-kindergarten through fifth grade students. When completed, the cutting-edge building will harvest as much energy from renewable on-site sources as it uses on an annual basis. More info and more beautiful renderings on the Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) website.

Watch the “Tankers and Turbines” Speakers

Our appreciation goes to Owen Crowley, who single-handedly filmed, edited (incorporating the speakers’ slides), and posted video of UFA’s Tankers & Turbines event.  If you missed the event at Rutgers Church, you can view the various parts of the evening by clicking on the photos below.  Please watch, share, and spread the word that we must get Governors Christie and Cuomo to veto Liberty Natural Gas’ deepwater port application.

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1. Sean Dixon from Clean Ocean Action (see their Port Ambrose fact-sheet here) spoke to the audience about Liberty Natural Gas’ proposed port, how it would bring in tankers as long as the Empire State Building is tall, carrying explosive cargo among the shipping lanes of one of the busiest ports in the country.  Read more of this post.

The TPP Fast-Track Train

The Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, is the biggest trade deal in U.S. history, and the most secretive one as well.  The anti-fracking community has been hearing about it for some time, because if what has been leaked is true, the TPP is an enormous threat to our efforts to stop the destruction being caused by oil and gas unconventional drilling.  Read more…

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Venturing into the Heart of PA’s Gasland:  A Firsthand Account by Melodie Bryant

I write with some embarrassment. I thought I knew everything there was to know about the horrors of fracking. After all, I’d been at the NY City Council meeting (along with Josh Fox) where the truth of what was facing us first came to light (Christine Quinn was against it then).Photo #22I saw the rushes from Gasland on wrinkled bed sheets in loft spaces when we were all scrambling to get it together. I saw – and was blown away – by Gasland 2. I’ve been to countless rallies and meetings. I know about radon, failing well casings, SGEIS statements, methane flaring, silica dust, brine on roads, and polluted aquifer. So when I signed up to go on a “tour” of fracking sites in PA on July 27th, I almost felt foolish.

I knew nothing.  Continue reading…

Minisink Matters

Minisink, NY is a beautiful community an hour and a half from NYC.   Unfortunately it is directly in the path of the gas industry’s fracked gas infrastructure designs.  They have sited a giant compressor station just a mile away from people’s homes.  It isn’t fully running yet, but test emissions that the industry conducted already have caused horrible Screen Shot 2013-07-19 at 3.01.39 PMsymptoms to many in the community.  Ironically, many of the towns residents are responders who worked during 9/11 who have respiratory conditions and moved to Minisink for the healthy air and environment.  The town is fighting with everything they’ve got to stop the compressor station but they need your help. Continued….

What is Fracking?

Hydraulic Fracturing or “Hydrofracking” is a toxic and hazardous process of natural gas extraction which has caused irreparable damage to the environment. It has caused sickness and death in humans and animals, and made farms, homes and large tracts of land uninhabitable. Read more…

More Information on Fracking in our RESOURCE SECTION

The Numbers around Fracking don’t add up:

Watch these hard-hitting presentations from our 2012 “Frackonomics” event on the microeconomics, macroeconomics and external costs of fracking:

More than just the numbers, the human angle also evaluated:

A study presentation by Dr. Simona Perry who did case studies in affected areas that show industrial strength drilling rips communities apart.  Essential viewing.

There are better alternatives:

These speakers at a Renew New York event talk about alternative heating technologies such as solar and biodiesel.

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to President Obama

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