Dueling Rallies in Albany Over Cuomo’s Fracking Plan

Both anti- and pro-drillers staged rallies in Albany, NY yesterday in response to the leaked plan by the Cuomo administration to allow limited hydraulic fracturing of gas wells in five Southern Tier counties.

Perhaps two dozen anti-drilling protestors showed up outside of Gov. Cuomo’s office for their PR appearance before the cameras. An hour later, they went to stand outside of a much a larger crowd of pro-drillers who staged a press conference featuring five town supervisors who were there to say they want drilling in their townships.

"We stand here united as a coalition of over 125 groups across this great state, and we say we want a ban on fracking and we want it right now, Governor Cuomo," said Julia Walsh of New Yorkers Against Fracking.

After delivering a critical report on hydrofracking to Cuomo’s office, the protesters then headed to the Legislative Office Building, where they rallied outside of a news conference organized by the Joint Landowners Coalition of New York.

There, five town supervisors from Broome and Steuben counties spoke in favor of natural-gas drilling. They called Cuomo’s reported plan a positive step.

"We would like to see the boom come to Conklin," said Jim Finch, acting supervisor of the Broome County town. "In this regard, the thing that bothers me is that people from far outside our region want to come and dictate what happens in our local communities."*

It seems “home rule” is only a good thing (for anti-drillers) when a township decides it doesn’t want fracking. When a township supports fracking, anti-drillers don’t like home rule and call on Cuomo to ban fracking statewide. Funny how that works.

*Binghamton (NY) Press & Sun-Bulletin (Jun 15, 2012) – Cuomo evasive on state hydrofracking plan

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