Lawmakers statewide call for continued ban on fracking
More than 600 ''Elected Officials to Protect New York" are calling on Governor Cuomo to extend the moratorium on fracking.
During a news conference in Buffalo's City Hall - East Aurora Deputy Mayor Elizabeth Weberg said she's skeptical of a process that injects precious clean water and chemicals underground.
Weberg said Albany can "follow other state's down a path of insanity" - or "lead the nation to a clean energy future."
"Fracking puts our quality of life, our property values, and the tourism that our businesses rely on at risk. The degradation to our land, air, and water, and the huge increase in truck traffic that accompanies hydraulic fracturing would threaten to unravel everything that so many have worked so hard to create and protect. The true costs of fracking will be borne by the communities; the energy companies will make off with their profits after providing short-term jobs, without accountability for the impacts that will emerge slowly and will be present for generations," said Weberg.
The group is also calling on Governor Cuomo to conduct further health studies and a "negative socio-economic impact study."
Buffalo Common Council members are joining the fight.
"Fracking could irreversibly damage the landscape, local economies, and environment that make New York special. As local officials, we’re concerned about the costs of fracking," said Niagara District Common Council member David Rivera.
Buffalo Councilmember Majority Leader Demone Smith noted “Buffalo was the first city in New York State and one of the first in the nation to pass a bill to ban fracking. Now we're calling on New York State to ensure that all New Yorkers are protected."
“Fracking will worsen climate change, when we're already paying for damage from stronger storms. Our communities in the Southern Tier are still recovering from Tropical Storm Lee, which caused over $1 billion in damage,” said Dominic Frongillo, Deputy Town Supervisor in Caroline. “Taxpayers are stuck paying the bill. How much more will fracking cost our towns and cities?”
State regulators have to signal a decision on hydraulic fracturing by Feb. 13th if they hope to meet an end of February deadline for finalizing proposed regulations.
“We urge Governor Cuomo to make New York a world leader by doubling down on clean energy, the energy of the future," said Rivera.