Participants

Members of the Local Community

Melissa Chipman – Hector, Schuyler County

Melissa Chipman

Melissa Chipman

I live and work as a massage therapist in Hector across Seneca Lake. I think it’s criminal how the gas industry treats the earth and the people on it. Not only do salt cavern gas storage accidents have a very high chance of probability, but I do not want more trucks polluting and destroying our roads, and scaring tourists away.

“I believe it is wrong for corporations and people with lots of money/power to harm the earth and the beings living on it! The government has done nothing to protect the earth and the people they are supposed to represent, even though we have written letters, given them scientific evidence and held peaceful protests. They are not hearing us, therefore, I committed civil disobedience as a last resort for them to stop destroying my environment. And furthermore, I would rather eat bread and water now than have no bread and TOXIC WATER, later!”

Jim Borra – Hector, Schuyler County

I am adamantly opposed to creating a major distribution hub for liquid gas on the shore of Seneca lake where I live and work. It’s not compatible with tourism. Filling salt caverns with liquified petroleum or natural gas that sit directly over fault lines is not responsible behavior. Salt caverns not safe enough to store nuclear waste are not safe enough for gas storage.

Michael Dineen – Ovid, Seneca County

Michael Dineen

Michael Dineen

I live in Seneca County, which is on the other side of the lake from the Inergy site. It’s wrong for this operation to risk the health of the lake for everyone who depends on it simply to store gas that will be sold on the east coast or to foreign countries. The priorities of this project are all wrong. Drinking water is more valuable than gas. The Finger Lakes is one of the largest pools of fresh water in the country. It needs our protection. We don’t need more infrastructure that will deepen our dependence on fossil fuels. We should be using those resources to build infrastructure for renewable energy.

“I just want you to know that I do not take this step lightly. I’m 64 years old, my wife and I have a small farm in Seneca County. We grow organic grains and maintain a large garden we use to feed ours and our daughters families. Our garden is irrigated with lake water. I believe the Inergy gas storage complex is will, at best, damage the community, and has the potential to do catastrophic damage. Important information has been kept from the public with the DEC’s cooperation. I did this to attempt to protect the community when all other means have failed.”

Margie Rodgers – Elmira, Chemung County

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Margie Rodgers

I cannot stand by and watch a corporation plow ahead without considering the long term effects of storing gas in my community. Liquid petroleum gas in old salt mines may very well have devastating effects and many people do not want this happening near beautiful Seneca Lake. The traffic will change our serene environment, and the threat to the ecology can have lasting effects on the quality of Seneca’s waters.

Crow Marley — Hector, Schuyler County

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Crow Marley

Crow grew up in an area now devastated by the coal industry, and came many years ago to Upstate New York as an environmental refugee.

“I stood at the entrance to Inergy because of my urgent and extreme concern for Seneca Lake and all of her inhabitants. I am an environmental refugee from the Appalachian Mountains-Susquehanna River Territory of Pennsylvania.  I have witnessed the destruction of the forests and the removal of the mountaintops and the subsequent poisoning of the waters by the extraction industry. Many of my family members there suffer from kidney disease resulting from that water.  I have lived through the results of our government’s alignment with the extraction industry and its infrastructure. The company Inergy is a supportive element for the hydraulic fracturing industry, which continues to jeopardize the waters and people of Pennsylvania.  I have serious concerns that a small town can agree to house an industry that could put Seneca Lake and all of her inhabitants in serious jeopardy.  I consider myself a witness and a messenger.”

Spike Jones – Alleghany County

I plan to retire in Watkins Glen and I will do everything in my power to keep Inergy’s dirty gas storage facility out of my back yard.

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Jack Ossont

Jack Ossont – Yates County

People from all walks of life are opposed to hydraulic fracking and its associated gas infrastructure, no matter their political beliefs or economic position. Our future generations depend in part upon what we are doing here today, as we oppose Inergy’s salt cavern gas storage facility that will risk the public health of the entire region.

Sandra Steingraber – Trumansburg, Tompkins County

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Sandra Steingraber. Photo Credit: Sarah Kelsen

Sandra Steingraber, Ph.D. is a biologist, author, and mother who lives with her family in Trumansburg. She researches and writes about pediatric environmental health, including the health effects of fracking. Her son was born in Schuyler County–overlooking the shores of Seneca Lake–in 2001.

Her thoughts on this action: “It is wrong to bury explosive, toxic petroleum gases in underground chambers next to a source of drinking water for 100,000 people. It is wrong to build out the infrastructure for fracking at a time of climate emergency. It is right for me come to the shores of Seneca Lake, where my 11- year-old son was born, and say, with my voice and with my body, as a mother and biologist, that this facility is threat to life and health.

K.C. Alvey — Green Umbrella organizer

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K.C. Alvey

I first came to the Finger Lakes for school at Cornell, but fell in love with this place and chose to stay to protect it from fracking. We’ve been fighting fracking in New York for the last few years- and we’ve been winning- but the industry has been slipping in the back door. I’m here at Inergy today to stand up for the land, air, and water of my neighbors on Seneca Lake, but also for my future. Fracking is a bridge to climate disaster. As young people, we will be dealing with the climate crisis for the rest of our lives. It’s time to resist dangerous projects like this LPG facility that lock in climate change.

Students

Dennis Fox

Dennis Fox

Dennis Fox – Cornell University Sophomore

As a student in New York, I stand in solidarity with communities who are being denied the right to clean air, clean water, and healthy living conditions. The movement for a just and sustainable future cannot be divided among the boundaries of geography; people are coming together across state and county lines to fight for our collective interest. I am taking action because our government needs to know that when it comes my generation’s future, we will stand united to oppose the gas industry at all costs.

Katya Andersson – Ithaca College Senior

Katarina Andersson

Katya Andersson

I thought that the gas industry would simply drill our area and be done, but I have recently become aware of the ways in which the industry is pushing fracking in through the back door; building pipelines and compressor stations and storage facilities which elicit less public criticism while enabling — actually, necessitating — drilling as the next step. It has become crucially important to me to resist injustice brought upon residents of shale areas. We are all kinds of people of all ages and political leanings. This is an “everyone” issue; the effects of a natural gas industry presence in our region would be catastrophic for everyone: for the hundreds of children who go to summer camp on Seneca Lake’s shores, the farmers, the residents, the tourists, the artisans, and everyone in between.

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