Over a Thousand Businesses Across the State Call on Governor Cuomo to Reject Fracking

Business Leaders Argue Fracking Won’t Create Jobs; Will Harm Food and Water Safety and Existing NY-Based Businesses 

Click here for the full list of 1000+ Businesses for a Ban

(Albany, NY) Another group is adding its voice to the growing opposition to the plan to allow fracking in New York State. New Yorkers Against Fracking, a coalition of diverse organizations that oppose fracking, announced today that over 1,000 businesses had signed on in support of a statewide ban on fracking, joining health groups, political organizations, consumer groups, and environmental organizations.

The businesses noted that fracking had failed to create jobs in other states – with a national report showing that jobs were moving from the gas industry to the oil industry in Texas and Louisiana and West Virginia data showing that shale gas had not been a job boom – and unnecessarily put people’s health at risk. Furthermore, businesses fear that fracking will jeopardize current jobs and reduce job growth in many industries.

“The gas industry makes a lot of claims about jobs,” said Larry Bennett of Brewery Ommegang.  “But we have actually been creating jobs in upstate New York and know that fracking will make it harder for us to grow our business.”

Food industry leaders recently came out in opposition to fracking because of its detrimental effect on agriculture, food safety and water.  “This goes beyond affecting chefs, it could have a huge impact on those who live in upstate New York,” said Bill Telepan of Telepan Restaurant. “The drinking water, and the land, and the food upstate will be affected – and then all of us will be affected.”

“Our business depends on water,” said Steve Hindy of Brooklyn Brewery.  “We can’t take the chance that fracking wastewater contaminates our state’s water supplies.”

“As responsible business owners, it is imperative that we educate ourselves on the harms of fracking,” said Heather Carlucci, Chef at PRINT.   “Hydraulic fracturing, or natural gas drilling, can easily damage our water table and food sources and thus harm two of New York State’s great economic strongholds, tourism and restaurant businesses.”

“In the last two years my companies have created over 100 jobs in New York City, so I know something about job creation. This much is clear: fracking isn’t the answer to our economic woes. Study after study shows green energy creates more local jobs than fossil fuel production over the short and long term. We need a real economic development vision for all of New York that includes local agriculture, tourism, and small business support. Governor Cuomo should start working on that and keep New York safe from fracking,” said Guillaume Gauthereau, co-founder and CEO of Totsy.com and 2012 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year finalist.

“Within a generation, western New York will be the major breadbasket for the Northeast,” said Art Hunt of Hunt Country Vineyards. “We have abundant clean water, clean air and fertile soil. We cannot afford to lose precious acres to development that can harm our water and other natural resources if we hope to continue to feed this country in the future.”

Since the possibility of allowing fracking in the Southern Tier was publicly aired last month, opponents to fracking have been raising their voices.  Almost 10,000 people have emailed or called Governor Cuomo and New Yorkers Against Fracking has held rallies across the state including Rockville Center (in Senate Majority Leader Skelos’ district), Brooklyn, Poughkeepsie, Rochester, Syracuse and Albany (at the Governor’s office). Major artists, including Yoko Ono, Sean Lennon and hundreds of others, announced their opposition to fracking with the launch of Artists Against Fracking.  Just last week, the Senate Democrats held a forum on  fracking in NYC that indicated serious ethical impropriety on behalf of the NYS DEC in colluding with the gas industry, and also showed that serious health, economic, and environmental concerns have not been addressed in the DEC’s review of fracking.

Leaders of the effort at the press conference announced that the businesses pledged to continue organizing businesses throughout the summer.

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 Cornell 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, over 100 towns and counties have enacted bans or moratoria in New York State.  Almost one hundred more municipalities are also considering or staging a ban or moratorium. In recent months,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.

About New Yorkers Against Fracking

New Yorkers Against Fracking, is a new coalition of diverse organizations that support a fracking ban, are joining together to tell Governor Cuomo and our leaders 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 Party joining with local grassroots anti-fracking groups and business in each part of the state such as Brewery Ommegang, Frack-Free Catskills and Fingerlakes Clean Waters Initiative and many more. The full list of over 150 organizations can be found at: http://www.nyagainstfracking.org/members.

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 has devoted her career to understanding the ways in which chemical contaminants in air, water and food endanger human health.

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.

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