Target: Mary Ann Sumne, Town Supervisor of Dryden, New York
Goal: Celebrate a town’s right to ban the dangerous practice of hydraulic fracking
A small town in upstate New York has taken proactive measures to prohibit the dangerous process of hydraulic fracking, and recently, the state’s Supreme Court upheld their efforts to ban the practice. The town of Dryden relies on agriculture and small farmers to boost their economy, and residents were not willing to accept the risks associated with fracking. Mary Ann Sumne, Dryden’s Town Supervisor, led the efforts to ensure the safety of town residents, wildlife, and landscape. Applaud her for standing up to the oil and gas industry’s lobbyists, and the state politicians swayed by them.
According to a recent New York Times article, fracking has not been practiced in the state since the issue arose six years ago. In 2011 officials in Dryen, along with officials in the nearby town of Middlefield, altered their zoning laws to ban the practice, claiming that it put the health and environment of their communities at risk. The State Supreme Court ruled 5 to 2 in favor of allowing the towns to ban fracking, which opens the door for other towns and cities across the state to make similar modifications to their zoning laws.
Opponents of fracking contend that it is an unsafe, environmentally destructive process. A mixture of water and toxic chemicals is injected into the ground under extreme pressure to break up shale deposits and release natural gas. The chemicals pose great risk to water supplies and soil used for farming.
Applaud Dryden’s officials for standing up to the powerful oil and gas industry. In part due to their efforts, drilling companies are fleeing the state of New York and residents and wildlife will be protected for generations to come.
Dear Town Supervisor Sumne,
I have recently learned about your efforts to ensure that the dangerous and destructive process of fracking will not be allowed in Dryden. I commend you and your colleagues for standing up to the oil and gas industry on behalf of local residents, wildlife, and the environment.
As you are well aware, hydraulic fracking poses great risk to our landscape and its inhabitants. In making a decision about the risks involved, the New York State Health Department’s officials have not been forthcoming about their investigation. Oil and gas industry lobbyists have seemingly influenced them, as well as several state politicians.
I applaud your efforts to take proactive steps to ensure the well-being of your town.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Richard Webb via Geograph