Thursday, October 25, 2012

"Where do we go from here?  A strong emerging conviction among many NGO's at Rio+20 and certainly the People's Summit was the importance of local efforts to address environmental and poverty issues.  Many of these problems must eventually be resolved on the international level since they are global issues.  However, key in moving the international community toward the hard decision is the growing awareness, organizing and action of "grassroots" people and groups who understand their local problems, know the key players and act to change an unsustainable situation."  
Sr. Suzanne Golas, csjp "UN Update"

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Urgent Advocacy Alert - Override Veto Ban Fracking Waste Bill

As you may have heard, Governor Christie has vetoed the Ban Fracking Waste Bill.  We are working with our water advocate partners to call for an override vote of the veto by our NJ State Legislators. 

Currently, NJ Assembly Speaker Oliver has committed to posting the Ban Fracking Waste Bill for an override vote.  So, we are contacting you to ask you to contact both Assembly Speaker Oliver and Senate President Sweeney in support of them posting the Ban Fracking Waste Bill for an override vote.

For your information,  pasted at the end of this email is a copy of today's Food & Water Watch Press Release calling for an override of the veto. Also pasted below is a copy of the letter dated today to Senate President Sweeney from over eighty (80) NJ organizations asking him to post the bill for an override vote.

RIGHT NOW, it is important that they hear from as many people as possible in support of the Ban Fracking Waste Bill.  Phone calls and emails do make a difference! You can call them at these numbers:

Senate President Sweeney: 856-251-9801
Assembly Speaker Oliver:  973-395-1166

The Ban Fracking Waste Bill is a bi-partisan bill that passed with an overwhelming majority.  New Jersey organizations and water advocates are also contacting the following Republican legislators who voted for the Ban Fracking Waste Bill, and asking them to hold their votes as "yes" when the override vote is called.

Below are the legislators that we are asking people to contact if they are in their district and to ask for their continued support of the Ban Fracking Waste Bill:

Senator Jennifer Beck  732-933-1591

Senator Bateman 908.526.3600

Senator Singer 732.987.5669

Senator Kevin O'Toole 973 237-1360

Senator Thomas H. Kean  908 232-3673

Senator James W. Holzapfel 732-840-9028

Senator Joseph M. Kyrillos, Jr. 732-671-3206 (Senator Kyrillos was absent when the vote was taken, but said he would vote for it and running for US Senate)

Senator Diane B. Allen 609-239-2800

Assemblyman Brian  E. Rumpf 609-693-6700 609-693-2469

Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove 609-693-6700

Assemblywoman Amy Handlin 732-787-1170

Assemblyman Ronald Dancer 609.758.0205

Assemblywoman  Caroline Casagrande 732.866.1695

Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi 201-666-0881

Assemblywoman Declan J. O'Scanlon 732.933.1591

Assemblyman  Robert Clifton 732.446.3408

Assemblyman John F. Amodeo 609-677-8266

Here are the rules for an override:

We need 54 Assemblymembers and 27 Senators to vote to override the Governor's veto to make this bill law.

When the bill passed, 56 Assemblymembers voted for the bill, as did 30 Senators.

We can do this for clean safe water!  Please make your phone calls or emails today!


For Immediate Release: Oct. 3, 2012
Contact: Seth Gladstone-, 718.943.8063
80+ Statewide Organizations Call on Legislature to Override Governor's Veto of Fracking Waste Ban Bill

Urge Commitment from Senate President Sweeney as Speaker Oliver Commits to Holding and Override Vote

Trenton, NJ - Activists and community leaders representing more than eighty statewide organizations signed and delivered to Senate President Sweeney a letter calling for a veto override of New Jersey's fracking waste ban bill. The bill, which would make the state the first in the nation to prohibit the discharge, disposal, treatment or storage of fracking waste, passed both houses of the state legislature months ago with strong bipartisan support, but was recently vetoed by Governor Christie.

The letter can be accessed here.

Assembly Speaker Oliver announced that she will schedule an override vote in her chamber, and activists called on Senate President Sweeney to match her action.

Analysis from the non-partisan Office of Legislative Services confirms the constitutionality of the legislation, directly refuting the governor's claims to the contrary. And the governor's statement that the bill is unnecessary because New Jersey doesn't carry the potential for fracking itself is inaccurate according to a recent study by the US Geological Survey which identified a large natural gas basin that stretches widely through the northern half of the state. Despite being only partially assessed, it has already shown to hold billions of cubic feet of gas.

Activists also pointed to a recent study from Stony Brook University that found the greatest risk of contamination of drinking water and environmental pollution from fracking occurs during the wastewater disposal process.

"The sad truth is that Governor Christie has been bought off by the oil and gas industry, and the excuses he offers for his veto of the Fracking Waste Ban Bill are silly," said Jim Walsh, regional director of Food & Water Watch, a consumer rights group. "Although the governor won't stand up and protect residents from this danger, we are thankful that Speaker Oliver has committed to pushing the override forward and we're hopeful that Senate President Sweeney will match her commitment."
"We need the Senate President and Speaker not only to post this bill but make sure we have enough votes for an over ride,"  said Jeff Tittel, Director, NJ Sierra Club.  "We need to ban fracking waste in New Jersey if we want to protect our rivers and our land from these harmful and toxic chemicals.  We already have enough toxic sites and pollution in our waterways, we do not need to add anymore. New Jersey cannot allow its water supplies to be held captive by multi-national oil and gas companies."

Tracy Carluccio, Deputy Director of Delaware Riverkeeper Network stated, "Every day millions of gallons of frack waste is being produced without safe means of disposing of it. Drillers are desperate to dispose of it so will get rid of it any place they can. Without New Jersey standing up to protect our drinking water and communities we will end up a dumping ground for this toxic waste because there's nothing to prevent that from happening. This law is essential because it prevents pollution from frack waste and doesn't allow our waterways and already stressed infrastructure to fall prey to contamination."