Category Archives: Farm
Elly works late today, so the dogs and I will be ready to greet any costumed kids who come to the door with a bowl of miniature candy bars. I know this is going to drive my dogs crazy, but I’ll put up with it.
It looks like the rain has finally stopped outside. Hopefully it will stay this way. It would be very unfortunate for kids to have to go house to house in the rain. Out here in rural Harper’s Ferry the houses are spread pretty widely apart and it would be a very wet walk.
So I’m wishing all of you a happy Halloween out there. Let it turn a Wednesday evening into fun.
- Who Says Halloween Candy is Just for Kids? (berries.com)
- Happy Halloween!! (mattdantodd.com)
- PICTURES: Truly Terrible Halloween Costumes (fox4kc.com)
- halloween treats (simpleandchicblog.com)
You know that this blog has a long history of exposing and criticizing Monsanto for the chemical destruction of what once was our fresh food products —Monsanto, whose dark history features scandals involving PCBs, Agent Orange, bovine growth hormone, NutraSweet, IUD, genetically modified (GM) seed and herbicides, reaching back to the 1970s and ’80s.
Those of us who support the remaining organic food growers, and who grow our own out of necessity, have set Monansto as the most evil of challenges.
If we go way back to Romney’s beginnings with Bain Capital when he was 30 years old, who do you think his largest client was, and who remains his friend today? You guessed it. Monsanto. This matters for a number of reasons: it sheds on Romney’s self-ballyhooed business experience; Romney helped create Monsanto corporate objectives that clash with planetary concerns; If Romney is elected, this enemy of environmentalists will have a very old friend in the White House.
Monsanto’s former CEO John W. Hanley is in fact the only business executive outside of the Bain founding family to so shape Romney’s career—jumpstarting the two companies, Bain & Company and Bain Capital, that account for all but two years of Romney’s much-ballyhooed business experience.
Monsanto, who currently produces Genetically Modified corn, soybean, alfalfa and other seeds, which are engineered to resist Roundup and increase yield, faces many global disputes, and has lost two recent, at least $2 billion, court decisions in Brazil – 5 million soy farmers sued them. The Brazilian farmers’ issue is also a source of frustration for US farmers—the contracts farmers are forced to sign pledging not to save seeds for future harvests, a common farm custom that resale-fixated Monsanto has hired a seed police army to stop.
“Roundup Ready” seeds, of course, are completely responsible to the success and safety of Roundup itself. However,“super-weeds” are developing a Roundup tolerance, requiring more and more spraying to work. This is harmful both ecologically and financially for farmers.The seeds, introduced in the Bain years with Bain boosting, Roundup’s supposedly “biodegradable” and “nontoxic” claims, have led to false advertising findings. This is part of Romney’s business trustworthiness and acumen.
In the presidential campaign, Romney is deliberately vague . He’s moved publicly in Monsanto’s direction on the company’s genetically engineered ethanol and farm subsidies, appears aligned with it on labeling (Monsanto wants to avoid labeling its fruits and vegetables with the 5 digit code, different for organic competitors), and his spokesman Shawn McCoy said this month that the candidate was “concerned by the effect that the Obama administration’s crushing onslaught of regulations is having on agriculture.” Read from this what effect the Obama administration will have on one of his largest campaign contributors.
- mitt is a monsanto man (thegreenhorns.wordpress.com)
- Protesters Blockade Monsanto Seed Facility in California (earthfirstnews.wordpress.com)
- Monsanto Allowed to Put Genetically Modified Food on Your Plate (blogs.lawyers.com)
- GMO Update: New Study Shows Increasing Rootworm Resistance to Monsanto’s Bt Corn (eatdrinkbetter.com)
- Walmart Signs Deal With Monsanto to Sell Un-Labeled GMO Corn (friendseat.com)
- Lisa Cerda – Monsanto: A Modern Day Plague (prn.fm)
- Sept 16: Global Week of Action Against Monsanto (occupyventura805.wordpress.com)
The new exhibits highlight the impact of the battle on the nation that occurred 150 years ago… and the families that lived on the battlefield. The exhibit includes wartifacts and photographs of veterans returning for reunions and the creation of the park by the U.S. War Department.
“Sharpsburg was a farming community for one hundred years before the battle was fought. Now we are able to tell a broader story through the artifacts and images of those who lived here. We are extremely pleased to have our new exhibit opening just in time for the 150th Commemoration.”
Some of the artifacts that highlight the new exhibit include a gold watch owned by the Mumma family whose farm was destroyed in the battle; furniture from the Roulette farm; a hand carved headstone that marked a soldiers grave just after the battle; and numerous reunion medals and ribbons.
For more information call 301-432-5124.
- Antietam National Battlefield Park Gears Up To Commemorate Civil War’s Bloodiest Day (gadling.com)
- Remembering Battle of Antietam in 1937 (times-news.com)
- “Gods and Generals” Related Magazine Available For Sale in Antietam Visitor’s Center (gcaggiano.wordpress.com)
- Dawn at Antietam, 1862 (rendezvouswithrenee.com)
Today Bud and Rachel (known as Will and Rachel to their friends… his mother and I seem to be stuck on Buddy) will rehearse tomorrow’s wedding, then we will have the Rehearsal Dinner which we will be paying for.
We had breakfast here at the Hilton with my daughter Cassandra and her husband, Matthew. I understand my other daughter, Penny, and her kids are now in the hotel somewhere as are my mother and my sister. These Hiltons are making a lot of money off this one family!
- Hawkily Ever After: Rehearsal, Dinner, and Cocktails (weddingbee.com)
- Fab Finding Follow Up: The Rehearsal Dinner (fabsugar.com)
- Come Fab Finding With Me: The Rehearsal Dinner (fabsugar.com)
- Wedding Etiquette: Events Before the Big Day (crane.com)
- Social Etiquette: The Rehearsal Dinner (eventsbysocialgraces.com)
- PREMIERE: THE WAR ON HEALTH: THE FDA’s CULT OF TYRANNY by Gary Null (prn.fm)
- War on Health – Gary Null’s documentary exposing the FDA – *video* (chasvoice.blogspot.com)
- Watch War on Health: The FDA’s Cult of Tyranny (foodfreedomgroup.com)
- Organically Farmed vs. Locally Produced (theepochtimes.com)
- War on Health: FDAs Cult of Tyranny (Trailer) (therealfoodchannel.com)
If this doesn’t convince them, suggest they go live in the grain producing areas of the midwest. That should back up their belief (but don’t laugh too hard.)
- Local weather patterns affect beliefs about global warming (environmentalgeeksunited.com)
- Global Warming At The London Olympics (stevengoddard.wordpress.com)
Here’s something we should all be aware of (especially when we go food shopping):
I hope you signed the petition… and look for the label in the meat department that tells you your steak is from a cow raised without antibiotics.
- Meat and Medicine: When Too Much of a Good Thing Turns Dangerous (forcechange.com)
- Tell the FDA: No Antibiotics in Our Food (ecowatch.org)
- Declaring independence from drugged up meat by buying antibiotic free this July 4th (switchboard.nrdc.org)
- Poultry Farming: Enrofloxacin in the antibiotics (insomniacanonymous.wordpress.com)
- The CAFO – MRSA Connection (ediblearia.com)
- Avoiding antibiotics in meat getting harder: report (ctv.ca)
- Why Is Something That Is Killing Thousands Every Year Still Legal? (upworthy.com)
- Consumer Reports scrutinizes antibiotic use in food production (cbsnews.com)
- Your meat on drugs: Will grocery stores cut out antibiotics? (grist.org)
Just when we thought there might be some federal control over the spread of genetically modified vegetables and grains, a so-called “Monsanto rider” has been quietly slipped into the multi-billion dollar FY 2013 Agricultural Appropriations bill. This would require – not just allow, but require – the Secretary of Agriculture to grant a temporary permit for the planting or cultivation of a genetically engineered crop, even if a federal court has ordered the planting be halted until an Environmental Impact Statement is completed.
All the farmer or the biotech producer has to do is ask, and the questionable crops could be released into the environment where they could potentially contaminate organic crops and lay waste to a healthy food supply.
Unless the Senate or a citizen’s army of farmers and consumers can stop them, the Republican (read “industry”) dominated House of Representatives is likely to make this dangerous rider the law very soon.
Ceding broad and unprecedented powers to industry, the rider poses a direct threat to the authority of U.S. courts, jettisons the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) established oversight powers on key agriculture issues and puts the nation’s farmers and food supply at risk.
In other words, if this single line in the 90-page Agricultural Appropriations bill slips through, it’s Independence Day for the biotech industry, and Monsanto comes out on top.
This is the time to contact your Representative and complain… by telephone and in writing… to keep the “Monsanto Rider” out of the law.
- Monsanto rider: New bill could make biotech companies immune to courts (rt.com)
- The ‘Monsanto Rider’: Are Biotech Companies About to Gain Immunity from Federal Law? (blacklistednews.com)
- Monsanto rider: New bill could make biotech companies immune to courts – RT (2012indyinfo.com)
- Monsanto rider: New bill could make biotech companies immune to courts (EndtheLie.com)
Just got back from releasing the groundhog I trapped at our aging and unoccupied chicken coup into the wilds of the Potomac River woodlands. Elly is thrilled, I’m thrilled, the garden is safe again (unless there are more groundhogs (woodchucks?) living under the coup.
This afternoon I have to rebait the trap with cantaloupe and give it another shot.
Score do far is me 1, critters 0.
- 10 Things You May Not Know About Groundhogs (prweb.com)
We’re in some kind of direct thunderstorm path out here in rural Harpers Ferry. The thunder from last night’s storm, which woke me up, was incredibly loud… as it had been the night before.
Both our dogs were upset and I had to come out into the living room and pet them and calm them down. Byron, the smaller of the two, crawled behind my recliner and put his head under the seat… I presume so he couldn’t see the lightning flash in the windows. Nestle, my big old boy, moved back and forth from couch to couch unable to rest comfortably.
We have even more of these storms projected by the Weather Channel for this afternoon… 60% chance, which is usually pretty good.
I hope my dogs are up for it.
- Explosion? Earthquake? No, just thunder. (bangordailynews.com)
- Thunderstorms (bonesinmyheart.wordpress.com)
- Safety in the Storm (live-your-best-life.me)
…but I can’t do anything about it on a scale that would change anything.
Listening to politicians on the morning news babble at each other that they will not do anything about jobs or or education or ANYTHING unless the debt is reduced (which most economists will tell you is a false concern in relationship to income)… and then seeing that they do NOTHING while they are in session to work with each other or the President, and ignore the wishes of the voters.
Then I see the report on Global Biodiversity which shows that we are gobbling up the Earths resources at an unreplaceable rate (we are “outstripping the Earth’s resources by 50 percent — essentially using the resources of one and a half Earths every year, according to the 2012 Living Planet Report, produced by conservation agency the World Wildlife Fund (WWF)”
– Emily McKenzie, the director of the WWF’s Natural Capital Program
Tie all this in with the ignoring of Global Warming which is leading us further down the path to an unliveable planet.
The fact that we are still at war in the Middle East and are committed there for at least a dozen more years with billions of tax dollars being spent and no budget cuts to aid the economy is frightening. In my lifetime there have been relatively few years when we were not at war with SOMEONE… and the claims that this would all lead to peace are now nothing but laughable.
So my thoughts come back again to “what can we do?”
Elly and I have replaced all our light bulbs with the energy controlled ones and, even then, we sit in the dark most of the time to keep electricity down. We are growing our own food now (and buying and trading with local farmers.) We are planning to add chickens.
I am working with groups like Sustainable Shepherdstown to promote local job growth and development of our local and regional small businesses.
I am campaigning against Monsanto, Dow and the rest for poisoning our foods and making it more difficult to get organic seeds in the market… yet they are taking over the food industry at rates that are more than alarming (for instance, Kellogg buying out Kashi has removed the latter from the organic food makers and now fills their products with GMO grains.)
But I wake up every morning more depressed than the day before… worried about the future for my children and my grandchildren (currently four of them).
Let me know.
- US lifestyle would need 4 earths to sustain: WWF report (mytechnologyworld9.blogspot.com)
- Report Says Global Biodiversity Has Plummeted 30 Percent In The Last 40 Years (businessinsider.com)
- WWF report criticizes Canadians’ ecological footprint (canada.com)
- WWF: Two Earths Needed By 2030 (huffingtonpost.co.uk)
- Only global poverty can save the planet, insists WWF – and the ESA! (go.theregister.com)
- Living Planet Report 2012 From WWF Looks At Ecological State Of The Earth (huffingtonpost.com)
Volunteers across California are making history. On May 2nd, the California Right to Know campaign turned in nearly 1 million signatures to place a ballot initiative to label GMOs on the November 2012 ballot.
But this is only the beginning. We know that Monsanto and their minions will do everything in their power to spread lies and confuse voters. They have proven this time and again and most recently in Vermont and Connecticut where citizens in those states overwhelmingly supported bills to require labeling of genetically engineered foods.
Only a few days after voters in California qualified the historic initiative to label GMOs, Monsanto and biotech lobbyists were working behind closed doors in Connecticut to kill the bill that would have made it possible for the residents in that state to know what’s in their food.1 In the final hours of the 2012 legislative session, the biotech industry succeeded in getting Connecticut’s governor and House leaders to strip the bill of its labeling requirement as it was on the verge of passing with bipartisan support. Now, this year alone, governors in Vermont and Connecticut have both caved under the biotech industry’s threats to sue them if they pass a bill to label GMOs. This is an outrage!
While these backroom shenanigans can’t happen in California, since the ballot initiative will be put to a vote of the people, we know that Monsanto’s minions will be up to their usual dirty tricks. Already, a powerful biotech front group is starting to spread misleading stories in the media and distorting the real facts about the California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act of 2012.
This has been called “the Food Fight of Our Life” and we need your help in making sure that we succeed in November.
Will you chip in to make GMO labeling a reality? Only with your help can we win in November!
We can win in California, but we need your help today! Here’s how. Between May 1 and May 26, a broad coalition of food, farm, health, public interest, and environmental groups all over the country, joined by leading organic food companies, will attempt to raise one million dollars to support the California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act, a citizens’ ballot initiative, and other state GMO-labeling campaigns.
In an extraordinary gesture of support and solidarity in the fight for GMO labeling in California, Mercola.com, the largest alternative health website in the world, along with a group of leading organic companies including Nature’s Path, Lundberg Family Farms, and Eden Foods, and other nonprofit organizations, have pledged another one million dollars to the “Drop the Money Bomb on Monsanto” campaign – but only if we reach our goal of $1 million by May 26.
Please help us raise $1 million by May 26 for the California Right to Know GMO Labeling Campaign so we don’t miss out on this $1 million matching gift!
Thank you for contributing what you can today – Together we can win!
Now’s the time. Let’s drop the money bomb on Monsanto and take back our food supply!
Thanks for participating in food democracy,
President, Food Democracy Action!
P.S. All money raised for this campaign will go through Food Democracy Action!, a 501(c)4 allied organization of Food Democracy Now!, focused on grassroots lobbying and legislative action. Donations are not tax-deductible. Thank you for your support!
1. “GMO ‘Right to Know’ campaign in CT fails — Lawsuit threatened”, Digital Journal, May 5, 2012
- You’ll Probably Accidentally Eat This Toxic Food Today (articles.mercola.com)
- Food Manufacturing Editorial – Don’t Run from GMO Labeling (foodidentityblog.com)
- GMO Legislation Update: Monsanto Trumps Democracy in Vermont, Connecticut (eatdrinkbetter.com)
- GMO Labeling Initiative WILL Be On The Ballot In CA (12160.info)
- Something Historical is About to Happen – But Your Participation is Critical (articles.mercola.com)
- California Wants to Label GMOs (eatdrinkbetter.com)
- The Toxin So Dangerous It’s Causing Catastrophic Birth Defects (foodfreedomgroup.com)
- Millions against Monsanto: The food fight of our lives (blogginghounds.wordpress.com)
- California public to vote on GMO Label Act; Biotech lies begin (blacklistednews.com)
…we have a right to know what we are eating, and the right to refuse to eat GMO foods.
Just Label It! We have the right to know.
Bruce Beattie, in the Daytona Beach News-Journal:
… see, if we just take over our own problems, immigration is unnecessary…
– and –
… now Arizona has the right (and I mean RIGHT) idea…
– and –
… of course a stand on the immigration issue could equal lots of Hispanic votes…
– and –
Steve Breen in the San Diego Union-Tribune:
… so who are the real problem creators here?
There is a notice in the cafeteria of the Monsanto pharmaceutical factory is High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, advising customers
“as far as practicable, GM soya and maize (has been removed) from all food products served in our restaurant. We have taken the steps to ensure that you, the customer, can feel confident in the food we serve.”
The notice was posted by the Sutcliffe Catering Group.
Adrian Bebb with Friends of the Earth says the notice in the Buckinghamshire plant is hard to misinterpret:
“The public has made its concerns about GM ingredients very clear – now it appears that even Monsanto’s own catering firm has no confidence in this new technology.”
Unfortunately, we won’t see such announcements in the United States which won’t even require LABELING to show genetic modification. The reason? If LABELING was permitted people wouldn’t buy it. It also doesn’t hurt Monsanto that FDA head Michael Taylor, a Monsanto executive, was appointed by Obama… and America’s Chief Agriculture Negotiator, former Monsanto lobbyist Islam Siddiqui, was also an Obama appointment.
We are, as they say, screwed… unless everyone realizes the problem and takes action, whether writing Congressman or shopping for organic foods or campaigning against the patented seed stores of Monsanto.
This article is from Rodale. The first couple of lines are below… then connect to the full story:
By Leah Zerbe
Your tomatoes are under attack.
If approved, two new types of genetically engineered corn and soy crops will threaten some of America‘s favorite farm foods, including tomatoes, peas, cucumbers, squash, melons, pumpkins, green beans, grapes, and other farmer’s market and garden staples.
—> Read the rest HERE.
I received the most awesome gift yesterday for my birthday, from the (local) government – Approval for our Conditional Use Permit to build Morgan’s Grove Market – An Agricultural Campus and Health Collaborative! I want to Thank Everyone who came out to support our project. What a great community we live in!
– Peter Corum
I’m thrilled to hear this from Peter, since Elly and I have been more or less involved in the Morgan’s Grove Market project since it’s start. I was one of the public statement makers (reading a letter from Elly, who couldn’t be there) at the Zoning Board of Appeals the other night with a roomful of other supporters and speakers. It’s nice to know that something positive can still happen locally.
My wife, who directs the Shepherdstown Community Garden, is getting together with those interested on Sunday morning (April 15) at 8:45 AM to do manure spreading on the garden. On Saturday the 21st there will be a seed exchange in the morning (@10 – 12 Noon) and then a group meeting of gardeners from 12 to 1:30 PM. At 3:00 PM, Sustainable Shepherdstown will be hosting a film, “Good Food“, at the Opera House.
If you are interested in getting one of the remaining plots at the Community Garden, here’s the info:
2. We will e-mail a copy of the current plot map upon request. The contract can also be sent in a separate email. E-mail Ellen Smith at email@example.com . You can mail a check to Ellen Smith at 2873 Engle Molers Road, Harpers Ferry, WV 25425.
We are really hoping to get all the plots sold or under straw/cardboard etc., so we do not have to mow and do not have to have weeds. Then we can work on making the paths unattractive to weeds. If you know someone who would like to join us, now is the time!
Community garden was one of the most successful programs last year, thanks to the cooperation with Morgan’s Grove Market and Peter Corum. It is protected from deer and other creatures by an eight foot high fence built by members and has access to running water.
If you are interested in joining this phenomenal group of gardeners, get with it before all the plots are gone.
Here’s another pesticide controversy… one we can add to the Monsanto Mix… it relates to Bayer (yeah, the people who make the aspirin you take every day.)
Here’s a clip:
3 New Studies Link Bee Decline to Bayer Pesticide
It’s springtime, and farmers throughout the Midwest and South are preparing to plant corn—and lots of it. The USDA projects this year’s corn crop will cover 94 million acres, the most in 68 years. (By comparison, the state of California occupies a land mass of about 101 million acres.) Nearly all of that immense stand of corn will be planted with seeds treated with neonicotinoid pesticides produced by the German chemical giant Bayer.
And that may be very bad news for honey bees, which remain in a dire state of health, riddled by large annual die-offs that have become known as “colony collapse disorder” (CCD).
In the past months, three separate studies—two of them just out in the prestigious journal Science—have added to a substantial body of literature linking widespread use of neonicotinoids to CCD. The latest research will renew pressure on the EPA to reconsider its registration of Bayer’s products. The EPA green-lighted Bayer’s products based largely on a study funded by the chemical giant itself—which was later discredited by the EPA’s own scientists, as this leaked memo shows.
When seeds are treated with neonics, the pesticides get absorbed by the plant’s vascular system and then “expressed” in the pollen and nectar, where they attack the nervous systems of insects. Bayer targeted its treatments at the most prolific US crop—corn—and since the late 1990s, corn farmers have been blanketing millions of acres of farmland with neonic-treated seeds.
And it’s not just corn. In addition to the vast corn crop mentioned above, Bayer’s neonics have worked their way into substantial portions of the soy, wheat, cotton, sorghum, and peanut seed markets. In 2010, according to research by the Pesticide Action Network of North America, at least 142 million total acres were planted in neonic-treated seeds—a trend that will continue if not increase in the 2012 growing season. That represents a landmass equal to the footprints of California and Washington State.
But even that’s not all. As I showed in this January post, Bayer’s neonics are also common in home-garden and landscaping products.
Read the rest (and there is a lot) HERE.
So here I am officially carless and looking for a solution. Elly and I both think, with our new lifestyle and all, I should be looking for a small, relatively cheap pick-up truck. Therefore I am researching small Toyotas, Nissans and others, looking for a basic truck at a low price (therefore 2012 instead of 2013… unless I find a used truck in good condition.
Elly is not in favor of used cars, since the last two died under me (although, in retrospect, I got my money’s worth out of both of them.)
So, the next week or so might find a number of cancelled Doctors’ appts, and maybe some lifts to the radio station and back, but that’s my story.
And I’m stuck with it.
So help me, moving again is going to take more will than I think I have. We’re still hauling boxes and artwork and clothes and other stuff from 322 Starkey’s to the new house and it is an ongoing exhaustion creator.
To top it off it is raining this weekend and our helper students have football practice for much of it. When this is all done I’m going to sleep for two days straight and then get on with my life.
This morning on my radio show I was stumped for the first time on a play challenge, but, in general it went pretty well. Except, of course, that we weren’t on the internet due to a problem with the provider that the station is having. I’m sorry my regular out-of-town listeners couldn’t tune in today.
I received this e-mail today from Josh Fox at Gasland. I hope you will read it and follow his suggestions.:
I want to call your attention to some critical news and ask you to quickly take action:
FIRST: USDA GATE!!!
BREAKING NEWS: USDA Reverses Itself and Exempts Rural Properties with Gas Drilling Leases from NEPA
ACTION: Call President Obama and tell him:
“Please do not allow the USDA to exempt housing loans from a full NEPA review.”
White House Phone numbers: 202-456-1111 and 202-456-1414
Here’s the background and the reasons why you should call:
In a move that has angered hydrofracking opponents, the USDA did an about-face and reneged on earlier statements that its popular rural housing loans on properties with gas drilling leases would have to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and today authorized an Administrative Notice stating that rural housing loans would be excluded from NEPA. On Monday, The New York Times had reported the USDA was planning on issuing an Administrative Notice to the opposite effect, telling staff that loans on properties with gas leases must undergo a full environmental review as required by NEPA before mortgage loans are made or guaranteed by the agency.
“The proposal by the Agriculture Department, which has signaled its intention in e-mails to Congress and landowners, reflects a growing concern that lending to owners of properties with drilling leases might violate the National Environmental Policy Act, known as NEPA, which requires environmental reviews before federal money is spent,” the Times wrote. The article quoted the program director for rural loans in the Agriculture Department’s New York office saying that, “We will no longer be financing homes with gas leases.” “Approval of such leases would allow for a number of potential impacts to possibly occur which would need to be analyzed in a NEPA document that would be reviewed by the public for sufficiency,” another USDA official was quoted as saying.
See the full New York Times article HERE.
But in an email statement yesterday, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack reversed those positions and said, “USDA will not make any policy changes related to rural housing loans…The information provided to Congressional offices on March 8, 2012 was premature and does not reflect past, current or future practices of the department. Tomorrow, I will authorize an Administrative Notice reaffirming that rural housing loans are categorically excluded under the National Environmental Policy Act.”
Friends, this is a very important development and one that we need to speak up about. A full NEPA review, like the type the agency was talking about affirming, would have been more transparent, more rigorous and comprehensive. USDA staff experts in the NY office as well as in DC made clear in emails that the law and the science require that mortgages with drilling leases shouldn’t be exempt from NEPA. This 180-degress turn by Secretary Vilsack contradicts both science and law.
Excluding NEPA review of fracking’s environmental impacts is a significant move. It means that environmental review of rural housing loans would be limited to the EPA‘s far less comprehensive national study of fracking, which is focused exclusively on drinking water and does not admit public comment. Doing a NEPA analysis would have ensured that federal agencies issuing loans are complying with the law. In fact, officials expressed concern the agency would be vulnerable to lawsuits if they didn’t conduct the NEPA reviews thoroughly enough. But exempting rural housing loans from NEPA means that gas drilling leases will also be exempt from legal recourse and other basic public interest protections the law was meant to provide. It also means that when property values drop precipitously due to contamination from gas drilling, sometimes to as low as 10% of their original value as we’ve seen in Pennsylvania, the American Taxpayer is going to be left holding the bag.
Not only is this is unlawful, it’s just not right.
Call President Obama and tell him:
“Please do not allow the USDA to exempt housing loans from a full NEPA review.”
White House Phone numbers: 202-456-1111 and 202-456-1414
SECOND: EPA VINDICATES DIMOCK FAMILIES!!!
BREAKING NEWS: EPA confirms Dimock water is unsafe. The Gasland team and I provided Pro-Publica with the unreleased water tests. The families in Dimock, PA have high to explosive levels of methane as well as chemicals known to cause cancer and heavy metals that exceed the agency’s “trigger level” in their water wells. The families have been vindicated. Science triumphs over spin.
Please read the full Pro-Publica story HERE.
Thanks for taking action and being a part of a profound movement to stop fracking!
The USDA seems to be in the pocket of the gas companies. It should be the representative organization of the American rural citizenship.
As Josh says: “Science triumphs over spin.”
Sunny day, warm weather and I spent the last half hour sitting out on my porch with my next door neighbor, Francis, talking about lawn mowing, hay growing, birds nesting, different kinds of tree blossoms…etc,etc. This is nice.
If you are going to be retired, I can’t think of a better place. It’s a great place to write and develop theatre projects (John Case and I are working on an updated
version of Odets’ “Waiting for Lefty” which will include contemporary references and some music… we’ll be performing it at The Folly sometime this summer.) It’s also wonderful for gardening and other outdoor activities.
There’s a whole different kind of concerns out here than there is in the closer suburbs… the weather relates more to how the land operates than to what you’ll wear and how you will move around. Rain out here is is a prized phenomenon (and we expect some this afternoon and tomorrow.)
And now that winter has been eliminated by an early spring, it looks like things will get even better.