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Indian Summer

Jewish summer camp drilling drama heats up

Stephanie Butnick
November 16, 2011

Earlier this week, Rabbi Marla Feldman spoke at a press conference outside Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office at the request of Jews Against Hydrofracking, a group that opposes the underground drilling process known as fracking. “Dumping radioactive waste into our rivers and streams, into the Delaware, that is not kosher,” Feldman said, referring to an upcoming meeting, which Cuomo is attending, to discuss drilling permits near the Delaware river.

Andrew Silow-Carroll writes that the Jewish group was partly moved to action by this summer’s news that four Jewish summer camps had signed exploratory leases with gas companies that may lead to actual drilling pending the outcome of meetings between the governors of New York, New Jersey, and Philadelphia.

The website of Jews Against Hydrofracking speaks to the concerns raised by these meetings: “As you may know, several Jewish summer camps have signed leases to allow drilling on their land. The water supplies of 15 million people in the Northeast will be at risk if the Delaware River is polluted by drilling waste. Bans on hydrofracking have been proposed in New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio. Important decisions about hydrofracking will be made in the coming year.”

Stephanie Butnick is chief strategy officer of Tablet Magazine, co-founder of Tablet Studios, and a host of the Unorthodox podcast.