Dec 3 2014
State’s Enviro Groups Launch New Offensive Against Fracking
New York State by county.
Photo credit: Map of Us  via Map of Us
December 3, 2014
State’s Enviro Groups Launch New Offensive Against Fracking

Category

Energy

A coalition of New York State environmental and anti-fracking organizations is announcing the launch of the ‘Not One Well’ social media/advertising campaign today.

The groups -which include chapters of national environmental organizations like the Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defense Council- say they are calling on Governor Cuomo to “honor his commitment to listen to the science, which mandates imposing a minimum three to five year moratorium on fracking in New York State.”

The groups are citing a July, 2014 Compendium of Scientific, Medical, and Media Findings released by Concerned Health Professionals of New York, which discusses potential issues associated with high volume hydraulic fracturing. These include:

  • Air pollution
  • Water contamination
  • Inherent engineering problems that “worsen with time”
  • Radioactive releases
  • Occupational health and safety hazards
  • Noise pollution, light pollution and stress
  • Earthquake and seismic activity
  • Abandoned and active oil and natural gas wells (as pathways for gas and fluid migration)
  • Flood risks
  • Threats to agriculture and soil quality
  • Threats to the climate system
  • “Inaccurate” jobs claims, “increased” crime rates, and “threats” to property value and mortgages
  • “Inflated” estimates of oil and gas reserves and profitability
  • Disclosure of serious risks to investors
  • Medical and scientific “calls for more study and more transparency”

 

A de-facto moratorium on high volume hydraulic fracturing currently exists across New York State. Governor Cuomo has stated that he will make a decision as to whether to permit the practice by the end of the year. Cuomo has been criticized for his lack of definitive action on fracking during his first term.

The Governor’s office had previously floated the idea of allowing at least some counties in the state’s Southern Tier – Allegany, Broome, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Chemung, Delaware, Steuben, and Tioga counties- to determine independently if they wished to allow fracking. The Southern Tier lies above some of the state’s richest gas reserves.

The idea proved highly controversial and has not been pursued publicly since then.

The groups launching “Not One Well” argue that there are other ways to meet New York’s energy and economic development needs. They say there is a “growing movement of New Yorkers who support renewable energy as the long-term sustainable alternative to fracking.”

The groups plan to rally outside of the Governor’s State of the State address in January.

Member organizations of the “Not One Well” campaign include:

  • Natural Resources Defense Council
  • Sierra Club
  • Riverkeeper
  • Food & Water Watch
  • Environmental Advocates of New York
  • Frack Action
  • NYPIRG
  • Citizen Action
  • Catskill Mountainkeeper
  • Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy
  • Citizens Campaign for the Environment

 

New York State by county.
Photo credit: Map of Us  via Map of Us