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As a key February deadline closes in, residents from each of the five Southern Tier counties previously targeted as a “sacrifice zone” for fracking launched a new anti-fracking network, Save the Southern Tier. The network launched with a stern message and demand to Governor Cuomo, who the network believes has fallen prey to manipulation and misinformation about the potential for fracking in the Southern Tier.
Save the Southern Tier will amplify existing anti-fracking efforts and build and prepare to take significant action to prevent fracking. Despite major ad buys and misinformation campaigns from the gas industry, the most recent Siena Poll shows a significant majority of upstate New Yorkers are opposed to fracking (51 percent opposed versus 38 percent in favor).
The Save the Southern Tier website serves as a hub for the new anti-fracking network and social media campaigns that will be launched connecting uniting residents from across the five “sacrifice zone” counties and residents across the state who stand united with the Southern Tier in opposing fracking.
Logan Adsit of Pharsalia in Chenango County said, "I'm proud to call the Southern Tier my home and I refuse to sacrifice my health, my child's health and my community's health for the profit of multinational corporations. The Save the Southern Tier network will amplify the majority resistance that is coming out of our communities."
Gerri Wiley, a registered nurse, said, “I speak on behalf of the nearly 3000 residents in the Town of Owego in Tioga County who have signed a petition to prohibit hydraulic fracturing. Seven out of ten residents we canvassed door-to-door, a super majority, do not want fracking to occur in the Town of Owego.”
Save the Southern Tier released a letter to Governor Cuomo that serves to correct the governor’s apparent misconceptions about support for fracking in the Southern Tier. The letter states:
“We believe that you have been misinformed about fracking and the level of support in the Southern Tier. We fear that you are listening to out-of-state gas industry lobbyists and that you have been misled by the gas industry’s sophisticated misinformation campaign. These special interests have been manipulating and misinforming many to believe that the Southern Tier supports fracking. The truth is that the majority of Southern Tier residents do not want fracking.”
In their letter, residents of the Southern Tier demand:
“You owe it to us, your constituents from across the Southern Tier, to meet with us to learn our grave concerns. You must allow us to be heard ... we are New Yorkers and we believe you have a responsibility to represent our best interests and protect our well-being. We call on you to meet with us before you make a decision about fracking in New York State.”
Speakers at the press conference included residents from all five sacrificial counties across the Southern Tier, including Binghamton Mayor Matt Ryan, who spoke about the growing opposition to fracking and the concerns among residents.
“I am reassured by baring witness to the tireless resolve of a groundswell of residents choosing to stand up and peacefully but forcefully fight back against this abominable industry. Those who are fighting this are determined and resourceful,” said David Walczak, Steuben County Resident and artist.
“Gov. Cuomo needs to know that our numbers are growing as more and more citizens in this designated area learn the risks posed by the gas industry: the destruction of vast quantities of our water; the pollution of our wells and waterways with their hazardous waste; the constant air, light and noise pollution from wells, pipelines and compressor stations; and the destruction of our roads by the very heavy trucks that will make thousands of trips for each well; and most importantly, sacrificing our family's health,” said Eileen Hamlin, Southern Tier Chair of Working Families Party.
Isaac Silberman-Gorn of Citizen Action of NY said, "We have fought for years to get the truth and science out about fracking against out-of-state lobbyists and the gas industry's lies. In this light, we extend our thanks to Artists Against Fracking for their help in amplifying our voices and helping us break through the gas industry’s misinformation campaigns. We will join them in taking to social media and beyond to get the truth out about fracking and the gas industry’s horrifying practices."
Visit EcoWatch’s FRACKING page for more related news on this topic.
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