Environmental White Paper-Hydraulic Fracturing

Click here for Playbook’s Environmental White Paper – Hydraulic Fracturing  (Hydrofracking)

Syracuse, New York, is located in Onondaga County, where I grew up skiing, hiking, golfing, swimming and water skiing in the magnificent Finger Lakes region of the state.  I spent my summers playing on and around Skaneateles Lake, which was formed by glacier movement millions of years ago. It is one of the cleanest lakes in the world and provides unfiltered drinking water to millions of New Yorkers.

I love the outdoors and embrace the Iroquois’ philosophy of Seven Generation Sustainability, which states, “In every deliberation, we must consider the impact on the seventh generation… even if it requires having skin as thick as the bark of a pine.” The Constitution of the Iroquois Nations: The Great Binding Law.

Long before the first settlers sailed from Europe to escape the tyranny of monarchies, the Iroquois people had already established a working governmental system – a confederacy. In fact, the United States of America’s founding fathers modeled our governmental system (which is actually a republic not a democracy) after the Iroquois Confederacy.  The original language that refers to the modern term, “Seven Generation Susatainability” was written in the The Constitution of the Iroquois Nation called, “The Great Binding Law,” and it states:

In all of your deliberations in the Confederate Council, in your efforts at law making, in all your official acts, self-interest shall be cast into oblivion. Cast not over your shoulder behind you the warnings of the nephews and nieces should they chide you for any error or wrong you may do, but return to the way of the Great Law which is just and right. Look and listen for the welfare of the whole people and have always in view not only the present but also the coming generations, even those whose faces are yet beneath the surface of the ground – the unborn of the future Nation.”

The Onondaga Nation’s Chief, Oren Lyons, wrote, “We are looking ahead, as is one of the first mandates given us as chiefs, to make sure and to make every decision that we make relate to the welfare and well-being of the seventh generation to come. . .” We ask, “What about the seventh generation? Where are you taking them? What will they have?” [1]

In 2011, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognized Onondaga County and the City of Syracuse as top 10 green community.  It was during this time-period, I was earning an MBA, with a certification in Building Sustainable Enterprise from USF, and the issue of Hydraulic Fracturing in Upstate New York was beginning to heat up.  To learn more about the hydraulic Fracturing issue in New York read my environmental white paper on Hydraulic Fracturing.



  1. An Iroquois Perspective. Pp. 173, 174 in American Indian Environments: Ecological Issues in Native American History. Vecsey C, Venables RW (Editors). Syracuse University Press, New York.