Dear Governor Cuomo
Ban Fracking Now
Hydraulic facturing, also known as fracking, raised more debate in New York City than any other issue in recent history. Since 2005, gas companies started leasing land in New York to frack. In 2008, the Department of Environmental Conservation put fracking on hold in response to growing concerns about its environmental impact. In 2010, Governor David Paterson declared a moratorium against fracking. In 2012 it was speculated that Governor Cuomo would lift the moratorium and allow fracking to begin.
It was then that hundreds of thousands of citizens wrote letters and signed petitions calling for a ban because the public health issues that surrounded this topic were devastating and a serious threat to the well-being of future generations. As time progressed, the movement grew stronger and more people joined the cause once the harsh reality of what it could mean became evident.
As time progressed, independent polls showed that up to 70% of people were against hydraulic fracturing in the places where the drilling was to take place. Some activists started going from door in every neighborhood all across the state asking people if they agreed with what was going on and if they were aware of the consequences. They found that somewhere between 80% and 90% of citizens supported the ban.
The campaign was based on letting people know the truth. As time passed, the more people became informed and the amount of evidence against fracking increased.
Frank Ruffalo, actor and founder of Water Defense stated that all over the world social movements were springing up that gave the people a voice. The same thing was happening in New York. People started standing up for their rights to ban something that could ruin their health and their lives. Many small groups started from the grassroots level and became committed to going to Albany to lobby on their days off.
Many were aware that nobody should have to choose between getting a decent job with a decent salary and having clean water. The jobs won’t last forever, but the chemicals that contaminate the water will.
In May of 2012 a group of scientists, musicians, and activists gathered on the Governor’s steps in Albany. The intention was to use art and music to try to persuade him to join the anti-fracking majority. They didn’t approach him as Democrats or Republicans, but as citizens of New York, who love and respect the place they call home.
In December 2014, New York became the first state with significant shale gas potential to announce that it would ban fracking. The decision was finalized in June 2015, after seven years of extensive study. Watch this film now.