In an historic move, Governor Cuomo today announced his final decision to ban fracking in New York. The governor’s decision comes just days after several new reports on the health threats of dirty drilling – including Environment New York’s release last week of “In the Shadow of the Boom” showing how fracking would threaten the health of vulnerable populations.
“Across the country, fracking has been a rolling environmental disaster – contaminating drinking water, making residents sick, and transforming forests into industrial zones,” said Heather Leibowitz, director of Environment New York. “After listening carefully to the latest science and the voices of millions of New Yorkers, Governor Cuomo has decided to permanently protect the water, health, and environment of the Empire State from the documented damage of dirty drilling. This is what true leadership looks like.”
Although New York is currently under a de facto drilling moratorium, as of May 2013, oil and gas drilling companies had applied for permits to drill more than 270 wells that target the Marcellus or Utica shales. Most of these sites have not been permitted or drilled yet, but could be if New York lifts its moratorium on fracking.
“We have seen how dangerous gas drilling can be in other states – from harmful air and water pollution to fires, blowouts and explosions,” said Heather Leibowitz, the director of Environment New York. “This report shows that if fracking is allowed into New York, our vulnerable populations could be exposed to unacceptable risks.”
This week, Martin Sheen’s Breakthroughs program released an expose on fracking featuring Environment America, the national arm of Environment New York, to public television stations across the nation. As the debate over dirty drilling continues to mount, the Breakthroughs piece could reach as many as 60 million viewers in all 50 states.
Today, a new Environment New York Research and Policy Center report called “Fracking by the Numbers” measures the damage being done by dirty drilling across the country for the first time. The report comes as the Cuomo Administration is deciding whether to allow fracking in New York. Although many leases have been signed and are pending the state’s approval, the reportis the first study of its kind to measure the footprint of fracking damage to date—including toxic wastewater, water use, chemical use, air pollution, land damage and global warming emissions.
Under the leadership of Speaker Sheldon Silver and Environmental Conservation Committee Chair Robert Sweeney, the New York State Assembly passed legislation to extend a two-year moratorium on the dirty drilling practice known as 'fracking'.
As the deadline approaches for the Cuomo Administration to approve its proposed fracking regulations or allow them to expire, Environment New York delivered postcards from more than 25,000 New Yorkers urging the Governor to ban the dirty drilling practice. These postcards join a rapidly expanding chorus of opposition to fracking, including more than 200,000 public comments on the state's draft regulations and recent polling which shows opposition to gas drilling in upstate New York.
With Halloween just around the corner, we here at Environment New York were wondering what Governor Cuomo is planning to wear this year. Will he go to Halloween parties dressed as 'Frackenstein' to get a treat from the gas companies? Or will he choose something more responsible, like dressing up as Captain Planet to defend our air and water?
Firing a new salvo in the ongoing debate over the gas drilling practice known as fracking, Environment New York Research & Policy Center today released a report documenting a wide range of dollars and cents costs imposed by dirty drilling. As documented in The Costs of Fracking, fracking creates millions of dollars of healthcare costs from air pollution, loss of property value near drilling sites, ruined roads and infrastructure, and contaminated property. These costs are foisted upon local tax payers, property owners and municipalities.