Quantcast

800+ Elected Officials Urge Gov. Cuomo to Continue Fracking Moratorium

Energy

Over the past few months, Elected Officials to Protect New York—a group of more than 800 local elected officials from all 62 New York State counties—have passed resolutions in municipalities across the state urging renewed caution on fracking and touting municipal support for the growing opportunities presented by renewable energy for New York State. A group of elected officials held a press conference in Albany yesterday to release the resolutions and speak to the concerns and great opportunities before the state.

Municipalities that have already passed the resolution are the City of Albany, Town of Brighton, Village of Cooperstown, Town of Danby, Town of Otsego, Town of New Paltz, Town of Rochester, City of Syracuse, Tompkins County and Town of Ulysses, with more under way.

“Albany is thrilled to have passed the resolution,” former Albany City Councilmember Dominick Calsolaro said, “Issues such as air pollution from fracking are very serious, and the best data only lead us to conclude that fracking would put our health at risk. So long as that is the case, let’s not do it. Instead, let’s do for New York State with renewable energy and efficiency what we’ve done for this area with nanoscale technology—create a hub of research and innovative companies and jobs.”

Town of Otsego Councilmember Julie Huntsman noted why Elected Officials to Protect New York initially drafted a template resolution, saying, “The municipal resolutions were spurred by the significant increase in the body of scientific evidence showing harm from fracking over the last year and the increasing need for growth in renewable energy. The response has been very positive, a testament to New Yorkers’ commitment to ensuring a healthy, prosperous future.”

The resolutions urge Gov. Cuomo (D-NY) to continue the state's moratorium on fracking and to continue and increase investment in renewable energy and efficiency.

Among the speakers at the Albany press conference was Lou Allstadt, a trustee of the Village of Cooperstown and former Mobil Oil Corporation executive vice president, who said, “New York has wasted years hoping that gas drilling would bail out the economy. That is not going to happen. It is time for New York to make a serious commitment to installing our own renewable energy supply systems and to find a way to lead in the manufacture and export renewable energy components and equipment.”

The resolutions point to increasing evidence of water contamination, air pollution and a range of other health and environmental harms from fracking. They also note that the oil and gas industry's economic and jobs projections from fracking have been significantly exaggerated, and that fracking poses some potentially significant economic costs including road damage, property value declines, and increased crime rates and social impacts.

Greg Young, City of Gloversville Supervisor, noted the contrast between potential jobs from fracking versus significant investment and subsequent growth in jobs in renewable energy, saying, "Fracking job numbers don't hold up in reality and they largely go to out-of-state workers, and drilling and fracking jobs have proven themselves to be deadly. In contrast, with renewable energy, we can utilize our strong research universities to create opportunities for our youth here in New York and bring innovative companies into our state—particularly as solar, wind and efficiency technologies make such tremendous strides.”

In contrast, the resolutions point to the bright opportunities presented by investment and growth in renewable energy, noting the municipalities' eagerness to advance such initiatives. For example, the resolutions note the growing success of the New York Sun initiative, growth in electric vehicle charging stations and growing potential for new energy efficiency programs.

"Given critical and alarming data emerging each week, it's clear from the existing science that fracking poses a very real danger to our health and water,” said Syracuse City Councilor-at-Large Jean Kessner. “That's why we feel so strongly that the state must maintain the moratorium until and unless comprehensive, cumulative studies are completed and it's proven that fracking can be done safely. To date, there's only significant evidence to the contrary."

"We see clearly the importance of creating a thriving renewable energy future, and New York State is poised to invest in renewables and become a leader in the nation, creating good, long-term jobs for our youth here at home," said New Paltz Town Supervisor Susan Zimet.

Of note, independent analyses have found that fracking job numbers are exaggerated, a recent investigation found high rates of mortality and severe injury, and OSHA and NIOSH have issued hazard alert warnings for workers given dangerous exposure to silica sand and dust.

“New York’s strength lies in our agriculture, tourism, small businesses, breweries and wineries, and high quality of life tied to real estate values,” said Town of Rochester Supervisor Carl Chipman. “Advancing renewable energy builds on these assets, which we should and must do.”

--------

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

3 Fracking Facts Gov. Perry Forgot to Mention

Pennsylvania's Top Papers Ignore Controversial 'Forced Pooling' Fracking Law

Case Studies Show How Shale Boom Hurt Health and Infrastructure of Four Communities

-------- 

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Electric cars recharge at public charging stations. Sven Loeffler / iStock / Getty Images Plus

By Ben Jervey

Drivers of electric cars are being unfairly punished by punitive fees in several states, according to a newly published analysis by Consumer Reports. Legislators in 26 states have enacted or proposed special registration fees for electric vehicles (EVs) that the consumer advocacy group found to be more expensive than the gas taxes paid by the driver of an average new gasoline vehicle.

Read More Show Less
A plastic bag sticks to a wire fence in a remote location in the Mourne Mountains, co Down, Northern Ireland. Dave G Kelly / Moment / Getty Images

Ireland is ready to say goodbye to plastic cutlery, plastic balloon sticks and grocery items wrapped in plastic as a way to drastically reduce the amount of waste in Irish landfills, according to the Ireland's national broadcaster, RTE.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
This 1910, power plant, with the U.S. Capitol in the background, is owned by Congress and is the only coal-burning facility in a city that repeatedly violates Clean Air standards. Jahi Chikwendiu / The Washington Post / Getty Images

By Oliver Milman

Two-thirds of Americans believe climate change is either a crisis or a serious problem, with a majority wanting immediate action to address global heating and its damaging consequences, major new polling has found.

Read More Show Less
Organic carrots and radishes at a farmers' market. carterdayne / iStock / Getty Images Plus

By Brian Barth

There's something of a civil war brewing in the organic movement.

Read More Show Less
Volunteers participate in 2018's International Coastal Cleanup in (clockwise from top left) the Dominican Republic, Ghana, Norway and Washington, DC. Ocean Conservancy / Gabriel Ortiz, David Kwaku Sakyi, Kristin Folsland Olsen, Emily Brauner

This coming Saturday, Sept. 21 is the International Coastal Cleanup (ICC), the annual Ocean Conservancy event that mobilizes volunteers in more than 100 countries to collect litter from beaches and waterways and record what they find.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Students hold a Youth Strike for Climate Change Protest in London, UK on May 24. Dinendra Haria / SOPA Images / LightRocket via Getty Images

The New York City public schools will allow their 1.1 million students to skip school for Friday's global climate strike, The New York Times reported Monday.

Read More Show Less
The 16-year-old Swede Greta Thunberg speaks during her protest action for more climate protection with a reporter. Steffen Trumpf / picture alliance / Getty Images

By Mark Hertsgaard and Kyle Pope

It's been 30 years since Bill McKibben rang the warning bells about the threat of man-made climate change — first in a piece in The New Yorker, and then in his book, The End of Nature.

Read More Show Less
At the International Motor Show (IAA), climate protestors are calling for a change in transportation politics. © Kevin McElvaney / Greenpeace

Thousands of protestors marched in front of Frankfurt's International Motor Show (IAA) on Saturday to show their disgust with the auto industry's role in the climate crisis. The protestors demanded an end to combustion engines and a shift to more environmentally friendly emissions-free vehicles, as Reuters reported.

Read More Show Less