Uphold the Fracking Ban in New York

Target: New York Governor Mario Cuomo

Goal: Uphold the statewide ban on hydraulic fracturing

After a moratorium of just over two years, New York State is considering lifting its ban on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. A controversial means of extracting natural gas, fracking entails blasting chemical-laden water deep into the earth in order to crack shale stone. The process releases hydrocarbons to be captured and contained in a well. Fracking has been linked to numerous environmental and health concerns, including groundwater contamination, earthquakes, and the release of high amounts of methane, which contributes to global warming.

Increased use of fracking, a result of improved technology, has caused backlash from environmental groups and concerned citizens. Currently, 30 municipalities have banned gas drilling, and 80 more have enacted a moratorium in anticipation of an end to the statewide ban.

In spite of widespread opposition to lifting the ban, the New York State Department of Conservation (DEC) commissioner denied requests to conduct an independent health impact study. Instead, the state will rely on the DEC’s “Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement.”

Despite assurances of tighter regulations, fracking remains a dangerous practice. As Josh Fox, noted anti-fracking activist and producer of the documentary “Gasland,” pointed out in an article in the Albany Times Union, “The part of the gas well that they’re relying on to protect groundwater is simply cement,” which is “permeable before it sets [and] subject to cracking afterward.”

In fact, a 2003 industry report by Schlumberger, the world’s largest fracking company, and ConocoPhilips, cited well-failure rates of 60 percent over a 30-year period. Once these wells fail, they leak dangerous chemicals, like benzine and formaldehyde, into groundwater. Moreover, because they are buried thousands of feet below the earth’s surface, they are virtually impossible to repair.

In just a matter of months, the state will make its final decision on whether or not to lift the ban. In light of ongoing environmental and health concerns, and the failure of the industry to ensure the safety of its practices, New York State should maintain its moratorium on fracking. Sign the petition below and urge Governor Cuomo to uphold the ban.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Governor Cuomo,

In just a matter of months, New York will make its final decision on whether or not to lift its ban on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. In light of ongoing environmental and health concerns, and the failure of the industry to ensure the safety of its practices, New York State should maintain its moratorium on fracking.

Fracking is a dangerous, environmentally destructive process that threatens the health of New Yorkers. It has been linked to numerous environmental and health problems, including groundwater contamination, earthquakes, and the release of high amounts of methane, which contributes to global warming.

The notion of safe fracking is simply a myth. A 2003 industry report by Schlumberger, the world’s largest fracking company, and ConocoPhilips, cited well-failure rates of 60 percent over a 30-year period. Once these wells fail, they leak dangerous chemicals, like benzine and formaldehyde, into groundwater. Moreover, because they are buried thousands of feet below the earth’s surface, they are virtually impossible to repair.

Now is not the time to invest in a dangerous method of extracting a dirty, unsustainable source of energy. New York can attract innovative, high-tech jobs by focusing instead on a clean energy future.

Please help maintain upstate New York’s pristine wilderness, protect the health of New Yorkers, and focus on a clean energy future by upholding the statewide ban on fracking.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Stephen Freidt via Wikimedia Commons

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3 Comments

  1. J Davidson says:

    Fracking will destroy us as a nation and leave devastation for our future generations.

  2. Ruth Rogers says:

    Please sign this petition to help save water, air, land, food, livelihood, jobs, wilderness in New Yorkl NOT to late to sign.

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