Chip Northrup Blog No Fracking Way

Editorial Commentaries from the ever-irreverent Chip Northrup

From Chip Northrup, author of No Fracking Way (NFW

Chip Northrup chides, chastises and challenges the New York Landowners: 



Man Up Frack Babies !

frack baby frackWhat a bunch of fracking wussies these New York Frack Babies are.  As a Former Fracker myself, I must say I’m more than a bit disappointed. For months now, they’ve been threatening to sue the State of New York for depriving them of all economic use of their land  from the granite bedrock below to the heavens above – claiming that the DEC’s rule making process for shale gas is a “regulatory taking.”

What the frack are you waiting for Frack Babies ?

Grow a pair (collectively and metaphorically speaking)

You’ve passed the hat to raise money for your lawsuit.  Here’s the latest:

You’ve put out a casting call for people to act as “plaintiffs”

You’ve studied the relevant case law for months now . . .

But still no fracking lawsuit !

What the frack are you waiting for ?  Sue Governor Cuomo. Sue Joe Martens. Sue the DEC.

Make “Frack Baby Frack” mean something more than just a moronic chant.

Sandra Steingraber goes to jail for what she believes in. But you fracking wussies won’t even take the State of New York to court for some cheap publicity. Jeez.

What are frackers coming to in the Boondocks of the Marcellus ?

You are giving frackers everywhere a bad name. Don’t let me down. Raise a frackload of money and give it to some fracking lawyers. Pronto.

Let the State of New York know just how fracking clever you really are. 


Frack Babies Sue Cuomo for Breach !

The New York Frack Babies, aka the JLCNY, are passing the hat for donations to fund their frivolous publicity stunt against the State of New York for not letting them frack themselves sooner. Money presumably to be sent split between their in-house Shale Shyster and their PR agent, who just happens …


Shale Shyster Shakes Down Shale Suckers

New York’s most amusing Shale Shyster, still smarting over the fracking fool he made of himself at the Middlefield appeal, is back trying to shake down land owners for legal fees to fund his latest fracking frivolous publicity stunt. Only catch is he has no case and no plaintiff.  Which …



You knew it had to happen sooner or later. The JLCNY is threatening to sue the DEC. For something. As soon as they find a Rent-a-Plaintiff. And a case. Hey, at least they have a lawyer. That’s a start, right ? A spokesman for the “Joint Landowners Coalition of New York” (JLCNY) …


Hamlet Jr. Advises Frackers On PR

In what surely is the most revealing moment of the press conference, if not his increasingly shortening political career, Governor Cuomo took the opportunity to publicly advise the gas industry on how to reposition their public relations to “win the hearts and minds” of the populace. You know,  the way …


Frackin’ studies ? We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Frackin’ Studies !

“Why confuse the issue with studies ?”  The Governor dispels any doubt about what the fracking regulations will not be based on. Health studies. Ones that are actually completed. Or science. You know, stuff like that. Whatever gave us that impression ? Dr. Shah playing Good Fracking Cop to Martens’s Bad Fracking …


Frack Babies Sue Cuomo for Breach !
Shale Shyster Shakes Down Shale Suckers
Hamlet Jr. Advises Frackers On PR
Frackin’ studies ? We Don’t Need No Stinkin’


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RE:  the NY State Budget Hearings (see also page introducing Chip Northrup, former gas investor turned Fractivist). This editorial is also reproduced on that page.

Starve the Frackers

Cuomo’s DEC Prepares to get Sued

No Fracking Way

A blog for New York and Pennsylvania hosted by

February 3, 2013


Update: Before the hearing started, the chairman asked The Sandra (Steingraber) to leave – for talking to Commissioner Martens – which sort of set the stage of what was to follow. In a nutshell, Marten testified like a man that had a lot to hide – before he gets sued.

Here is a video of the last few minutes, which shows Assemblywoman Lifton challenging Commissioner Marten’s justification of the Pennsylvania gag order on physicians, and the crowd’s response. . .

And here is a video of the  full session, including Marten’s testimony

ED NOTE: A well edited version of Martens’ session is available on the Breaking News page.

In today’s budget hearings, Commissioner Martens told Assemblyman Sweeney that the DEC has no funds in the budget to issue HVHF well permits this year.

No clue how they are going to pay their defense attorneys when they get sued. Maybe Tom West can help them pro bono ?

Then, upon questioning from Senator Avella, Martens equivocated about the DOH’s “health impact survey” – which is not rule making, it’s just another study – that is not even a study.

Martens further pretended that the dSGEIS itself constitutes a health impact assessment, which it is not. The dSGEIS is simply a political exercise in environmental gerrymandering – political carve outs – whereby some Upstate New Yorkers are protected, but most are not.

Martens is, in effect justifying fracking, based on the pretense that it can mitigate public health impacts of the known hazards (which is bass ackwards, as Senator Avella pointed out)  – when in fact the proposed regulations protect only two land uses, few aquifers, no state lands, no lakes, no rivers, no state parks  – and offer no protections from shale gas infrastructure – gas compressors, gas processors, gathering lines, etc. for anyone.

The proposed regulations are an industry-authored mess. And the rules and regulations are what Cuomo’s DEC will get sued over – because of, not despite the Commissioner’s ongoing prevarications.

Ecowatch has the story :

Hundreds Rally Telling Gov. Cuomo: ‘Not One Fracking Well’


Frack Action

Hundreds of New Yorkers packed the legislative budget hearing on the environment as Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Martens testified. The opponents of fracking packed the hearing room with a sea of blue and with a long line out the door. After the hearing, opponents gathered in the Capitol’s Million Dollar Staircase to tell Governor Cuomo and Commissioner Martens not to go forward with fracking. The crowd was emboldened by a new statewide poll showing public opinion evenly divided with opponents much more determined than supporters.

“The Cuomo administration’s secrecy and changing explanation of its health review provide the public with little confidence that our health is being prioritized ahead of gas industry profits,” said Sandra Steingraber of Concerned Health Professionals of New York. “Communities where people live and work should not be proving grounds for industrial experiments. For the governor to move forward to allow even limited fracking without a true health study open to public participation would be a violation of his duty to protect New Yorkers.”

The religious, health and environmental organizations at the event demanded that the Cuomo Administration open the secret health review being conducted by the Department of Health for public comment and participation. Rather than undertake a comprehensive health impact assessment of fracking that would involve transparency and public participation, the Administration instead hired outside experts to review its own controlled internal health review that was written by the administration.

“Today there are thousands of families throughout the United States whose water has been contaminated one way or another from hydrofracking,” said Mark Ruffalo, an advisory committee member of New Yorkers Against Fracking. “There is too much at stake; water and air quality, the health of our people and the specter of climate change make hydrofracking in New YorkState a complete non starter. I have great faith Governor Cuomo will act from his moral center and move away from this disastrous decision and move forward with leading the nation in pulling into NYS some of the $2 trillion being spent throughout the world on the burgeoning renewable energy economy.”

Southern Tier groups–represented by Save the Southern Tier–said any decision to frack even one well in the Southern Tier will be met with unprecedented resistance from the unified anti-fracking movement at large. By releasing the SGEIS and saying it is safe, even for one well, it would open up the entire state for drilling, they argued.

“Residents of the Southern Tier do not want to be the lab rats in a fracking experiment within our state,” said Logan Adsit, a resident of Pharsalia in Chenango County, on behalf of the Save the Southern Tier network. “If fracking is unacceptable for New York City’s watershed and other people’s water, then it should be the same for us. We don’t want to be poisoned and the gas industry’s bogus economic claims will never convince us to jeopardize our health.”

Earlier in the day, Siena released a poll showing public opinion evenly divided on fracking, with opponents significantly more determined and passionate about the issue than supporters.

“New Yorkers don’t want the gas industry to poison them and ruin New York. We know that once the gas industry ruins our water, food and environment, we will be left with an enormous mess after the fracking industry is gone,” said Alex Beauchamp of Food & Water Watch. “We hope Governor Cuomo will listen to the loud opposition voices and protect us and the generations to come from such a true health and human rights disaster.”

Following the press conference and rally in the Million Dollar Staircase, Arun Gandhi and Mark Ruffalo lead advocates to The War Room, where Gandhi, the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, signed the pledge of resistance to hydrofracking in New York. Gandhi discussed transforming the anti-fracking movement into one of non-violent civil disobedience should Governor Cuomo permit fracking in the state after residents and experts have pursued every avenue to present the facts and the science within the state’s broken process, yet have been shut out. Gandhi’s pledge and water from across the state was then delivered to the governor’s office.

“We are calling on the Governor Andrew Cuomo to lead this state to become the renewable energy capitol of the nation,” said Arun Gandhi. “He has a decision before him that will either mark his place in history as a leader who pioneered a new path forward of clean, renewable energy or continued down the old path of destruction from dirty fossil fuel extraction.”

Groups represented at the press conference include New Yorkers Against Fracking, a coalition of groups opposed to fracking; state legislators; Concerned Health Professionals of New York; Sierra Club; Riverkeeper; Environmental Advocates; New York State Council of Churches; and Save the Southern Tier.


Hear no science, speak no science, see no science!


The DEC commissioner, Joe Martens, went in front of legislators in Albany to answer questions about the DEC’s proposed budget. Not a fracking farthing for fracking. The reasons are simple; the DEC has systematically engaged in probably the biggest charade in rule making in the state’s history. They literally went out of their way to avoid not only the hard science involved, but the scientists that have done some of the key research. They consulted no local officials, no counties, no municipal associations. The on-going carnival of the “dSGEIS” review process was a farce from the first draft : which proposed a setback of a HVHF shale gas well from a sole-source drinking water lake of 50 feet.  (At least you cannot fault the shale shills inside the DEC for not having a sense of humor – the 50 feet would keep a roustabout from drowning if he fell off the rig.) To the final draft drilling regulations that were issued (unlawfully) with no public hearing, comments due in 30 days in the midst of the holidays. And during the entire 4 year, 300,000  comment process, the DEC did not disclose the previously proposed regulatory revisions from 1997. Which just happened to be better than the industry-drafted last version we were given to comment on – between  Christmas dinner and a New Year’s hangover. That was fun, wasn’t it ? All while the industry lobbyists were writing the proposed regulations with the DMN behind closed doors.


Here are about 20 reasons why the budget committee should send the DEC packing on fracking:

1. DEC failed to appear at the Assembly hearing on the proposed regulations


2. Failed to hold a public hearing during the 30 day comment period


3. Failed to base any of the proposed regulations on science or even cite any studies.


4. Failed to consult with local governments in drafting the proposed regulations.


5. Creates an unfunded burden on local governments


6. Creates an unfunded burden on the NYS DOT


7. Creates an unfunded burden on health care providers

8. Tasks the Division of Mineral Resources with environmental oversight.


9. Arbitrarily changed the DEC’s mission from ”regulating” oil and gas to “promoting” oil and gas.


10. Failed to divulge the 1997 draft regulations during the 4 year dSGEIS review period.


11. Fails to protect land owners as required by ECL 23


12. Fails to protect land uses and the general public as required by ECL 23


13. Fails to prevent air pollution from HVHF gas wells


14. Fails to protect state lands, lakes, rivers or parks


15. Fails to regulate shale gas infrastructure


16. Allowed the gas industry to write its own regulations


17.  Unjustly forces adjacent landowners to participate in a horizontal shale well


18. Puts homeowners at risk of losing their drinking water, mortgages and house value


19.  Risks damage to roads, the environment, and the general public when shale gas is uneconomic


Governor Cuomo’s DEC has made a mockery of the rule making process. From the git-go.


The DEC should get no money to permit HVHF shale wells in any part of the state.


Not even scenic MountKisco.

Home Rule


Related Posts

FOILed Again: How the DEC Covered Up the 1997 Drilling Regulations on Cuomo’s Watch

Geologist Brian Brock’s has written his account of how he FOIL’d the DEC to get copies of the 1997 proposed fracking regulations, the drafts that were based on the 1992 GEIS, which infamously were never reduced to rules and regulations. The saga of Mr. Brock’s efforts to get those drafts …


DEC To Get Sued !

Probably for Valentine’s Day, when the DEC has a deadline to shovel the dSGEIS out the door. And  after over 204,000 comments have been delivered to the DEC’s bunker. The DEC has known for some time that they were going to be sued over their comic opera mishandling of the fracking regulations. And now, Team …


“Let the courts decide” Why Cuomo Will Punt on Fracking

My guess is that the DEC will in fact publish a notice on February 13th that it intends to shovel the SGEIS out the door, ready or not. The reason is simple: they have hired attorneys to prepare for litigation, so rather than make the effort to “let the science” decide, …

The DEC’s Big Fracking Cover Up

In making a mess of the proposed fracking regulations, the DEC is at least being consistent – they have been suppressing responsible environmental regulations for almost 40 years, as geologist Brian Brock details in his comments on the proposed new regulations –  and they have been trying to cover up …

 Dr. Nirav Shah Practices for the Forthcoming Scandals

Of the biggest fracking cover-up in the DEC’s history.  This apparently budding Frack Quack already has the equivocation thing down pat : Senator Diogenes: “How is your health impact assessment going ? ” Shah: “We are not actually doing a health impact assessment.” Senator: “Well, study then.” Shah:  “We aren’t really doing a study.” Senator: “What exactly is the DOH …

There is a lot more wrong with this process, and these proposed regs. People can get a feel for more of the defects by following and reading the links you’ve provided here.

Assembly testimony on the regs:


Can’t forget the Sourcewatch site:

Chip Northrup on February 3, 2013 at 12:23 pm said:

The budget is the DEC’s Achilles’s heel. They have willfully made a complete hash of the regulatory process and should be funded accordingly = zilch.

How much did it cost Cuomo’s DEC to hide the 1997 draft regulations ? How much did it cost Cuomo’s DEC to take dictation from the gas lobby ?


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