Saturday, August 11, 2012

August 10, 2012

Fracking opponents call for DEC official's resignation

COOPERSTOWN -- A coalition of scientists and anti-fracking activists Thursday accused the state Department of Environmental Conservation of ignoring input from "independent experts" on shale gas drilling and urged Gov. Andrew Cuomo to extend the moratorium on high-volume hydraulic fracturing.

The drilling opponents, in an open letter to Cuomo, stated, "The failure to engage us in substantive discussions contradicts your repeated statement that science, facts and information will form the basis of your decision."

They also called for the resignation of Bradley Field, the DEC official who oversees the Division of Mineral Resources, saying he signed a petition "denying the demonstrable harm of climate change."

The DEC is completing its final review of hydrofracking regulations, which should be released by the end of the year, a spokeswoman for the agency said.

Those signing the letter included, among others: Lou Allstadt of Cooperstown, a retired Mobil Oil Corp. executive who oversaw the company's drilling and pipeline operations in the Western Hemisphere; Cornell University ecology professor Robert Howarth; Cornell University engineering professor Anthony Ingraffea; and Sandra Steingraber, a biologist who has researched environmental links to cancer. Also signing it was Larry Bennett, public relations manager for Brewery Ommegang in Cooperstown.