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October 4th, 2012

Fracking Update: New York

By Seth Gladstone

Finally, after many months of organizing, rallying, phoning, e-mailing, marching, screaming and shouting, participants in the ever-expanding grassroots movement to ban fracking in New York have reason to take a deep breath and smile. They’ve scored a small victory against Governor Cuomo’s steady push to introduce the dangerous drilling method to the state, and forced him to step back and recalibrate his approach.

In recent days, due to intense and mounting pressure from a wide anti-fracking coalition of consumer, labor, business, environmental, faith and community groups, the Cuomo administration announced that it would undertake a new health review of fracking before making any final decisions. This new review, it appears, will push the process past a procedural deadline at the end of November and require a new public comment period to commence.

So, for the moment, a deep breath. While it seemed just a few months ago that Governor Cuomo was ready to carve a vast fracking sacrifice zone throughout the state’s Southern Tier, the immense pressure placed upon him – in the streets, on the airwaves, and even at the Democratic National Convention – has forced a rightful second-guessing of fracking by the governor. All of which buys the anti-fracking movement more time to energize, strategize, mobilize and activate anew against the still-looming threat that continues to cloud New York’s future.

After all, it seems quite evident that Governor Cuomo is still searching for the path of least resistance to fracking in New York State. He stated himself that the new health review is “no step back” and was meant simply to provide “a more defensible” plan for fracking by better insulating the decision from potential legal challenges. Make no mistake: Cuomo is still seriously considering fracking in New York, and the fight continues for all those opposed to his anti-sustainability, anti-renewables, anti-environment, anti-health and anti-progressive agenda.

But it’s certain now that the governor is feeling the heat from activists, much as our world will continue to feel the heat from deepening climate change as a result of fossil fuel energy reliance, which fracking for natural gas only perpetuates. A new issue brief from Food & Water Watch details how fracking is playing a large and expanding role in climate change and the global water crisis that is sure to ensue if existing fossil fuel trends are not altered significantly.

The eyes of the world remain on the evolving fight over fracking in New York. For the many who are committed to banning the dangerous practice in the state, it’s a moment to step back, take a deep breath, share encouragement with allies, and get back to work. The fight continues.

Help keep the pressure on Governor Cuomo by signing our petition and letting him know you won’t tolerate fracking in New York State.

One Comment on Fracking Update: New York

  1. Kayla Conroy says:

    Ban Fracking In NY

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