In early September 2008 our family travelled to City Hall in Manhattan to attend and participate in a public hearing on this topic so critical to our future. Below you will find the testimony that I prepared. Unfortunately, I was unable to read it into the public record. I did however stay for the entire meeting and then submitted it directly to Mr. Gennaro.

my testimony...

I speak to you today first and foremost as a mother and my simple request is what all mothers want: a better world for my children. The act of birthing a child brings with it hope for a better tomorrow. As a mother you give the world your child and in the same instant you give your child the world. No mother wants to give her child a world filled with pollution and poison. She wants to give her child a world filled with hope, promise, and beauty.

Busy nurturing and raising our children, mother’s in our country look to lawmakers to help us protect and nurture the world our children will grow into. As a mother, I am always looking into the future. And so I ask you: Do you have children? grandchildren? What do you want for them? Do you want to leave them a landscape that has been scarred by wells, open sludge pits, with water that they cannot drink? I would like to give my children the chance to watch their children catching frogs, pulling carrots from the soil, and swimming in the creek.

Clean water is our most precious natural resource...more precious than oil or gas.

In every state that has had oil and gas drilling there have been ruptures, leaks and even explosions that have lead to contamination of water supplies and personal property. And still no solution exists to filter out the contaminants and carcinogenic chemicals that gas and oil companies pump into the ground. Already one sixth of the world’s population, 1 billion people, have no access to clean drinking water. Do we really want to endanger a pristine water supply to extract a natural resource that brings a limited amount of energy to our country? Is any amount of energy worth such horrific consequences?

At our farm in the Catskills my daughter likes to kneel down and dip her lips into the cool spring-fed creek. I have told her that not many people can do such a thing because the world’s water is mostly contaminated. We have a special gift in the Catskills. The water that runs into New York City’s watershed is not cleaned by filtration units or treated with chemicals. The water that the people of New York City drink begins as pristine spring water in the Catskills. Please do not put New York’s water, soil and air at risk by allowing drilling in or even near the watershed. Help me keep the creek where my daughter drinks clean. For her granddaughter as well as future generations in the city.

The Iroquois had a Law which said, “In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations.” It is time, for us to put our heads together and imagine ourselves seven generations into the future. How will our great-great-great-great grandchildren heat their homes? Get to work? Obtain their food and water? ….How many of us really think that any of the answers to these questions is: oil and gas?

If we allow drilling in upstate New York, we will be signing our children’s futures away. For what? For some barrels of oil - a few lights to be turned on, a few trips into town, perhaps the manufacture of some appliance. Selling their air, their water, their food.

Do not allow the oil and gas companies, no matter how deep their pockets, to push us away from protecting our most precious resources. The natural resources that will not only sustain our lives but also provide us with the energy we require - clean air to breathe and turn wind turbines, clean water to drink and turn water turbines, and clean soil to grow local food.

If we destroy these natural resources in a last ditch hunt for oil and gas there will be no future - oil or not -for us or our children.

Please, do not choose the quick dollar over the long term health of our region - both for the city and the Catskills.

Here is a bunch of related links about oil and gas drilling in the US:

AuthorDaniel Marsiglio