Cuomo, at DNC, Can't Escape Calls From New Yorkers to Bar Hazardous Gas Fracking
Posted: 09/06/2012 3:13 pm
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is in Charlotte today for the Democratic National Convention; he delivered an aggressive speech this morning to his state's delegation, sharply criticizing the Republicans. But even in far-away Charlotte, Cuomo can't avoid the growing chorus back home calling on him to reject the controversial natural gas extraction process of hydraulic fracking.
While Cuomo's Administration has delayed its final decision, it signaled in June that it was preparing to allow fracking in five counties in the southwest part of the state. A strong grassroots citizens coalition is growing in those counties and across New York state, concerned that fracking -- which pumps massive amounts of chemically-treated water underground -- may contaminate air and water and make local residents worse off.
Today the advocacy group Food & Water Watch, joined by scores of New York and other groups, published a full-page ad in the Charlotte Observer pointedly warning Cuomo, a potential future presidential candidate,"IF YOU FRACK NEW YORK, THE GROWING NATIONWIDE MOVEMENT TO STOP FRACKING WILL REMEMBER IN 2016."
Last week Yoko Ono, Paul McCartney, Lady Gaga, Alec Baldwin and many other performers launched Artists Against Fracking to tell Cuomo that fracking is "a danger to New Yorkers." Meanwhile some town officials and landowners in southwest New York wrote to Cuomo urging him to promptly approve fracking, while seeming to acknowledge that continued public debate and citizen organizing on the issue might hurt their cause:
[T]he delay is only empowering opponents, some of whom have now taken to civil disobedience and other disruptive acts. While everyone supports the right of people to express their views, we see a situation where opponents are distorting the facts and trying to impose their views of what is right in our community.