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Victory for Free Speech in Sanford, NY

Kate Sinding

Posted April 18, 2013

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The residents of Sanford, NY claimed a victory when their Town Board passed a resolution rescinding a seven-month-old gag order on citizens’ ability to talk about fracking.  As a result, the people of Sanford will no longer be silenced.

Last September 11th, following a pattern of decidedly pro-fracking actions, the Sanford Town Board abruptly passed a resolution that eliminated town residents’ ability to speak about fracking.  A clear violation of basic free speech protections, NRDC (as part of our Community Fracking Defense Project) and Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy stepped in to stand up for the constitutional rights of the people of Sanford.

With its action, the Town Board has rightly recognized the validity of residents’ concerns about this controversial heavy industrial activity moving into their backyards, and the need for their local representatives to hear them.  This is especially important in light of the board’s history of support for fracking.  This is a vindication of the right to free speech.  And it sends a message to communities everywhere.  As Americans, we have the right to speak up when we feel threatened.  And it is our government’s responsibility to listen.

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Bryan HankeApr 23 2013 02:42 PM

Fracking is way too dangerous from many perspectives----don't need to take such chances. Have to use alternatives to oil so we can save the environment for future generations

Alison RobbApr 23 2013 03:15 PM

Fracking is clearly harmful to environment and people.

Do not let it happen one more day anywhere!

Lois DollApr 23 2013 04:19 PM

Let's develop other energy sources that will not destroy the earth we are living on.

stu churnessApr 23 2013 04:23 PM

Congrats on that insane gag order getting sacked. Im convinced keepng the pressure on these loco yokels is the only way . Best to not have them in position of power in the first place, but another story there. Keep up the great work for freedom.

Brad RoonApr 23 2013 04:32 PM

GW Bush & investors bought water rights to largest aquifer in S America. Pumping locations & ocean tanker amenities are there ready - for what? They spent billions for zero market? Why?

Because fracking will not only kill the water supply for millions of Americans (and who knows if the plants/wildlife will survive? They don't) who will be FORCED to buy water every day for the rest of their lives.

The govt will "have to step in" to insure equitable water distribution. That means EVERYONE will have their water rights stolen by the turkeys who allowed (& pushed) to have the problem happen.

Physics: we have the perfect fracking fluid. It is incompressible. That means that EVERY ounce of pressure exerted upon the fluid is transmitted to the rock structure. You CAN'T beat that with any other chemical. Secondly, it is non-toxic. Third - it is probably the cheapest chemical you can get. It's called Dihydrogen monoxide, or water.

Ariane SullivanApr 23 2013 04:33 PM

Bravo! for the citizens of Sanford!
I hope other communities will make use of
the laws of the land to discuss and promote their own ideas for their own community!
HOpe others learn about it and are encouraged to do the same, not letting
greedy politicians/corporations run this country! Now vote out all those forcing a dangerous issue on their community!

EugeneApr 23 2013 05:30 PM

We have to build an educated mass of citizens who will overwhelmingly like in the case of civil rights and the end of slavery, speak out and when the opportunity presents itself vote against destroying Nature

john byrneApr 23 2013 05:34 PM

Way to go SANFORD, delighted to see you taking the battle to their front door.NIKI NANA ~WE ARE ONE.

K LucasApr 23 2013 07:42 PM

stop poisioning amercia for greed !

arnie rosenbergApr 23 2013 09:02 PM

It would be eye opening to see any large company take the lead and stop this horrific rapeing of the land

gchrisApr 23 2013 09:24 PM

The citizens of Sanford must be typical.
They didn't have the sense to file a law suit against their idiot town council critters.
We Americans are dumb, dumb, dumb for putting up with all the clowns that get elected
or appointed to positions of authority in our different levels of government. Sounds like ALL their representatives are on the payroll of the FRACKING companies...what are you going to do about it?

Inga GunaApr 23 2013 09:51 PM

That's right: Stop poisoning America - land and living beings with fracking etc.! Wishing victory for Sanford and elsewhere...

Robert MorrisApr 24 2013 01:22 AM

Hydraulic Fracking poses a long term threat to our groundwater. Despite what the oil & gas industry would have the public to believe, Fracking is an environmental disaster in the making. Sadly, our elected officials are blinded by the large amount of money the industry passes around and are willing to sacrifice the environment for short term gain.Hold fast New York.

Jane HowardApr 24 2013 08:16 AM

Fracking - The end of human existence.

Roberta KeeganApr 24 2013 10:37 PM

I commend the Catskills Citizens for Safe Energy and the NRDC for taking it upon themselves to successfully challenge the Sanford NY Town Board to rescind its seven month old gag order against public discussion of the topic of fracking. Fracking is dangerous, dirty, obscenely costly and useless, however the erosion of our constitutional right to free speech, in this country ,is increasing and this is downright scary!

Christina BibeauApr 25 2013 01:12 PM

Thank you Brad Roon on your comment above !! I thought I was the only one that noticed the purchase of the aquifer in Brazil. That is a very important notation for everyone to keep in mind! Thank you Catskills Citizens for Safe Energy and NRDC for challenging Sanford NY Town Board. And Winning! It takes, energy,stamina and guts for these people in Sanford to push forward. The "wrongness" of a gag order on an issue as this...keeping people from keeping their families safe...sends chills down my neck It is up to our voices to stop Money from talking! We need to keep pushing on! Stick together.

Mame AumentApr 25 2013 05:39 PM

My Democratic governor, Gov. Hickenlooper, is suing 2 communities here in Colorado that have banned fracking within their city limits, Longmont and Ft Collins. Can you say sitting in the fossil fuel industies' pockets? If he doesn't withdrawal these suits, I won't be voting for him again.

Andrea ONealApr 26 2013 12:52 PM

Who the hell are the 'authorities' that created and passed this gag order?!!!!
THEY should be removed from office!!! They are clearly Anti-American, Anti-Constitution, and must NOT KNOW THE LAWS OF OUR LAND. They stand for corruption. They are criminal officals who do not need to be in ANY position of authority in this nation. Why do I not read any outrage about THEM? Are you people waiting like sheep for the next attack from your enemies?
Move now to get rid of these horrible people.

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