They say that numbers don’t lie—which sure is the truth when it comes to the growing movement against industrial shale gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing.
Yesterday in Albany, well over 600 New Yorkers from across the state were out in force for the Hydrofracking Day of Action, a few hundred more than for the event in 2011. And this on the heels of last week’s final submission of comments on draft state guidelines and regulations, which early estimates put at over 40,000–more than triple than the first round of comments in 2009.
At a morning rally, the voices of celebrities, policymakers, and representatives of environmental and citizens groups rang out. Whether calling for an outright ban, stronger regulation and accountability, or alternative energy solutions, they all made their goal clear: Governor Cuomo and state leaders must do whatever it takes to protect New York’s water, air, and communities from the dangers of fracking.
Following the rally, participants dispersed for meetings with nearly every office of the Assembly and Senate, putting forth several shale gas-related bills that will be top priorities for activists and organizations during the current legislative session.
And then by the end of the day, news broke that the U.S. Energy Administration had drastically cut estimates of gas in the Marcellus Shale by 66 percent–making it seem even more reasonable for citizens not only in New York, but also nationwide, to question whether the risks of extraction are worth getting a little more gas.
As they decide how to cast their votes, New York's elected officials would be wise to do the math and make a serious and unshakeable calculation—one in which a healthy energy future is weighted far more heavily than unsafe energy development.