Albany, Ny – Citizens' groups have joined forces, they rallied Thursday at the Capitol in Albany in calling for a statewide ban on hydraulic fracturing for natural gas. Capital District Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.
They chanted and carried signs bearing messages like "Save the rivers" "Fooey on Fracking" and "Same-sex couples need water too" --- a cross-section of New Yorkers representing a coalition of 47 consumer, faith, food, environmental and multi-issue advocacy organizations. They are urging New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to initiate a statewide ban of hydrofracking.
Frack Action Executive Director Claire Sandberg wonders if fracking can ever be done safely. She referenced a June 26th New York Times front-page story that cast a dark shadow on the gas industry, based on leaked e-mails from officials who questioned the economics of extracting shale gas from wells.
Last week the New York Department of Environmental Conservation released its recommendations on fracking, allowing the practice in most areas of the state outside of the New York City and Syracuse watersheds.
The activists say the public needs to be more informed about the dangers of hyrdrofracking. Rallygoers believe the Governor is being influenced by the gas industry. Wes Gillingham of Catskill Mountainkeeper warns "New York needs to have some serious fundamental questions answered about the dangers of hydro-fracturing" - the ball is now in Governor Cuomo's court: anxious activists will await his response to their letter of concern.