Environmentalists voice concern about state's energy plan

Feb 25, 2014

Local environmental activists are calling on Governor Andrew Cuomo to "move away from dirty and dangerous fossil fuels" in order to meet goals contained in a state energy plan.

About 30 people from the groups rallied outside a public hearing at UB Tuesday on the state's Draft Energy Plan, which presents Governor Cuomo's vision on how the state will produce, transport and consume energy over the long-term. 

Environmental activists gathered Tuesday to make their voices heard on the state's energy plan.
Credit Chris Caya/WBFO News

Rita Yelda with Food and Water Watch and the Western NY Drilling Defense says the plan is faulty in a number of areas and does residents a "disservice."

"It sets emission caps but it also says that New York State will have expanded natural gas production by 2030, and really the only way that that could happen is if New York State permits high-volume horizontal fracking. So it almost paves the way for fracking in New York State as opposed to creating realistic renewable energy goals," Yelda said.

Yelda says the controversial natural has extraction method of hydrofracking contaminates air, land, and water and has wide-ranging health impacts.

The governor has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in New York 80 percent by 2050. To meet that goal, the environmental activists say Cuomo should reject fracking and set New York down a path to clean renewable energy, including wind and solar.

Tuesday's hearing at the University at Buffalo was the fourth of six on the plan. Protesters Tuesday included members of New Yorkers Against Fracking, New York Public Interest Research Group, Sierra Club Niagara Group, Western NY Drilling Defense and Food & Water Watch.