As Fracking Looms Over New York State, Eco-Activists Voice Dissent
- Albany, NY 02/04/2013 (WBAI)
On Monday, February 4th, the New York State Legislature held a Joint Budget Hearing on Environmental Conservation in Albany, New York.
Hundreds of activists attended the hearing to express dissent over the possibility that the legislature may begin to allow hydrofracking in the state.
Speakers at the hearing included Dr. Sandra Steingraber, Josh Fox, Mark Ruffalo, Arun Gandhi, State Senator Tony Avella and Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton. Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joseph Martens also spoke at the hearing, but failed to alleviate the concerns of anti-fracking advocates.
Martens, who was questioned by State Senators Tony Avella and Terry Gipson and Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton, said little to satisfy those who have demanded increased transparency in what has so far been a convoluted and secretive decision-making process.
Many have been frustrated with the State’s lack of public disclosure on information regarding hydrofracking. Concerns that have gone unanswered include those regarding the health and environmental impacts of hydrofracking, the potential costs to state and local municipalities from road destruction and emergency management, and the exact regulations that would go into effect should hydrofracking become legal.
Activists at the hearing marched through the corridors of the State Capitol bearing signs and chanting, "Not One Well." Following the hearing, the mass of protesters marched to Governor Cuomo’s office, where they partook in organized song and prayer as part of their demonstration against fracking. Many signed the Pledge to Resist Fracking, including Arun Gandhi, grandson to the late civil rights leader Mahatma Gandhi.
To culminate a passionate and impactful day, a large vase, containing fresh water collected from areas all over the state, was delivered directly to Governor Cuomo.
Antifrackers in Attendance at Hearing