February 22, 2018

Stop the Seneca Lake Gas Storage Project

It is important that NY Governor Cuomo hear from YOU to stress that there should be a pause on the fossil fuel infrastructure build out that is continuing. Pipelines, compressors, gas-fired power facilities, gas storage, “bomb train” permitting, etc. should be slowed way down…here’s one specific point to request:

  • Deny the Seneca Lake gas storage permit – The salt caverns have damaged roof sections and any missteps with this high pressure liquid gas storage could result in the destruction of Seneca Lake, which supplies water for over 100,000 people, water that supports a $4 billion wine industry. This destruction would turn the lake salty and polluted.

This is not consistent with protecting high quality water in NY.
AND besides
We want renewable energy, not more damage to facilitate gas and oil use (SEE material below).

Note: Seneca Lake is the largest of the glacial Finger Lakes of New York State, and the deepest lake entirely within the state. It is promoted as being the lake trout capital of the world, and is host of the National Lake Trout Derby. It is also the center of a thriving wine industry.

Please call Governor Cuomo’s office at: (518) 474-8390
Or email him at: gov.cuomo@chamber.state.ny.us
Or snail mail him at:

The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of New York State
NYS State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224

Snail mail letters are the most effective way to voice your concerns, because legislators believe people who take the time to write them are more likely to vote. A regular snail mail letter is worth 20 emails. If you feel overwhelmed at the thought of writing a letter, we’ll be happy to help you. The letter must be your own thoughts and words, but we can help you put your letter together here at our office, so feel free to let us know if you want some help.

Remember – one of the only things that can affect the outcome of fossil fuel politics is YOUR voice. When legislators hear from their constituents they listen, especially when the numbers start to mount. As with gas drilling, the cumulative impact makes all the difference.

Seneca Lake Background: Downstate energy giant Consolidated Edison has put almost a billion dollars on the table to join forces with Crestwood in a new joint venture. If this alliance goes forward uncontested, Con Ed will own 50% of the Seneca Lake salt caverns, providing financially troubled Crestwood a much needed blood transfusion.

This new venture will deepen New York’s dependency on fossil fuels, contravene the goals of the Paris Climate Accord, make upstate the sacrifice zone for downstate, and undercut the steps our Governor has taken to stop the Constitution Pipeline and move us toward renewables.

Now is the time to show firm, united, sustained citizen opposition to Seneca Lake gas storage and further gas build-out.

“We take this Con Ed-Crestwood marriage announcement very seriously and urge you to do so as well. The time is NOW —as in RIGHT NOW — to recommit ourselves to the citizen fight against the Seneca Lake gas storage expansion plan, re-engage with We Are Seneca Lake, grow our ranks, and strengthen our movement.” –Sandra Steingraber

Justin Mikulka at DeSmogBlog gets it:

“…things got a bit more complicated in April when Crestwood, the company applying for the permits for the gas storage, received an investment of $975 million from Con Edison. While Texas-based Crestwood isn’t a political power in New York, the same can’t be said for Con Edison.”- New York Serves as a Battleground for Oil and Gas Infrastructure Fights

They may have political power and financial clout, but we have PEOPLE POWER! So far, we have done the impossible – prevented them from even beginning construction at Seneca Lake. On May 15th, without an extension, FERC’s approval of their project runs out. Submit comments to FERC to tell them not to grant an extension!

Why is it still important to fight gas and oil drilling?
Isn’t there a ban in New York State?

Yes, NY has a ban on high volume hydraulic fracturing – not on all drilling or gas/oil well stimulation using less than 300,000 gallons of water. There are already over 50,000 gas/oil wells in NY and drilling is not stopped.

There is high volume hydraulic fracturing or ‘fracking’ going on in other states. Those other states send NY most of the gas used in NY – with radon in it and send radioactive drill cuttings with heavy metals and toxic chemicals to landfills in NY, and liquid wastes also. Chemical staging areas are also in NY.

NY has pipelines, compressors, gas storage areas and is threatened with more and more of all these. Property values near these are reduced. Chronic toxic air emissions are every day…unless they explode.

Hidden health impacts abound, like low frequency noise that never stops from the compressors, causing internal scarring, broken ear drums, disturbed sleep, etc.

AND the biggie, climate change, caused by higher and higher carbon in the air – this past June was the HOTTEST month on record ever! Methane (natural gas is over 90% methane) causes over 100 times CO2’s global warming (over 10 years) and when leaks are actually measured are 3 to 9% of total production – causing accelerated climate change. All gas usage adds to climate change.

We should all consider doing something about all this now!