Enviro Groups Demand Fracking Ban in Albany Protest

Environmentalists opposed to natural gas drilling were out in force in Albany, NY yesterday, demanding a ban on hydraulic fracturing. (MDN wonders if they know that vertical fracking has been going on in New York State for the last 40 years with no environmental apocalypse?!)

The rally, organized by Citizens Campaign for the Environment, Catskill Mountainkeeper, Earthworks, Shaleshock and other anti-drilling organizations, was designed to bring pressure on elected representatives in Albany.

This whopper was uttered by State Sen. Tony Avella (Democrat from Queens) to the protesters, estimated to be around 600 people:

“Fracking is the most important environmental issue this state has faced in the past 100 years,” Sen. Tony Avella, sponsor of a bill to ban hydraulic fracturing, said at the rally in the Legislative Office Building next to the Capitol. “There is no possible regulation or series of regulations that can stop the one incident that pollutes our water supply for 1,000 years.”

Noting that some mainstream environmental groups have been pushing for strict regulation of fracking rather than a ban, Avella said, “Shame on you! There can be no compromise on this issue.”*

MDN has stated repeatedly that so-called “environmental” organizations, including the ones calling for strict regulations and those making noise about waiting another year or two for more (endless) studies to be completed really have another agenda—to prevent drilling from ever happening. We now have the smoking gun that an outright ban, and not safe, responsible drilling, is the real agenda for these organizations:

Rob Moore of Environmental Advocates said outside the rally that his group is one of those that has focused on strict regulation rather than a ban. By doing so, it has achieved a “de facto ban,” he said. “We’re certainly not opposed to a ban; we would support one,” Moore said. “But if we had taken a hardline black-and-white stand, we wouldn’t have been as effective.”*

These groups are saying, in essence, “Just lie and say you want really strict regulations and they’ll believe it.” In reality, it is the landowners who want strict regulations that will allow safe drilling and are the ones who really care about the environment. No landowner wants his or her own water to be poisoned or property destroyed, nor that of his or her neighbors.

Let’s hope Gov. Cuomo can see past the obfuscation of these obstructionist, less-than-truthful groups.

*Syracuse The Post-Standard (Jan 23, 2012) – Environmental groups rally in Albany for New York ban on fracking