Advocates for Natural Gas Exploration Rally in Albany to Speak the Truth About Safe Drilling

ALBANY, NY – Landowner Coalitions from New York’s Southern Tier will hold a rally and news conference in Albany in support of the safe exploration for natural gas and to debunk the myths associated with it.

WHO: Advocates for National Gas Exploration

WHAT: Rally to say Yes to Safe Marcellus Drilling

WHERE: Lafayette Park, located on Washington Avenue, across from the NYS Capitol

WHEN: Monday, January 25, 2010

· 10 a.m.: Rally begins

· 10:30 a.m.: News conference

Busloads of landowners, business leaders and scientists will appeal to Albany lawmakers to focus on the facts about natural gas exploration in the Marcellus Shale, specifically the safe process of hydraulic fracturing. Hydraulic fracturing – or “fracking” – releases gas locked in shale by injecting pressurized fluid into the formation to shatter the rock. This process, which occurs deep underground and far from groundwater and surface water, has been performed safely in New York for decades. It will produce

efficient, abundant and environmentally clean fuel, increase New York’s energy independence and bring thousands of jobs and billions of dollars to New York.




CONTACT: Susan Oliver: or 703-216-4078

· Hank Tumilowicz: 607-334-6277

Hank, a father of four, is a second generation dairy farmer who owns a 236 acre farm with 67 milkers. The milk that comes from Charlie’s farm is known as so sanitary, pristine and pure, that his barn floors could rival even the shiniest of Martha Stewart’s pristine kitchens. His brother owns another farm nearby. Hank has spent the last two years traveling the state researching fracking and other natural gas issues so he can make an independent and educated decision about whether he would lease his land to an energy company. After consulting with experts, reading volumes of materials, and using every means possible, he feels he is fully informed and knowledgeable and believes that fracking in the Marcellus Shale can be done safely and responsibly. He would not put his life’s work, and his children’s legacy at stake otherwise. Hank’s decision is made on facts, not hearsay, unlike extremist groups, who use deception, fear, outright lies, and exaggeration to appeal to those who are not educated on the facts surrounding drilling.

· Todd Barnes: 607-764-8566 or

Todd is a stone cutter who lives, loves, works and hunts his 245 acres of land. To Todd and many other upstate NYers, their land is everything to them. It sustains them, it is their form of recreation and how they make a living. It is the most important currency. There is no amount of money or promise of any return that could make Todd sacrifice his land and his legacy. That’s why Todd’s decision to lease his land when the time is right is a powerful one. Todd is not swayed by extremist groups, nor is he carried away by the promise of get rich quick schemes. He has spent two years and countless miles on his pickup truck traveling the state and seeing for himself what the facts are surrounding drilling. He is thoroughly educated on the history, present and potential of natural gas development in the Marcellus Shale.

· Charlie Rowe: 607-334-4761 or

Charlie is a father of three daughters and the head of a five-generation farm that’s been worked in his family since 1887. Working the farm every day, is Charlie’s 83 year old dad, his brother, himself and his nephew. Charlie has taken the issue of natural gas exploration on his land extremely seriously. He has not sat back and waited for the innuendo and opinions of others to make his mind up. Like many upstate hardworking farmers, Charlie is self reliant and responsible to and for his land. He has taken two years to become steeped in the issues surrounding natural gas, and weighed the pros and cons carefully. Charlie is comfortable with the decision to lease his land to the right company at the right time. Charlie and his family intend to farm their land long after the extremists and the gas companies come and go.

And another, less typical, but very interesting person:

Richard Lasky

One of the most charming things about upstate NY is the variety of unique people populating its rolling hills and valleys. While residents differ in financial means, profession, education level, and capabilities, they share a love of the land and a sense of self-determination.

Richard Lasky has mastered many professions: from internationally trained fashion designer to an expert in the garment industry; to a stint as a chef and pastry chef; to global business titan – this gentle and talented soul with a wall full of higher education degrees could spin many a tale on the people and places he has seen. Yet while he was climbing one ladder after another, and while his career took him to almost every country in the world to live and work, he spent his entire life yearning to live in upstate New York.

Seven years ago Richard left well-heeled Westchester and Manhattan behind and bought a 380-acre farm in Norwich, New York. Today he lives alongside his perennial, Japanese, orchid and vegetable greenhouse and outside gardens, his beloved animals, amidst his own personal forest. In every sense of the word, Richard is a true environmentalist who loves the land and the life for which he has fought so hard.

When the potential of exploration in the Marcellus Shale became a reality, Richard sprang into action. After hundreds of hours of educating himself on gas drilling, he feels strongly that the environment and the water supply will not be harmed. And he feels equally as strongly that the amount of good that can come from the accompanying economic development will make safe drilling the saving grace to a society that has no means of support any longer.

He feels that people have been lost amidst the frantic rush to focus on the environment. People should be respected and considered as valuable elements of the environment. People need safe air and water. And they also need means to rise from poverty, access to medical care, jobs, and the promise of a future. A means of cleaner energy, economic development that is safe and reasonable – and economic prosperity for the individuals, the counties and the states has to be prioritized and recognized as a safe way to generate revival in a forgotten place.

Having once lived downstate and in New York City, Richard is plainly aware of the benefits this development would bring to New York City – which would be enormous if the state budget could be balanced and the painful budget cuts restored.

Reach Richard Lasky at: or at 607-334-2051

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