Happy Earth Day!

John McConnell’s Earth Flag

Today is the 42nd Earth Day, and we are thankful that Senator Gaylord Nelson created this important event.Without the first Earth Day, we would, in all likelihood, have no EPA, no Clean Air Act, and no Clean Water Act.

Yet the EPA and those acts have been increasingly under assault, most notably from the so-called “Halliburton Loophole”, which exempts the natural gas industry from not only the Clean Air and Clean Water acts, but also from Superfund legislation, effectively giving the gas companies free reign to pollute indiscriminately for the sake of profits (claims that fracking will lead to energy independence are rubbish, as most natural gas will be exported to foreign countries where the purchase price is much higher than in the United States). This leaves it to the states and local governments to take action to make sure that hydrofracking is banned.

Joel Tyner has called for a nationwide ban on hydrofracking, and also criminalization, and we supporters thank him for his efforts. In addition to likely aquifer contamination from hydrofracking, there are threats of extensive air pollution. Methane is twenty-one times more potent than CO2 as a greenhouse gas, and will accelerate climate change.

We will write more tomorrow about the dangers of hydrofracking; but please take some time to think about this threat to our environment, and to take action.

Pre-Earth Day Press Conference

20 April 2012
Pre-Earth Day press conference
This year Earth Day falls on a Sunday (this one coming up just around the corner—April 22nd)…

Let us know if you can join us for special pre-Earth Day press conference—to criminalize fracking and promote solar power in front of the County Office Building, 22 Market Street, Poughkeepsie. at 12:30 p.m., Friday, April 20th!

Ten reasons to criminalize fracking
Joel Tyner on banning fracking

Six Reasons for New York and the U.S. to Go Solar—and Criminalize Fracking; Immediate Moratorium:
(kudos again to Bram Loeb)
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Fact #1: Dr. Richard Perez of SUNY/Albany has conclusively proven that ALL of NYS’s energy needs could be met completely by solar energy alone—by covering 0.75% of NY’s surface with photovoltaics.

Fact #2: “Germany, a nation that has less sun than New York, is installing solar electric (photovoltaic) power capacity at the rate of 20 megawatts per day.”

Fact #3: “Connecticut regulators on December 22, 2012 signed off on two renewable energy projects in East Lyme and Somers, creating what will be the largest solar farms in New England. The state Department of Energy & Environmental Projection (DEEP) approved the East Lyme Solar Park and the Somers Solar Center, each generating up to five megawatts of electricity. New England’s largest solar farm to date is Northeast Utilities’ $12 million, 2.2-megawatt Indian Orchard station in Springfield, run by NU’s Western Massachusetts Electric Co. unit, that went on line earlier this week. WMECo also runs the 1.8-megawatt Silver Lake solar facility in Pittsfield, Mass. DEEP approved the East Lyme and Somers projects under an effort to develop 30 megawatts of clean energy in the state.”
CT OKs New England’s largest future solar farms

Fact #4: 22,000 jobs across NY could be created with bipartisan Bonacic/Cahill Solar Jobs Act of 2012 (for solar renewable energy credits, as in NJ, PA, MA— all much more heavily incentivizing purchase of solar for residents than NY does now); Town of Babylon lends homeowners money for solar as well.
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Fact #5: “14,000 living-wage green jobs are being created because of landmark Green Jobs Green NY legislation passed two years ago to green one million homes across NYS with energy-efficiency retrofits; 90% of NYS homeowners eligible for free energy audits. State-certified contractors perform free or low-cost energy audits for homeowners, looking for repairs and upgrades (air sealing, insulation, new boilers, etc.) that can pay for themselves through energy savings in an 8–10 year window.

“The work is paid for by the Green New York fund, and homeowners pay the fund over time back out of a portion of their energy savings. They pocket the rest, plus get their homes repaired.”

Fact #6: In Dutchess County alone, homeowners & businesses could save $1 billion on energy costs over next decade on energy efficiency according to Sustainable Hudson Valley’s David Dell.
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