New Yorkers Celebrate One-Year Anniversary of Fracking Ban
Thursday marked the one-year anniversary of the announcement by Gov. Cuomo, the Department of Health and the Department of Environmental Conservation that New York would ban high-volume fracking given its serious public health and environmental risks.
New Yorkers and the many organizations that worked to ban fracking are reflecting on the ban that occurred one year ago and the anti-fracking movement overall, noting its importance nationally and internationally.
“I will always remember this as the day that Governor Cuomo became a climate leader and put New York at the forefront of the climate movement," actor Mark Ruffalo, advisory board member of the New Yorkers Against Fracking, said. "He listened to the science and the experts in protecting New Yorkers public health, environment and climate. He said no to dirty, dangerous fossil fuel extraction and put New York on a path to a healthy, renewable energy future. We need more governors and leaders to show that type of leadership. As the world turned its attention to the climate conference in Paris last week, the need is crystal clear to leave fossil fuels in the ground and boldly build the 100 percent renewable energy future.”
Natalie Merchant, musician and advisory board member of New Yorkers Against Fracking, agrees. “As a life-long New Yorker, I’m grateful to Governor Cuomo and the good people of New York State who worked to ban fracking," she said. "New York is a precedent setting state and what happens here is felt across the country and around the world. On this one year anniversary of the fracking ban, we should all be proud to be New Yorkers.”
Since the ban, more and more science has shown that it was the right decision. Following the UN climate conference in Paris, leaders and groups note the significance of Gov. Cuomo and New York’s climate leadership in keeping fossil fuels in the ground and scaling up renewable energy. Groups also highlight that Maryland followed New York’s lead as well as various communities and other countries including Ireland, where today a fracking ban bill is being introduced in the Irish Parliament.
“People across Ireland are looking to New York’s ban on fracking and Governor Cuomo’s leadership as we work to follow their lead by banning fracking," Dr. Aedin McLoughlin, director of Good Energies Alliance of Ireland, said. "We hold New York State very dear to our hearts, and as we face the threat of fracking we are so thankful for New York’s ban. Governor Cuomo and New York’s anti-fracking movement have inspired a fracking ban bill that is being introduced today in the Irish Parliament.”
Maryland followed New York’s lead in early 2015 by passing a two and a half year moratorium on fracking. More and more, health experts and citizens are calling on the legislature and the governor to turn the moratorium into a ban. A renewed effort and rapidly growing movement in Pennsylvania, including the coalition Pennsylvanians Against Fracking, is calling on Pennsylvania Gov. Wolf to stop fracking in light of New York’s findings, evidence of serious health impacts, hundreds of cases of water contamination and a range of other problems.
The campaign to ban fracking in California has seen immense growth as Gov. Jerry Brown has faced mounting pressure to follow Gov. Cuomo’s lead. Communities in a number of states have taken actions to ban fracking. Internationally, Ireland has embraced a moratorium on fracking and is pursuing a health review inspired by New York’s. In a watershed moment, Lancashire, England denied fracking.
“New York State’s fracking ban has inspired and empowered local citizens’ groups and elected officials across the nation and around the world to ban fracking," Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch, said. "Maryland and hundreds of communities have taken action to stop fracking, and momentum to stop fracking everywhere is quickly growing. In California, citizens are demanding a fracking ban and calling out Governor Jerry Brown for promoting himself as an environmental climate leader while increasing drilling and fracking in the middle of a drought and climate crisis. It’s time for Governor Brown and others to follow the leadership of Governor Cuomo and New York State and ban fracking now!”
The groups noted that the scientific evidence that has emerged in the past year further shows that the decision to ban fracking was right. In the first six months of 2015, more than 100 new peer-reviewed studies came out, overwhelmingly showing risks and adverse impacts.
This October, the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Physicians for Social Responsibility partnered with Concerned Health Professionals of New York to release the third edition of the Compendium of Scientific, Medical, and Media Findings Demonstrating Risks and Harms of Fracking, which demonstrates that the evidence is increasingly revealing more and worse risks and harms from fracking.
In a letter to President Obama and the Surgeon General, Physicians for Social Responsibility and Concerned Health Professionals of New York pointed to New York State’s leadership and urged them to acknowledge the health impacts, and urged other state’s governors to stop fracking.
“Governor Cuomo and his Administration rightly followed the science and protected public health by banning fracking," Larysa Dyrszka, MD, of Concerned Health Professionals of NY, said. "A year later, well over a hundred more studies continue to reveal impacts includinginfant health issues and increased hospitalization rates. The ban on fracking is an example of excellent public policy based on science, which more governors and governments should follow.”
In the past year, the anti-fracking movement has focused on a number of issues, including: advancing renewable energy through local solar programs, engaging in the REV proceedings, and advocating for state policies. Many have worked to stop a range of gas infrastructure projects including the Port Ambrose LNG facility which Gov. Cuomo vetoed, pipelines, compressor stations and gas storage, all of which pose various threats to public health and safety. Many have worked tirelessly to help residents affected by fracking in Pennsylvania, stop fracking and address climate change nationally, while also aiding international efforts. Notably, New York helped to inspire and build the national anti-fracking movement, which is getting bigger and stronger. The Americans Against Fracking coalition has delivered more than 600,000 comments calling for a ban of fracking on public lands.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
A "trash tsunami" has washed ashore on the beaches of Honduras, endangering both wildlife and the local economy.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
More long-finned pilot whales were found stranded today on beaches in Tasmania, Australia. About 500 whales have become stranded, including at least 380 that have died, the AP reported. It is the largest mass stranding in Australia's recorded history.
- Annual Whale Slaughter Still a Tradition on the Faroe Islands ... ›
- Hundreds of Pilot Whales Die in Devastating Mass Stranding in New ... ›
- Green Group Tests Facebook With Ad Claiming Conservatives Back ... ›
- Illegal Wildlife Trade Thrives on Facebook, Internet Forums ... ›
- Facebook Loophole Allows Climate Deniers to Spread Misinformation ›
- Facebook Hires Koch-Funded Climate Deniers for 'Fact-Checking ... ›
By Harry Kretchmer
By 2030, almost a third of all the energy consumed in the European Union must come from renewable sources, according to binding targets agreed in 2018. Sweden is helping lead the way.
Sweden is a world leader in renewable energy consumption. Swedish Institute/World Bank
Naturally Warm<p>54% of Sweden's power comes from renewables, and is helped by its geography. With plenty of moving water and 63% forest cover, it's no surprise the <a href="https://sweden.se/nature/energy-use-in-sweden/#" target="_blank">two largest renewable power sources</a> are hydropower and biomass. And that biomass is helping support a local energy boom.</p><p>Heating is a key use of energy in a cold country like Sweden. In recent decades, as fuel oil taxes have increased, the country's power companies have turned to renewables, like biomass, to fuel local 'district heating' plants.</p><p>In Sweden these trace their <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360544217304140#fig3" target="_blank">origins back to 1948</a>, when a power station's excess heat was first used to heat nearby buildings: steam is <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/engineering/district-heating-system" target="_blank">forced along a network of pipes</a> to wherever it's needed. Today, there are around 500 district heating systems across the country, from major cities to small villages, providing heat to homes and businesses.</p><p>District heating used to be fueled mainly from the <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360544217304140" target="_blank">by-products of power plants</a>, waste-to-energy plants and industrial processes. These days, however, Sweden is bringing more renewable sources into the mix. And as a result of competition, this localized form of power is now the country's<a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360544217304140#fig3" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"> home-heating market leader.</a></p>
Sweden is using smart grids to turn buildings into energy producers. Huang et al/Elsevier
Energy ‘Prosumers’<p>But Sweden doesn't stop at village-level heating solutions. Its new breed of energy-generation takes hyper-local to the next level.</p><p>One example is in the city of Ludivika where 1970s flats <a href="https://www.buildup.eu/sites/default/files/content/transforming-a-residential-building-cluster-into-electricity-prosumers-in-sweden.pdf" target="_blank">have recently been retrofitted with the latest smart energy technology</a>.</p><p>48 family apartments spread across 3 buildings have been given photovoltaic solar panels, thermal energy storage and heat pump systems. A micro energy grid connects it all, and helps charge electric cars overnight.</p><p>The result is a cluster of 'prosumer' buildings, producing rather than consuming enough power for 77% of residents' needs. With <a href="http://www.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:1232060/FULLTEXT01.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">high levels of smart meter usage</a>, it's a model that looks set to spread across Sweden.</p>
<div id="d7bf9" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="8757b138d5570bec9d6aad18074a429a"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1273556364263071744" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">Read more about Western Harbour and book a visit: https://t.co/ujSmVs9rNK 🏡🌳🌊 https://t.co/C5PuPziqIM</div> — Smart City Sweden (@Smart City Sweden)<a href="https://twitter.com/SmartCitySweden/statuses/1273556364263071744">1592474473.0</a></blockquote></div>
Scaling Up<p>A recent development by E.ON in Hyllie, a district on the outskirts of Malmö, southern Sweden, <a href="https://www.eonenergy.com/blog/2019/February/sweden-smart-city" target="_blank">has scaled up the smart grid principle</a>. Energy generation comes from local wind, solar, biomass and waste sources.</p><p>Smart grids then balance the power, react to the weather, deploying extra power when it's colder or putting excess into battery storage when it's warm. The system is not only more efficient, but bills have fallen.</p><p>Smart energy developments like those in Hyllie, Ludivika, and renewable-driven district heating, offer a radical alternative to the centralized energy systems many countries rely on today.</p><p>The EU's leaders have a challenge: how to generate 32% of energy from renewables by 2030. Sweden offers a vision of how technology and local solutions can turn a goal into a reality.</p>
- Sweden to Become One of World's First Fossil Fuel-Free Nation s ... ›
- These Countries Are Leading the Transition to Sustainable Energy ... ›
- Sweden Shuts Down Its Last Coal Plant Two Years Early - EcoWatch ›
By Jessica Corbett
In another win for climate campaigners, leaders of 12 major cities around the world — collectively home to about 36 million people — committed Tuesday to divesting from fossil fuel companies and investing in a green, just recovery from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
- Oxford Endowment Ditches Fossil Fuels in 'Historic' Decision ... ›
- Fossil Fuel Divestment Debates on Campus Spotlight Societal Role ... ›
- London and New York Mayors Call on Other World Cities to Divest ... ›