Category: Activism

Millennium Tries to Silence Local Dad Over CPV Fracked Gas

For over a year, through the cold and heat, the citizens of Orange County have held weekly pickets outside the construction site of a massive fracked gas power plant being built in their community.

The CPV fracked gas power plant will emit 700 tons of known carcinogens, neurotoxins and endocrine disruptors each year and will increase demand for fracking in neighboring Pennsylvania.

Scott Martens, a father of two young children from Middletown, saw folks protesting outside the construction site, stopped by and has been involved in the fight to stop CPV ever since. He says he’s been out there almost every Saturday for a year letting people know about the threats CPV poses to his community and the planet.

Now Millennium, the company building the Valley Lateral Pipeline (VLP), a 7.8 mile pipeline that will transport fracked gas to the CPV plant from the larger Millennium transmission line, is trying to silence Scott.

They filed a SLAPP suit (A Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation that is intended to censor, intimidate, and silence critics by burdening them with the cost of a legal defense until they abandon their criticism or opposition.) against him claiming he caused irreparable harm when he filmed crews begin to clear trees for the VLP in early December. Scott was there because the tree clearing threatened the habitat of endangered bald eagles.

In a Facebook post before heading to his first court date Scott said:

“On December 1st of this year I viewed and video recorded a majestic Bald Eagle sitting in its nest in a pine tree 80 feet from the proposed Valley Lateral pipeline alignment. This is the pipeline that will bring fracked gas to the unfinished CPV power plant for the next 40 years. Since that morning I have felt a profound sense of responsibility to protect these Eagles and their habitat. At that moment I knew that the these Eagles are there to protect us and we will be there to protect them….

Read the Complete Article by Lee Ziesche on Medium

Democracy is Alive in Alabama

CEE’s Director of Environmental Justice and Civic Engagement, Catherine Coleman Flowers, reflects on the vote in Alabama.

Democracy Lives

The recent election in Alabama reminded the world and the nation about the power of the vote. Being from Lowndes County, Alabama, I am ever reminded of the importance of exercising one’s franchise. When I was a child, I watched my parents fight for that right. My father also reminded us that the five years, four months and seventeen days he served in the United States Army fighting tyranny was to ensure that we never took it for granted. So, at the age of eighteen, I exercised my civic duty to register to vote. The first presidential election I voted in was 1976. I cast my vote for a peanut farmer from Georgia. Later I too joined the military because of my respect for democracy. I have participated in every election henceforth.

Like my parents before me, I have made voting a family tradition. Before she was old enough to vote, my daughter Taylor and I would go to the polls together. I wanted to instill in her the importance of that privilege that my parents instilled in me. On December 12, 2017, she and I drove to the polls along with my twenty-two-month-old grandson. We cast our vote with the moral conviction that we had to speak for women, the environment and seven generations to come. We were determined to show that Democracy was alive and well. My cousin Perman Rush Hardy (see article below), a former sharecropper was doing likewise in Lowndes County. Her hard work on election day getting out the vote exemplifies what my parents taught me many years ago. Thank you to Perman and so many others that cast their vote, encouraged others to vote and took their families to the polls to vote. Because of you, Democracy is alive and well.

About the Author: Catherine Coleman Flowers (on left, pictured here with her daughter and grandson), is an Environmental Justice leader for Alabamians without basic needs met.  She is a fierce advocate and part of a loving family.


It’s a Family Affair…

                                        How a former sharecropper in an SUV helped drive Doug Jones to victory in Alabama’s Black Belt

 

 

If you live in Lowndes County and are of voting age, it’s a safe bet that Perman Hardy has spoken with you about voting at some point in the past 25 years.

As one of the thousands of sharecroppers who worked white men’s land in Lowndes County over the years, 59-year-old Hardy recalls picking cotton after school growing up. She eventually finished her education, bought her own home, and had a successful career as a home health nurse.

But the past two-and-a-half decades, Hardy has dedicated much of her free time to another pursuit: trying to ensure that every single person in Lowndes County shows up to the polls for every election in Alabama. A native of the unincorporated community of Collirene, she has done about as much as one person possibly could to boost turnout in the impoverished, majority-black county with a population of just 10,458 people…

Full Article by Connor Sheets here at www.AL.com.

Lenape Clan Mother Calls on Governor Cuomo to protect Bald Eagles’ Nesting Area, Stop CPV

Thursday, December 21, 2017 – Winter Solstice

Deer Clan Chief of the Ramapough Lenape Calls on Governor Cuomo to protect Bald Eagles’ Nesting Area and Stop Pipeline in Orange County, NY

Indigenous leaders present letter to Andrew Cuomo; Pipeline initially blocked by State regulators, OK’ed by Trump federal agency (FERC)

PRESS RELEASE

Media contacts: Rachel Marco-Havens of the Center for Earth Ethics at Union Theological Seminary: 805-931-6873/[email protected]; or contact the American Indian Law Alliance: 914-316-8833/[email protected]

Who: Ramapough Lenape Nation, American Indian Law Alliance, Center For Earth Ethics at Union Theological Seminary, Schaghticoke First Nations, Wittenberg Center For Alternative Resources

Why: While the proximity of pipeline construction violates state and federal law, the Eagle also holds deeply rooted, spiritual significance within Native culture. Destruction of the birds’ habitat directly threatens ecological, cultural and spiritual longevity.

Read Clara’s Letter Here and Sign On to show your Support!

 

Supporting Organizations

Schaghticoke First Nations
Ramapough Lenape Nation
Tribal Link Foundation
Friends of Turtle Island/ WESPAC Foundation
Elders Drum Project
Sukyo Mahikari UN NGO (special consultative status)
Gaiafield Project
Forum 21 Institute
Riverkeeper
Connie Hogarth Center for Social Action at Manhattanville College
The Watershed Center
Protect Orange County
Loretto Earth Network
Pax Christi Metro New York
Temple of Understanding
Maryknoll Fathers & Brothers
Alabama Center for Rural Enterprise
The Stuart Center of the Society of the Sacred Heart
National Ethical Service
Sane Energy Project
Keepers of the Water
Centre for Dialogue & Spirituality in the World Religions

Supporters

Clara Soaring Hawk
Deer Clan Chief
Ramapough Lenape Nation
“I am calling those who hold deep reverence for the sacredness of the Eagle Spirit to pray with me.”

Sachem Hawk Storm
Chief
Schaghticoke First Nations
“The eagles are our sacred relatives who carry all of our prayers and thoughts and intentions up to Wanthut Manetu (great spirit). They must be protected. Oneoway nekeech Achwetchteed”

Carol Makuta
Delaware Nation
“Please stop this!”

Tracy Basile
Committee Chair
Friends of Turtle Island/ WESPAC Foundation
“We stand with Chief Clara Soaring Hawk and all Ramapough and their allies in solidarity to protect the water, the eagles, the earth and her people. Governor Cuomo we need you to stand up too on behalf of future generations and stop the Millennium Pipeline.”

Elizabeth Damon
Director
Keepers of the Water
“Once again a land is being destroyed, the wild life, the cultural history, let’s stand against destruction.. there is no replacement”

Catherine Coleman Flowers
Director
Alabama Center for Rural Enterprise

Diane Roche
Director of Office of Justice
The Stuart Center of the Society of the Sacred Heart
“Peace and the Integrity of Creation Keep fracking from destroying the clean air and water that all creatures need, including the Eagles and ourselves.”

Dr. M. Darrol
Professor Emeritus
Bryant Centre for Dialogue & Spirituality in the World Religions
“Please heed the Deer Clan Chief.”

Francis J. Breen
Reverend
Maryknoll Fathers & Brothers
“New York does not need the Millennium Pipeline, as the State is now trying to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels. The pipeline is a risky environmental endeavor.”

Rev. Ken Kitatani
Main Representative, CAO
Sukyo Mahikari UN NGO (special consultative status)

Laura Musikanski
Executive Director
Happiness Alliance
“Our lands are sacred. Our health, our happiness and our well-being depend upon our land.”

Beth Blissman
UN Rep
Loretto Earth Network
“Thanks for the opportunity to sign on and support this message, and blessings of winter solstice hope!”

Pamela Kraft
Executive Director
Tribal Link Foundation

Grove Harris
Main Representative to the United Nations
Temple of Understanding
“So much is at stake. Please hear and heed the words of Chief Clara Soaring Hawk.”

Rosemarie Pace
Director
Pax Christi Metro New York
“PCMNY is a region of the Catholic Peace Movement that includes Orange County. One of our priorities is respect and care for creation, “Our Common Home,” as Pope Francis has named it. “Profit CANNOT be our priority.”

Kim Fraczek
Director
Sane Energy Project
“We are deeply hurting that the decision-maker, Andrew Cuomo, continues to ignore justice, truth, clarity and strength to do what is universally right. It’s time for you to claim your leadership on your 2017 State of the State address about doubling down on investing against fossil fuels. Halting Millennium’s destruction is the first step. It’s time for you to Walk The Talk, Governor Cuomo.”

Scott Martens
Protect Orange County
“I stand beside my elders and for the sake of my children. Please stop this fracked gas powerplant”

David Nicol
Executive Director
Gaiafield Project
“Please protect the eagles!”

Kay Dundorf
President
National Ethical Service
“Divesting from fossil fuels is a first step. Now stop the destruction of the Millennium’s pipeline.

CPV Power Plant begins construction despite Bald Eagle’s nest and rejection from NY State

Winter Solstice Update: For Immediate Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—Lenape Clan Mother Calls on Governor Cuomo to protect Bald Eagles’ Nesting Area and Stop Pipeline

Letter from Clara in PDF

SIGN ON to show your SUPPORT here!
https://centerforearthethics.org/clara/

Competitive Power Ventures has been attempting to build a power plant on 60 acres of federally designated wetlands in NY State. Governor Cuomo and the state of NY said ‘NO’, but CPV was able to procure permits from the federal level. The project, which involves fracking, banned in NY State since 2014, would be devastating in its environmental impacts, including radiation and CO2 emissions, potential poisoning of the air and the water aquifer, along with the release of carcinogens and endocrine disruptors and the potential for a host of other related problems. Moreover, this land is home to bald eagles, and although eagles are federally protected by law—and there is currently an active eagle nest right next to the construction zone– CPV has already started chopping down trees, clearing the land for construction.

Our friends, Clara Soaring Hawk, Deer Clan Chief of the Ramapough-Lenape and other local leaders and organizations are taking the lead in responding to the impending threat to this endangered species habitat and native burial ground.

Please take a moment to educate yourself, get involved, and Share!

 Reports on the Millennium pipeline opponents protest Sun, Dec. 17, 2017.


SLATE HILL – Opponents of the Millennium pipeline lateral under construction in Wawayanda came out Saturday to deliver their message that the pipeline is impinging on the bald eagle habitat and that the construction is violating federal law because of the proximity to the birds.

Actor James Cromwell is one of the leaders in the movement to stop the pipeline and the CPV power plant, which would use the fracked gas delivered from the line.

Activist and actor, James Cromwell speaks with press at December 16th CPV protest.

“We have petitioned and notified every agency possible; no one wants to enforce the law,” he said.

That law, he noted, is that tree cutting is far too close to the eagles’ nest than allowable.

Pramilla Malick, founder and leader of the Protect Orange County group, remains adamant in her opposition to the pipeline.

“These eagles are clearly in distress and nobody seems to be willing to enforce the law, not Fish and Wildlife, not the DEC, not the governor’s office, not the courts so these eagles have nobody, they have no protection,” she said.

Juvenile Eagle in Distress

Link to Full Article at MidHusonNews.com

Also readCPV Factsheet prepared by Randy Hurst and Pramilla Malick

And Checking it Twice, Huffington Post

 

Fall Update from Karenna

Friends,

We send our greetings to you at this challenging time. It is a time that calls those who can be both advocates and healers. As we fight to change the system that continues to dump this pollution into the air, we also stand with those who are recovering and rebuilding from the impacts. As we join with those who resist corrupt policies and abuse of power, we also seek to understand the painful divisions and persistent illusions in our civic life.

This semester, The Center for Earth Ethics is initiating a new time of serious inquiry as individuals, as collaborators and as leaders in an ever-changing landscape, geographically and politically.  Our goal is to address the root cause of climate change—an economic development model based on short-term profit, no matter what the cost to people and planet. We envision a world in which value is measured according to the long-term well being of the whole. We believe that this value system can be achieved through a combination of the restoration of older traditional ways and the inclusive, equitable application of new technologies.

Thank you for being a part of our work. We invite you to learn more about each of our four program areas– Original Caretakers, Environmental Justice and Civic Engagement, Sustainability and Global Affairs and Eco-Ministry—and to be in touch with us about the work you are doing in your community. Please also follow us on social media and feel free to come to the gatherings at Union. There’s so much going on already this Fall, and we’ve only just begun!

Sincerely,
Karenna

Brothers and Sisters Peace and All Good

Brothers and sisters peace and all good

These next few weeks we are going to start hearing a great deal of chatter about how we have cut spending, how we cannot afford programs like Meals on Wheels, how there is not enough money to protect the environment. They will be talking about how we have to cut the deficit and how taxes are too high especially for the wealthy and corporations. Our leaders are looking and talking as if our federal budget is an economic document, a balance sheet. The federal budget is not just an economic document; it is also a statement on the moral compass of our nation. As such, it should reflect our highest calling to take care of the most vulnerable and support a just, equitable society. The budget presented by President Trump has turned its back on that calling, as evidenced by the laundry list of programs and institutions being drained of resources in favor of expanding military spending.

On Friday night we heard Tamika talk about faithful anger. Well I am very angry. I am angry because my faith, my spirituality my religion has been hijacked by people claiming to be Christian but promoting a theology of hate and fear a theology of separation, a theology that justifies destruction of this beautiful and wondrous creation, a theology of war not peace. Our nation’s Leaders who worship the false gods of money and power. But we need to be more than angry we need to turn our righteous anger into prayerful action. We need to remind these leaders that they will be judged not just by the voters but by God. We can no longer be timid whispering this in quiet meetings we need to shout it from the highest mountain tops.

The 13th century theologian and Franciscan, St. Bonaventure is credited with saying that how we choose and what we choose makes a difference – first, in what we become by our choices and second, in what the world becomes by our choices. This framework of faith is neither radical nor conservative: it simply places justice, dignity, compassion, and solidarity at the core of decision making. That is what our leaders should incorporate in their budget deliberations. In these extremely difficult times, we all need to rely on these principles.

Patrick Carolan is the Executive Director of the Franciscan Action Network in Washington D.C. and a Center for Earth Ethics Senior Fellow. Learn More at franciscanaction.org