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Archive for the 'Hydraulic Fracturing' Category

Law and Disorder June 25, 2012


  • Occupy Chicago Tribune Getting Sued Under World Property Intellectual Organization
  • Julian Assange Applies For Political Asylum – Twitter @justleft / @wlcentral



Austerity and Coalition Government in Greece

Last week we discussed the popularity of the Syriza Party, Greece’s skyrocketed unemployment and the huge military contracts Greece is locked into with France and Germany.  In part two of our interview with Greek-American National Lawyers Guild attorney Eric Poulos we discuss the assembling of the coalition government in Greece and the economic implication.

Attorney Eric Poulos:

  • New Democracy and Syriza’s the left wing coalition opposed to the bailout got the most votes. New Democracy got about 2 percent more which is the conservative center right party.
  • Syriza got 27 percent. The Social Democrats did terribly and got only 14 percent.
  • The fascist party the Golden Dawn unfortunately kept the same percentage. The one part that lost a lot of votes was the Communist Party.
  • Almost 40 percent of the voters did not vote. I think people are just worn out.
  • Everybody across the board has taken a 15 percent reduction in pay.
  • New Democracy Party will be appointed Prime Minister.
  • Fifty percent of the cops voted for the fascist party – Golden Dawn
  • Greece is a country that was occupied by Hitler and caused untold loss and devastation.
  • This coalition that ran Syriza is a coalition which is 12 or 13 different groups.
  • The election is incredible in that it changed nothing, it changed everything, because the same parties will be ruling.
  • The people of Greece continue to suffer, it doesn’t create one job. It doesn’t help to pay for one prescription.
  • It’s not just Greece, it’s Spain, Italy, Portugal, Ireland too.
  • I think the only hope is that they can hook up with other countries with united action to fight against the European Union policies.
  • There has to be an upsurge in the fight against the fascists in Greece.

Guest – Attorney Eric Poulos, writer and National Lawyers Guild member.


Reverend Billy and the Spectra Pipeline Protest Event

The plans to bring a 30 inch gas pipeline through the West Village of Manhattan is on the fast track with the support of Mayor Bloomberg.  Spectra Pipeline is the company that will deliver the high pressure natural gas hydrofracked from the Marcellus Shale deposits. A heavily protested and contentious process itself. According to an expert radioactive waste this natural gas can contain radon 70 times above normal. Radon is a tasteless odorless gas created naturally during radioactive decay of uranium, thorium and radium. The EPA reports radon causes 21 thousand deaths from lung cancer each year. NO PIPELINE AT THE HIGHLINE – JULY 1, 2012 worship service and political rally

Reverend Billy:

  • Our basic mission statement . . .stop shopping children. Our basic mission statement has remain the same over 10 years now.  The project of Guiliani and Bloomberg to turn our great city into a suburb.
  • It was WBAI project, Cornell West, Chris Hedges, we sang and were the house choir. The jury of those great peers found Goldman Sachs guilty of robbing from us and charged them with 87 billion dollars I believe.
  • We sat down and lock arms in the old civil rights position. A nice circle of locked arms.
  • Out of the 15 that got arrested, I was about the 8th to leave the fold. I think that eight of them will be the Blankfein 8.  It’s a lifestyle change, if you’re really gonna go all the way with these . . . we weren’t blocking anybody. . it was symbolic.
  • Those ziplock handcuffs they have, they yank on them. In the precinct house an hour later your hand is purple and I had a numb thumb for six months.
  • Sometimes shopping is a chain store that buys sweat shop goods, and sometimes its our consumption of power. How do we heat? How do we use electricity?
  • That of course is decisive in terms of climate change, which has increasingly become everybody’s politics.
  • We’ve kept fracking out of upstate New York to some degree, but Cuomo is going to let it in to some degree.
  •  They want to come from the Far Rockaways with a pipe called the Constitution and they’re coming under the Hudson River and appearing into the Meat Packing district.
  • It’s mysterious Cheney was able to keep the report of what those chemicals are from the American people.
  • We have a 700 seat house there and we’re going to take the audience over two blocks to where the pipeline is to surface.
  • I don’t think the consumer society makes prosperity.
  • A lot of the communities in our country where people are watching television all day, eating sugar and fat and unable to operate, where the kids go into the pipeline of jail. . .needs the energetic compassion of change.
  • We’re becoming our own third world here, we need to pay attention to our communities. Get those Wall Street companies out of our communities and ask ourselves what do we have that makes value here?  Right under foot, right in my neighborhood.
  • It begins with living on less money, but begins with finding value in what we do with our lives.
  • You go up the counties where Cuomo is exploding their aquifers, this just makes it worse.
  • Some people are going to get a 100 thousand dollar check. It reminds me of the wrong person winning the lottery.
  • NO PIPELINE AT THE HIGHLINE – JULY 1, 2012 worship service and political rally

Guest - Reverend Billy, (Bill Talen) A student of the writers Charles Gaines and Kurt Vonnegut, Talen has staged experimental plays, published essays and poems in Philadelphia, New York and California. At Life On the Water, a theater in San Francisco’s Fort Mason Theater, Talen presented artists such as Spalding Gray, Mabou Mines, David Cale, B. D. Wong, Holly Hughes, William Yellow Robe, the Red Eye Collective, Reno, John Trudeau, and Danny Glover reciting the works of Langston Hughes.  This experience in producing led him to the confessional monologue.  After studying with the cleric Reverend Sidney Lanier, Talen invented “a new kind of American preacher.”  Lanier, the cousin of Tennessee Williams and subject of the work Night of the Iguana, was familiar with the re-staging of biblical narratives



Law and Disorder July 11, 2011



Natural Gas Drilling Moratorium To Be Lifted in New York

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is pushing to lift the moratorium on natural gas drilling, known as hydraulic fracturing in New York State.  Hydro-fracking as its called is in many opinions an environmentally wreck-less technique to extract natural gas from shale.  While the lifting of the moratorium is still months away, it comes despite the massive efforts from environmental and community groups in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania who have protected the Marcellus Shale watershed.

In a statement released by the State Department of Environmental Conservation, there will be environmental restrictions placed on the natural gas drilling permits in New York State, such as no drilling within 2000 feet of a public reservoir.

However, ninety percent of the New York City’s drinking water comes from ground zero of where various oil companies want to drill into the Marcelle Shale for natural gas. Every time a well is drilled, the companies use an estimate of 5 to 9 million gallons of water. Each time a well is fractured, it’s another 5-9 million gallons of water, a well can be fractured multiple times.  Up to 275 different toxic chemicals are used in the process and after the well is drilled, there are millions of gallons of industrial waste, it’s essentially radioactive water.  40-70 percent of this water stays underground.

The watershed is 13 thousand square miles and includes four and those that want to mine this resource say it will reduce dependence on foreign oil and boost the economy.   However, many have shown this statement to be false as the natural gas from the United States is being sold to foreign countries such as Norway and France.

Meanwhile, a lawsuit is pending against several federal agencies affiliated with the Delaware River Basin Commission to block final regulations on hydro-fracking until a full environmental review can be conducted. Past shows on hydro-fracking: Law and Disorder March 21, 2011 / Law and Disorder March 29, 2010

Attorney Jordan Yeager:

  • Hydro-fracking is part of a broader industrial practice. Basically what we’re doing is allowing companies to drill down a mile deep through our aquifers, which we all depend on for our drinking water.
  • Once they get down there, they start to drill horizontally, they’re aiming for the shale formations underground.
  • In order to release the gas from the shale, they blast it with this nasty stuff, chemicals that they don’t want to disclose.
  • They’re also developing and industrializing large swaths of land. When they do that they’re polluting the waters of New York and Pennsylvania and every place where this is happening.
  • Generally what is proposed is to allow around 85 percent of New York State that has Marcellus Shale to be open to drilling that they would not allow drilling to take place in the New York City and Syracuse watersheds. And they would not allow it to take place within what they primary aquifers and state owned game land.
  • But all other places and private land, they would allow it to happen.
  • Those people who live in New York City, and in Syracuse, those people would be protected from this activity, but the people in the rest of the state would be subjected to it.
  • For every 17 or 18 gas wells that you drill, you can expect to see water contamination from that.
  • But then we’d ask why would we allow the rest of New York to be exposed to it?
  • In Pennsylvania, its completely ruining the roads in the northern half of the state, its tearing up communities. In Bradford County we had a blowout, not too long ago, which caused damage not only to streams but to drinking water in that area.
  • We are going to see continued failures wherever this happens.  The question is . . . are we going to allow it to happen? Are we going to force this practice to follow the science and only allow it to happen if the science says it can be done safely? We’re simply not there.
  • In Pennsylvania, what we’re seeing is most of those jobs they’re talking about are going to folks outside the state. They’re bringing in people from the western states, who have experience in drilling. You to also look at the broader economic impact. When a community loses its water supply, that is bigger impact than a handful of jobs.
  • If we don’t have clean water in order to live and for other businesses to operate, we’re going to see much greater economic damage.
  • We’ve been dealing with the Delaware Water Basin Commission to make sure they don’t allow the Delaware River to be poisoned by these activities.
  • When the people of Pennsylvania, the people of New York and New Jersey, are fully awakened to the dangers of this activity, we’ll be able to build a movement and reign it in.
  • There are dangers associated with these industrial activities, and we have to look at the dangers in the broadest sense.
  • Natural gas has been identified by some as a clean fuel, but that’s when they compare it to how it burns and how coal burns.  That’s one part of the natural gas story.
  • You have to also look at the dangers in the process of extraction. When we drill down a mile deep, we’re finding naturally occurring radioactive material and as part of the drilling process, we’re then bringing that up to the surface.
  • Look, we need energy. We need to decide what level of risk we’re comfortable with. In my opinion, we need to be looking at renewable energy, like solar, like wind, get investments, and get them to a larger scale.
  • With this new direction from New York, we need to make sure there’s adequate time public participation and what was announced last week, is they would only allow a 60 day public comment period. That’s simply not enough. They haven’t looked at the research that’s been established since they closed the record in 2009.
  • The public needs more than 60 days to educate the folks at the state level about what we’ve been learning since December 2009. We ought to be looking at a 6 month period on what was proposed for New York State.

Guest – Attorney Jordan Yeager, a National Lawyers Guild member, a cooperating attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights and member of Damascus Citizens. Curtin & Heefner LLP recently elected leading public interest attorney Jordan B. Yeager to its partnership. Mr. Yeager is a member of the firm’s Employment and Public Sector Section. Formerly in private practice as the named partner in a public interest law firm, Mr. Yeager served successfully as counsel in several groundbreaking cases, including matters involving constitutional rights issues; claims of reasonable accommodation against a municipal defendant; and the right to a jury trial in a whistle-blower retaliation case.


Second Austerity Measure Imposed On Greece

Protests and demonstrations continue to erupt in Greece as demonstrators rise up in the streets against deep cuts in services and jobs from austerity.  Austerity is the name of the government’s response to the demand of its creditors.  Austerity imposes on society a severe regimen of rising taxes, or cut government spending to please and satisfy creditors. Greece as predicted by Economics professor Rick Wolff a year ago has been hit the hardest by the global economic disaster. Why? For many reasons, it has a strong working class, socialist roots and a public sector made primarily of union jobs. The austerity has cut into the working class jobs as the country privatizes the post office, gas, water works and railway. Meanwhile, the wealthy continue to evade taxes in Greece and in the United States. Past shows on Greece: Law and Disorder

Professor Costas Panayotakis:

  • I was in Athens that last few days, what you have in the European Union is imbalances that resulted partly from the introduction of the Euro, but also, by the general phenomena in the division of the world of some countries more technologically advanced and others that are not.
  • Right now you have a crisis, partly a European crisis, its not that the Greek culture is a pathological culture, as the mainstream media sometimes presents. Each crisis has its specifics, Ireland, Portugal, in Greece, the specificity is that the wealthy are not paying taxes.
  • There are tax evasion problems, the problem in Greece is of primarily of revenues rather than spending.
  • The mainstream media talks about the “bloated” public sector of Greece. The public sector is aligned with other public sectors in other countries. Now what they’re trying to do of course, traffic out jobs from the public sector to make Greece a public sector a small part of the economy  as it is in developing countries in Africa.
  • Because its debt has become so unmanageable, there was an austerity pack that was adopted last year that 110 billion dollars. Drastic cuts in public spending, welfare state,
  • Now what’s happened as is often the case, with IMF problems, the program didn’t work the way they said it was going to. Now Greece needs another loan to keep servicing its debt. One of the conditions is that Greece has this huge fire sale of all its public assets. The hope is that its going to raise 50 billion Euros.
  • Because values in all the public companies have shrunk rapidly, whoever buys them will buy at a really low price.  Many Greeks are up in arms about that. Now they see the banks wanting to follow up with more of the same, that’s why 80 percent of the Greeks oppose this policy.
  • We had a 2 day general strike last week, a 48 hour general strike had not happened in Greece for decades.
  • You also have a demand for real democracy, direct democracy. One of the demands was not to pass the austerity package.
  • Every 3 months there are news measures that have to be adopted in order for Greece to get the next installment of the loan. If Greece defaulted on their loan, it would effect the Eurozone in a very direct way, it would effect European banks.
  • I think the lesson to take away from this is fighting back is necessary.

Guest – Costas Panayotakis, a professor at the New York City College of Technology.


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