Activism Matters, LTE to Albany Times Union, published Jun 2, 2018

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Activism matters. Global Companies has just abandoned its five-year effort to get the state permit that would enable it to operate a heating facility that could have handled Canadian tar sands. New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation had refused to issue the permit, first based on insufficient information, and later based on a reversal of its initial conclusion that there would be no adverse environmental impact from the facility.

Global’s cessation of legal action is clearly based, in part, upon strong opposition to its proposal — from DEC itself to Albany County to the Ezra Prentice Homeowners Association to environmental organizations including the Sierra Club, the Center for Biological Diversity, Scenic Hudson, Riverkeeper, Environmental Associates of New York, and Food & Water Watch. Each of these entities protested the expansion of harmful fossil fuel production and transportation. And their actions made a difference.

Of course, we now must remain vigilant to protect this great environmental victory. Global will not appeal DEC’s failure to approve the facility but retains the right to reapply to handle an indeterminate number of gallons of oil at Albany’s port, albeit without a heating facility. The named groups and all of the individuals who participated in this effort need to remain alert and ready to do what’s necessary to succeed again.

NOTE: As a volunteer for Food and Water Watch , I’ve been submitting letters to the editor on its behalf on current issues. This is one that was published.

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