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Kate Sinding’s Blog

Albany Times Union Echoes Polls, Calls for Fracking Slow Down

Kate Sinding

Posted March 26, 2013 in Curbing Pollution

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We couldn’t agree more with today’s editorial in Albany’s Times Union entitled “Yes, a drilling moratorium.” And according to poll after recent poll showing a majority of New Yorkers are worried about fracking, it would seem we’re not alone.

The editorial echoes NRDC’s repeated calls for the state not to move forward before we have the science to understand what the real risks to our health are. Excerpt below:

“Whether you feel that natural gas fracking is the economic salvation of New York or an environmental disaster waiting to happen, there is one indisputable fact about it: The science is not in. Not by a long shot. And that’s why a moratorium in New York makes sense.

“State leaders who have vowed to let science guide their decision on whether to allow high-volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing could show they mean what they say by declaring that the idea is off the table at least until some serious study is done.”

This editorial is just the latest example of the tremendous support in the state for Governor Cuomo to take the time to get it right. As the Times Union writes today, regarding the recent polling: “…perhaps [New Yorkers are] finally saying what the state of New York ought to be saying: ‘Safe? Prove it. We can wait.’”

The administration would be wise to heed these calls.

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Comments

Julia WalshMar 26 2013 03:38 PM

Also important to note is how TU points out the scope of the Geisinger study and how PA residents have sadly become the lab mice of the fracking experiment... Let's remember that Marcellus Shale is up to 70 times more radioactive than other shale plays - meaning that PA residents are glowing neon lab mice to be exact.

It's time for Governor Cuomo to take the lead to end this madness and pioneer a renewable energy economy that will create the long-term, clean, sustainable jobs that New Yorkers want and deserve!

"Another recently announced study is already instructive: Geisinger Health System, which operates hospitals, clinics and an insurance program in 44 Pennsylvania counties, plans a 20-year study that will look for possible links between fracking and illnesses among its 2.6 million clients.

In effect, then, fracking is the experiment, and the people of Pennsylvania are the laboratory mice."

Jack PorterMar 27 2013 01:00 AM

Does your moratorium support also apply to Illinois? Our science isn't in either.

Kate SindingMar 27 2013 02:14 PM

Hi Jack:

Currently, there are almost no rules in place to deal with horizontal drilling and fracking in Illinois, where it is already legal, unlike New York. Anyone with $100 can get a permit to drill within days. With a lease rush already underway, the status quo is wholly unacceptable and untenable.

We are not opposed to a moratorium in Illinois. But with a regulatory bill moving forward quickly with significant political support, NRDC and many groups in Illinois felt a responsibility to sit down at the table to ensure that the regulations dealt with the known risks and dangers associated with fracking as aggressively as possible. The alternative was to let industry write their own toothless bill.

While we still do not believe that the state is prepared for fracking and do not support fracking in Illinois, we do support ensuring protections for communities and the environment to the fullest extent possible where it is already taking place.

Thanks,
Kate

Jack PorterMar 27 2013 03:32 PM

Kate,
We're not aware of any horizontal fracking already taking place in Illinois. Are you?
When asked to support a moratorium in Illinois, many legislators take the participation of NRDC and others in drafting the regulatory bill as an endorsement of moving forward with fracking, as if all the environmental issues were resolved.
It would be helpful if NRDC would clearly and publicly state its preference for a moratorium, with reasons.

Comments are closed for this post.

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Switchboard is the staff blog of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the nation’s most effective environmental group. For more about our work, including in-depth policy documents, action alerts and ways you can contribute, visit NRDC.org.

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