Criminalize Fracking

Activists in New York have drafted legislation that would criminalize the practice of hydraulic fracturing – also known as fracking.

The law was drafted by the Sovereign People Action Network (SPAN) of Ulster and Green counties.

“In early summer, seeing so many anti-fracking people across the state pouring their time, resources and hopes into the State’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), we began drafting a law to rip decision making from this illegitimate agency, and drive it into our state legislature,” Richard Grossman, one of the members of SPAN, told Corporate Crime Reporter.

“Our law criminalizes fracking and fracking-related activities,” Grossman said. “Corporate frackers would be Class C felons.”

“In August, a bunch of anti-frackers from different parts of the state, representing various anti-fracking groups, participated in three sequential workshops I presented on at the New York Green Fest gathering in Western New York,” Grossman said.

“Some decided to join SPAN on criminalization.”

“Together we came up with the current draft of the law. We are now creating a new coalition group to concentrate on compelling the legislature to pass our law.”

“This law is not a magic bullet, of course. We could never pass it unless we build a mass movement in New York.”

The legislation has yet to be introduced into the New York State legislature.

“We met with a state Senator who wanted to learn more about it,” Grossman said. “But he was pretty resistant. That’s okay. This work will take time.”

Grossman wouldn’t identify the Senator.

“To his credit, he met with us twice,” Grossman said. “He was patient and courteous, we had some healthy conversations.”

“We have no illusions about the New York State Legislature. But theoretically at least, that is where laws are made. And that’s where sovereign people go to instruct our representatives. Our approach to our legislators is: we wrote this law – now you pass it.”

“But we know we can’t do that until we build a formidable statewide movement that is not only talking about fracking as a destructive technology, but also about illegitimate rule by a very small corporate class.”

“We’re hoping to move the exciting struggle to prevent the fracking of New York State from the dead end, energy sink regulatory realm to the place where sovereign people make law, decide what is anti-social behavior.”

“We have no illusions about our state legislature. Both houses are tyrannies. Most of the legislators are colonized. We understand that part of our task is to re-make our legislature, and our legislators. And that to do this, anti-frackers and others confronting diverse assaults of illegitimate private governance must build a powerful state-wide movement.”

“Our new state-wide coalition is only now coming together. We haven’t begun taking our message across the state. I can say that whenever any of us talks to folks, their response is – of course fracking should be criminalized, should be declared felonious.”

“But we’re still under the radar,” Grossman said. “I don’t think it will take long to emerge. Think back to the evolution of the anti-nuclear movement.”

“The fracking struggle involves most of the giant corporations of the country, not just business and industrial corporations, but also law corporations and insurance corporations.”

“The whole corporate class and its vast usurping structures of governance and propaganda are behind fracking.”

“The reasons are clear: the corporate class is committed to endless more.”

“The fuel for endless more is constantly expanding energy.”

“So people opposing fracking for oil and gas and water are standing up not just to a few giant energy corporations, but to the entire corporate class, and to their vast corporate state, just like the anti-nukers of yore.”

“In New York, people are already organized in hundreds of groups. We think this legislation will help unify anti-frackers, so that one day in the not too distant, the State of New York will declare fracking, corporate frackers, and fracking-related activities to be Class C felonies.”

“We will be provoking conversation and discussion about the histories and realities of minority rule and usurpation that we’ve been talking about here. It’s my hope that unlike the anti-nuclear movement – that magnificently stopped the construction of 850 nuclear radiation factories – New Yorkers will criminalize fracking in ways that begin to challenge the corporate state, that set new and liberating conversations in motion, that begin asserting we the people’s authority to govern our communities and our state.”

Rusell Mokhiber edits the Corporate Crime Reporter.

[For the complete transcript of the Interview with Richard Grossman, see 25 Corporate Crime Reporter 40, October 17, 2011, print edition only.]



More articles by:

Russell Mokhiber is the editor of the Corporate Crime Reporter..

Weekend Edition
March 23, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Roberto J. González
The Mind-Benders: How to Harvest Facebook Data, Brainwash Voters, and Swing Elections
Paul Street
Deplorables II: The Dismal Dems in Stormy Times
Nick Pemberton
The Ghost of Hillary
Andrew Levine
Light at the End of the Tunnel?
Paul de Rooij
Amnesty International: Trumpeting for War… Again
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Coming in Hot
Chuck Gerhart
Sessions Exploits a Flaw to Pursue Execution of Meth Addicts
Robert Fantina
Distractions, Thought Control and Palestine
Hiroyuki Hamada
The Eyes of “Others” for Us All
Robert Hunziker
Is the EPA Hazardous to Your Health?
Stephanie Savell
15 Years After the Iraq Invasion, What Are the Costs?
Aidan O'Brien
Europe is Pregnant 
John Eskow
How Can We Live With All of This Rage?
Matthew Stevenson
Why Vietnam Still Matters: Was Khe Sanh a Win or a Loss?
Dan Corjescu
The Man Who Should Be Dead
Howard Lisnoff
The Bone Spur in Chief
Brian Cloughley
Hitler and the Poisoning of the British Public
Brett Wilkins
Trump Touts $12.5B Saudi Arms Sale as US Support for Yemen War Literally Fuels Atrocities
Barbara Nimri Aziz
Iraqi Landscapes: the Path of Martyrs
Brian Saady
The War On Drugs Is Far Deadlier Than Most People Realize
Stephen Cooper
Battling the Death Penalty With James Baldwin
CJ Hopkins
Then They Came for the Globalists
Philip Doe
In Colorado, See How They Run After the Fracking Dollars
Wilfred Burchett
Vietnam Will Win: Armed Propaganda
Binoy Kampmark
John Brennan’s Trump Problem
Nate Terani
Donald Trump’s America: Already Hell Enough for This Muslim-American
Steve Early
From Jackson to Richmond: Radical Mayors Leave Their Mark
Jill Richardson
To Believe in Science, You Have to Know How It’s Done
Ralph Nader
Ten Million Americans Could Bring H.R. 676 into Reality Land—Relief for Anxiety, Dread and Fear
Sam Pizzigati
Billionaires Won’t Save the World, Just Look at Elon Musk
Sergio Avila
Don’t Make the Border a Wasteland
Daryan Rezazad
Denial of Climate Change is Not the Problem
Ron Jacobs
Flashing for the Refugees on the Unarmed Road of Flight
Missy Comley Beattie
The Age of Absurdities and Atrocities
George Wuerthner
Isle Royale: Manage for Wilderness Not Wolves
George Payne
Pompeo Should Call the Dogs Off of WikiLeaks
Russell Mokhiber
Study Finds Single Payer Viable in 2018 Elections
Franklin Lamb
Despite Claims, Israel-Hezbollah War is Unlikely
Montana Wilderness Association Dishonors Its Past
Elizabeth “Liz” Hawkins, RN
Nurses Are Calling #TimesUp on Domestic Abuse
Paul Buhle
A Caribbean Giant Passes: Wilson Harris, RIP
Mel Gurtov
A Blank Check for Repression? A Saudi Leader Visits Washington
Seth Sandronsky
Hoop schemes: Sacramento’s corporate bid for an NBA All-Star Game
Louis Proyect
The French Malaise, Now and Then
David Yearsley
Bach and the Erotics of Spring