Fracking Accident in Wyoming Leads 67 People To Evacuate Their Homes

New Yorkers Against Fracking Calls on New York Leaders To Ban Unsafe Process

In response to the news that a Chesapeake Energy well was leaking gas that was at risk of explosion, leading to the evacuation of 67 people, New Yorkers Against Fracking issued the following statement from John Armstrong of Frack Action:

“This kind of tragedy is all too common with the fracking process and companies like Chesapeake.

“It’s just one more example why Governor Cuomo and the New York State Legislature need to protect New York’s communities from the unacceptable dangers of fracking.

“Chesapeake Energy, which holds a tremendous amount of leases in New York State, has built up a long list of spills, disasters, blowouts, and violations across the country, while continuing to tout that fracking is safe. Yesterday’s disaster in Wyoming is yet another example of why a vast majority of New Yorkers want a ban on fracking in New York. This follows the Senate forum on fracking, where dozens of scientists, experts, and citizens made adecisive case based on the science and facts that fracking cannot be done without sacrificing our health, environment, and economy. Governor Cuomo needs to see that fracking would create the greatest health and environmental disaster in New York’s history, and that if he breaks it, he owns it.”

About New Yorkers Against Fracking

New Yorkers Against Fracking, a new coalition of diverse organizations that support a fracking ban, are joining together to tell Governor Cuomo and ourleaders in Albany to stand up for New Yorkers to keep our water and our state safe by banning hydrofracking.

Founding members of New Yorkers Against Fracking include statewide and national organizations like Citizen Action of New York, New York State Breast Cancer Network, Food & Water Watch, Catskill Mountainkeeper, Frack Action, Water Defense, the Working Families Partyjoining with local grassroots anti-fracking groups and business in each part of the state such as Brewery Ommegang, Frack-Free Catskills and FingerlakesClean Waters Initiative and many more. The full list of over 80 organizations can be found at: http://www.nyagainstfracking.org/about.

Sandra Steingraber, Ph.D., author, biologist, advocate and recent winner of the prestigious Heinz Award for her life’s work, donated a significant portion of her award to help prevent fracking in New York – providing the seed money for this effort.  Diagnosed with cancer in her youth, Steingraber is a central voice in the fight against fracking and hasdevoted her career to understanding the ways in which chemical contaminants in air, water and food endanger human health.

Sandra will serve as an honorary member of the New Yorkers Against Fracking advisory committee. Joining Sandra as honoraryadvisory committee members will be Niagara native, former Love Canal resident and founder of Center for Health, Environment and Justice Lois Gibbs and outspoken anti-fracking advocate, upstate resident and actor Mark Ruffalo.

About Hydraulic Fracking:

High volume hydraulic fracturing, combined with horizontal drilling, involves pumping millions of gallons of water, chemicals and sand underground to extract natural gas from shale bedrock.  Multiple studies show how inherently dangerous it is. Most New Yorkers are wary of fracking. A recent Marist poll found a majority of New Yorkers oppose legalizing fracking due to its potential to contaminate New York’s watersheds with carcinogens and other toxicants.

With or without regulations in place, fracking is a menace to public health.  It lays down blankets of smog, fills roadway with trucks hauling hazardous materials, sends sediment into streams, and generates immense quantities of radioactive, carcinogen-laced waste for which no fail-safe disposal options exist.

Since fracking began in states outside of New York, there have been more than a thousand reports of water contamination. New studies link fracking-related activities to contaminated groundwater, air pollution, illness, death and reproductive problems in cows, horses and wildlife, and most recently human health problems. A recent study from the Colorado School of Public Health found that those living within a half-mile of a natural gas drilling site faced greater health risks than those who live farther away.

New York has seen a surge of local fracking bans enacted across the state.  Overall, 107 local jurisdictions have enacted bans or moratoria in New York State.  Seventy-one municipalities are also considering or staging a ban or moratorium. In the past few weeks,Buffalo, the second largest city in New York, and Niagara Falls both passed resolutions calling for Governor Cuomo and the state legislature to pass a statewide ban on fracking.

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