Hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” is a method in which high-pressure chemicals are injected into underground rock formations to fracture surrounding shale and release trapped natural gas. The problem is that the wastes of Hydraulic Fracturing pose great risks for public health and the environment. The water used in the process contains radioactive and toxic substances that could pollute local drinking water. Natural gas extraction has been exempted from the Clean Air Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Superfund Law and Clean Water Act and is being widely used across the United States. The fracking process produces millions of gallons of toxic, radioactive waste water every day and there is no way to treat it. After exploiting natural environments across the southwestern and southeastern US, the natural gas industry has now set their sites on Pennsylvania and New York.
On Monday April 11, environmentalist and anti-fracking activists rallied at the state capital for lawmakers to safeguard against the environmental damage in upstate NY as well as to safeguard New York City’s drinking water. Many in the gas industry have already purchased drilling rights in the Marcellus Shale region, hoping to capitalize on what’s considered the world’s second largest gas field –which spans the southern half of New York, parts of Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia. The oil & gas industry says fracking is safe and well-regulated but many opponents say no fracking way!
The Frack Action
Activists rallied against the proposed lifting this summer, of a three-year moratorium on drilling in the southwest portion of New York. Since the gas companies are exempt from disclosing the chemicals they use to perform the process, (under the Bush administration’s 2005 Energy Policy Act), the possibility of a catastrophic situation would soon affect over 15 million people lives.
While some legislatures are attempting to block the practice, pending further examination, the Independent Oil & Gas Association of New York is appealing for Gov. Andrew Cuomo to allow permitting for gas exploration, assuring that the success of the industry supported more than 2.8 million jobs in 2008 and will continue to create more jobs for the economy.
New York State residents refuse to stay quite while the money loaded industry thinks they can disregard the environment and peoples’ health.
Communities of people rose up in numbers to send a message to state legislators: don’t put short-term profits ahead of the long-term health and safety of our water and families. Groups including Food & Water Watch, United for Action, Riverkeeper, the Natural Resources Defense Council and Catskill Mountainkeeper among others are attemnpting to mobilize students, workers, health practitioners, farmers, and other New York State residents to call attention to the dangers of hydraulic fracturing and bring this practice to a halt.
If you missed the bus for Albany, you can still get in on the action. Contact your elected representatives and show them that NY State does not want Fracking – we have to speak loudly, in numbers and frequently.
Learn more about Hydraulic Fracturing and share your concerns with friends, neighbors and state leaders.
Call Governor Cuomo at (518) 474-8390
Find your Senator here
Find your Assembyperson here
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