Protesters Lobby Cuomo Against NY Fracking

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

College students from around the state concerned about the natural gas extraction process known as hydro fracking presented Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office with petitions to study the practice more carefully.

The students, organized by the New York Public Interest Research Group, gathered over 10,000 signatures from New Yorkers who are concerned about potential hydro fracking in the Marcellus Shale, which stretches across the southern tier of New York State and into the Catskills.

Brendan Woodruff, NYPIRG’s Hydrofracking Campaign Organizer, says he wants Governor Cuomo and his State Department of Environmental Conservation to conduct a “comprehensive” analysis of the potential dangers of the gas extraction process when it conducts an updated review later this year.

“The DEC has yet to prove that horizontal hydro fracking is safe,” said Woodruff.

Former Governor David Paterson issued an executive order last year to further study hydro fracking, and that order was continued by Governor Cuomo. Woodruff says a previous version of the DEC study did not look closely enough at the cumulative impacts of drilling, such as where the millions of gallons of water that’s needed will come from, and how to safely dispose of the water, which may contain potentially harmful chemicals, once the gas is extracted. He says then there’s the increasing industrialization of the predominately rural landscape and the noisy truck traffic.

Woodruff says the students also want the gas drilling companies to disclose the specific chemicals they use for the hydro fracking process. He says the recent incident in Bradford County Pennsylvania has not instilled confidence in the process. A leak of thousands of gallons of chemical laced water caused the Chesapeake Energy Company to temporarily halt the drilling. The company says there was minimal impact from the leak.

The students, chanting “no fracking way," marched through the deserted halls of the Capitol. Lawmakers are away on spring break.

They ended at the door to governor Cuomo’s suite of offices. Cuomo also was not there, he was in Westchester and New York City on Tuesday. An aid politely took the petitions.

The original date for the revised draft environmental study on hydro fracking was June 1, but a spokesman for the DEC, Michael Bopp, says the department wants to take more time to address many of the concerns that it’s received in a previous public comment period, including the worries expressed by NYPIRG. He says the revised draft will now be released sometime this summer. After that, the public will again be able to comment for at least a thirty day period, and any new concerns will be addressed.

Governor Cuomo has said that he wants to be sure that the science shows hydro fracking is safe, before issuing any permits to drill in New York.


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Comments [7]

robert spiro

I am unequivocbly opposed to fracking in ny and anywhere. It is a distinct danger to the water supply.

Nov. 16 2011 03:17 PM
Tom from NYC

Comments on this page reveal the actual problem with grassroots activism. And, news flash, it isn't groups like NYPIRG. These comments show what so-called activists think of young people today: They're sheep and they're too dumb to form an opinion. For instance, Jen form Park Slope seems to think college students are too idiotic to look at a situation critically and form an opinion, and, more importantly, a strategy. NYPIRG's Board of Directors are students and they decide what positions are taken and how to address the problems New Yorkers face. At least NYPIRG has faith in young people. I find it offensive and ageist to assume college students are so easily hoodwinked. But you insist on calling us stupid and naive and that's why your organizing fails.

Apr. 30 2011 02:29 PM
BU student

NYPIRG has attempted to take over efforts at various campuses (Binghamton, Albany) with regards to hydrofracking. They need to know this is not about NYPIRG pride, but about keeping our water drinkable.

Radioactivity stirred up into water supplies can not be safe. Period. A ban on hydrofracking is necessary and the only legitimate course of action. The door is open to NYPIRG for cooperation, not co-optation.

Apr. 28 2011 01:10 AM
Lando from NY

If you think fracking is safe check out this youtube video

Apr. 28 2011 12:36 AM
Spooky from NY

They call it fracking because rape is illegal

Apr. 28 2011 12:20 AM
marie s from brooklyn

yes. as a mother of two college students in whom I've managed to cultivate a strong love for the natural environment, I hear back from them about their experience of NYPIRG shenanigans on campuses. They've been actually undermining real grassroots groups in various ways but most of the thoughtful and involved students know what they're about.

My daughter - who has worked hard helping to build the "statewide ban" movement says it this way: "NYPIRG is a disgrace to the environmental movement".

Apr. 27 2011 11:50 PM
Jen from park slope

Leave it to NYPIRG to gather a flock of well meaning sheep and tour them through the halls of Albany in a deluded effort. I would hardly count this as an "anti" fracking. They are merely asking for more information on the chemicals and they presented Cuomo with "with petitions to study the practice more carefully." Study? They are loathe to question anything that might stir their funding, or actually win. Sad, all the more as NYPIRG is aware of the statewide movement of grassroots organizations pushing and advancing on a total BAN.

Apr. 27 2011 08:36 AM

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