Anti-frackers Rally at NYS Capitol

Feb 6, 2013

Queens Democratic Senator Tony Avella (GASLAND director Josh Fox behind his right shoulder) joins demonstrators on the Million Dollar Staircase at the State Capitol in Albany.
Credit WAMC (Dave Lucas)

Hundreds of anti-fracking advocates gathered Monday at the State Capitol to rally against the gas drilling process.

Gasland director Josh Fox, Actor Mark Ruffalo and Arun Ghandi, the grandson of Mahatma Ghandi had been with  rallygoers outside a hearing room at the state Capitol, where Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens was questioned regarding his agency's proposed 2013-14 budget.

When the meeting was over, the crowd of activists moved to the Million Dollar Staircase.

Queens Democratic Senator Tony Avella, actor-activist Mark Ruffalo  and  movie director Josh Fox took jabs at New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. 

Chenango County resident Logan Adsit is the mother of a one-year old child and founder of the newly-formed anti-fracking network "Save the Southern Tier." Adsit claims more than 6-thousand residents have signed a pledge against fracking,promising that should hydraulic fracturing be permitted, they will participate in civil disobedience and other non-violent acts of protest.

Arun Gandhi, the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, signed the pledge and urged New Yorkers to carry on their "fight for justice" against "corporate greed."  

A Siena Research Institute poll released Monday says that in the Southern Tier region where drilling would  most likely start, 48 percent opposed and 47 percent favored lifting the ban. Statewide the vote was split.  Governor Cuomo has repeatedly said that any decision on whether to allow fracking will depend on if science shows it can be done safely.

The DEC's Joe Martens expects to get a report from Health Commissioner Nirav Shah in "a few weeks."  The agency has a Feb. 27 deadline to complete fracking regulations or let them expire. But a decision on fracking is anticipated by February 13th due to regulatory issues.