Cross Posted from Public Citizen’s Energy Blog by: Scott McDonald, Public Citizen Summer Intern
The Catskill Mountains and the Hudson Valley face the possibility of serious environmental degradation and water pollution if the hydraulic fracturing moratorium is lifted in New York State. For many who grew up in this area or who currently call it home, this is an appalling and unacceptable possibility. Many people would go to great lengths to protect this pristine piece of land – but exactly how far would you go?
What if you could halt the sale of public lands in the Catskills – land used for hiking, camping, fishing and so much more – to oil and gas companies that plan to build roads and bring in enormous amounts of equipment and trucks to develop the land for drilling?
What if the sale were being rushed through on behalf of the oil and gas industry in an illegal way?
What if you could save 22,000 acres of the land you love?
What if doing so were illegal, and carried a potential sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum of $750,000 in fines?
It is likely that when considering this hypothetical situation you answered “yes” to each question, until the last one. Your righteous and daring mood probably gave way, as you thought there could be a better way to approach the situation, or that at least you still have a decent job in a tough economy, or that you do not want to risk losing your freedom and being away from your family or kids.
These are all valid considerations.
What if someone else was willing to do this on behalf of the community? Would you defend his actions, or would silently let him be made an example of by overzealous prosecution by the government? Continue reading ‘Tim DeChristopher, Fracking, and Protecting Public Lands’