Additional musicians join “An Urgent Call to Action to Ban Fracking” multi-media event in Albany
New Yorkers Against Fracking, a coalition of diverse organizations formed in support of a fracking ban in New York State, has reached the significant milestone of 100 partner organizations in the coalition. The rapid growth of the coalition showcases the strong support among a wide range of constituencies across New York State for a ban on fracking.
New Yorkers Against Fracking sprung out of a number of organizations, which recognized the need for a broad-based coalition of New York state residents to call for a permanent ban on fracking. New Yorkers Against Fracking’s founding groups 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 and the WorkingFamilies Party as well as local grassroots anti-fracking groups and businesses. The coalition includes organizations from every part of the state. The full list of over 100 organizations can be found at: http://www.nyagainstfracking.org/about.
Recently, New Yorkers Against Fracking announced a major rally and multi-media concert experience, “An Urgent Call to Action to Ban Fracking,” to be held in front of the state capitol in Albany on May 15th. Thecoalition recently announced the additions of Meshell Ndegeocello, Marc Anthony Thompson of Chocolate Genius Incorporated, Tamar-kali, Carl Hancock Rux andlegendary John Sebastian, the latest artists to join the line up. Other musicians include: Medeski Martin & Wood, Natalie Merchant, Citizen Cope, The Felice Brothers, Joan Osborne, Tracy Bonham, Toshi Reagon, Dan Zanes, Ida, The Horse Flies, and The Ahkwesasne Women Singers. Academy Award nominated actor Mark Ruffalo and Academy Award winning actress Melissa Leo will be official hosts of the evening. All of the artists involved make New YorkState their home and are committed to keeping it fracking-free. The official rally will begin at 4:30 on The West Capitol Lawn and will be followed by the concert at The Egg: Center For Performing Arts at 7:00.
The coalition has received significant support from award-winning author, biologist and advocate Sandra Steingraber, Ph.D., who is internationally recognized for her work uncovering and understanding the ways in which chemical contaminants in the air, water, and food endanger human health. An in demand public speaker and cancer survivor, she first gained recognition with her modern classic, Living Downstream, which was recently adapted to a biographical film of the same name. Steingraber, the recent winner of the prestigious Heinz Award for her life’s work, donated a significant portion of her award to help preventfracking in New York, providing the seed money for the coalition. Sandra serves as an honorary member of the New Yorkers Against Fracking advisory committee. Joining Sandra as honorary advisory committee members are Niagara native, former Love Canal resident and founder of Center for Health, Environment and Justice Lois Gibbs and outspoken anti-fracking advocate and upstate resident and actor Mark Ruffalo, co-founder of Water Defense.
“We at Back To Democracy in Trumansburg are very proud to fully support the NewYorkers Against Fracking coalition,” said Michael Dineen of Back to Democracy. “We are delighted to see so many groups coming together to resist this threat to our growing sustainable economy and our beautiful Finger Lakes landscape, and, of course, the water that we depend on for our lives and livelihoods. New Yorkers do not want their state to be fracked, and we need to convince the politicians in Albany to hold out against the intense pressure from the oil& gas industry and make a decision that is truly in the best interest of the people of New York, and NYAF will work hard toward that goal.”
“Beacon Climate Action joined New Yorkers Against Fracking because we believe that a statewide ban on fracking is necessary to protect our health and communities,” said Amanda Means, founder of Beacon Climate Action. “Fracking would cause irreparable harm which would endanger the health, safety, and welfare of residents through the deposit of toxins into the air, soil, water, environment, and the bodies of residents. We are pleased that the Beacon City Council just joined over 100 other towns and cities by banning fracking, and now we will continue educational initiatives throughout the region and work with New Yorkers Against Fracking to get a statewide ban onfracking.”
Daniele Gerard, President of Three Parks Independent Democrats, an Upper West Side Democratic club, said, “Three Parks is delighted to be part of a such a large coalition against fracking. Working together with these dedicated organizations, we can more effectively apply endless pressure endlessly on our elected officials to ban this process in New York State that has been an ecological and health disaster in every other state. Together we can fight to convince Governor Cuomo what we all already know: there is simply no evidence to support sustained job creation, lasting financial reward to New Yorkers who lease their land, the need for an alleged ‘bridge fuel,’ or any other benefit from fracking.”
“New Yorkers Against Fracking is the uniting of New Yorkers on the front lines of fracking. United we can send a strong message to Albany that we want a long term economic plan for New York based on clean energy, tourism and healthcare. Not a five year plan that puts money only into the pockets of the oil companies and leaves our beautiful land barren,” said Heather Carlucci, Executive Pastry Chef at PRINT/The Press Lounge and co-founder, Chefs for the Marcellus.
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 ofradioactive, carcinogen-laced waste for which no fail-safe disposal optionsexist.
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.
NewYork has seen a surge of local fracking bans enacted across the state Overall, 107 municipalities have enacted bans or moratoria in New York State. Dozens of other municipalities are alsoconsidering or staging a ban or moratorium. Recently, 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.