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Feedback 11/27

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Deadline nears for comments on LNG rules

Even though fracking has not yet been approved in New York State, the gas industry, apparently with the aid of our Department of Environmental Conservation, is going full steam ahead with plans for building fracking infrastructure.

The DEC has released a draft regulatory impact statement containing defective rules for permitting the construction of liquid natural gas facilities – LNG – and truck transport of LNG. LNG storage facilities have been illegal in New York State since one exploded in 1973, killing 40 people. That law remains in effect.

The DEC rules lack references to scientific data, do not comply with state law, and usurp authority that belongs to the state Department of Transportation.

In other fracking news, the state Health Department was supposed to be conducting a health impact study on the effects of fracking, but no such study has been done. The state health commissioner, Dr. Nirav Shah, is offering instead a mere review of the unpublished revised DEC environmental impact statement citing studies that are either incomplete or not yet begun. Governor Cuomo says no further studies are needed.

Governor Christie of New Jersey has rejected LNG terminals as not consistent with his state's commitment to renewable energy. Evidently he was more impressed with Hurricane Sandy than Governor Cuomo was. If we are going to keep fracking out of New York State, we need to remind our governor of his promise to make New York State a leader in the development of renewable energy. He also promised to make energy decisions for New York based on science and not on lobbyist propaganda. Science does not currently favor fossil fuels, including natural gas.

The DEC has extended the public comment period on the LNG rules until December 4. Learn how you can write fact-based, coherent comments at nyagainstfracking.org.

JOHN KASTNER

Black Friday is now Black Thanksgiving

K-mart announces opening at 8 a.m. on November 28, and a multitude of other stores announce opening at various times during that day. Come on, folks: this is Thanksgiving Day (forever now known as Black Thanksgiving). A day given to thanks and gratitude for all our blessings.

I am concerned about the greed and avaricious nature of many in our business community and large corporations. Our seasonal holiday advertisements now start before Halloween. Did we really need a Black Friday? Every year it seems to get worse. People going out in the middle of the night – this year the day before – foraging and behaving like unruly mobs, and creating dangerous situations.

Is the accumulation of stuff, and it is just stuff, really that important? Many have to give up this special day of thanks to save their jobs.

Let's take back this special time of year. Instead of accumulating stuff for self and others, help a family in need, volunteer at a homeless shelter. Instead of gifts, make a donation to a favorite charity. You will have a joyful holiday, a stress-free holiday, and will have time to have gratitude for all your blessings.

TONY PERRI

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