Frack Free Genesee (FFG) was formed when my son Jamie and I attended a fracking forum in Dundee, NY. The first of the two presenters at this forum described the damage fracking had done in his area of Northern Pennsylvania. He showed stark photos of the heavy industrialization of the beautiful countryside. I clearly recall the sinking, helpless feeling I had when the wake-up call came and I realized the seriousness of this issue. With Helen Slottje, the second presenter, a ray of hope entered the auditorium in the form of talk about New York’s defense against the powerful gas industry: grassroots political action. The last words uttered by the presenters: “It’s not too late for New York.”
Jamie and I went home and galvanized for action. We called together everyone we knew and organized a meeting of about 50 people, where we shared information and began the work of petitioning our town governments to enact moratoria on hydrofracking. One year later, our humble grassroots organization has helped get the anti-fracking ball rolling in many towns in Livingston County. We maintain a website and send out weekly updates via e-mail on news, presentations, actions, legislation, etc. We provide support when we are able and refer folks to other organizations when we are not. Our FFG librarian, Dwain, continues to update a large file of documents. Several of our core members make presentations to community groups, schools and town boards.
As with all anti-fracking citizens’ groups, FFG is associated with others all over the state that are committed to banning fracking in New York. Currently, our efforts are focused on the creation and distribution of an informational mass mailing featuring photos of Pennsylvania frack sites and various economic facts and myths of fracking. We continue a peaceful curbside vigil outside the Dept. of Environmental Conservation office in Avon twice a week (see FFG calendar) as a regular reminder of our active presence and to raise public awareness for passers-by.
Frack Free Genesee is working hard to protect the health and safety of all New Yorkers. Our fight continues.