Albany, N.Y., protest demands fracking ban
January 10, 2013
More than 1,000 people from throughout New York state converged on Albany
Jan. 9 to demand that Gov. Andrew Cuomo respond to the people and not the
natural gas corporations by immediately announcing a statewide ban against
hydraulic fracturing. The large energy companies in this state and their allies
in Albany would like to extract natural gas that is trapped in the widespread
rock formation known as Marcellus Shale through the process called hydraulic
fracturing, or fracking.
in Albany, N.Y., Jan. 9.
photo: Peter Cook
Fracking involves injecting into the shale millions of gallons of water
containing sand and a “cocktail” of highly toxic and
carcinogenic chemicals. This process creates enough pressure to shatter the
shale, keep the fractures open and release the natural gas, which is then
pumped to the surface.
So far, widespread opposition to this plan has prevented the corporations
from fracking in New York. All that could change shortly if the state’s
Department of Environmental Conservation and the governor decide to ignore the
people and the scientific evidence and implement a new set of regulations that
would allow fracking.
Based on available scientific evidence and experience in Pennsylvania,
Colorado, Wyoming, Ohio and elsewhere, fracking would cause irreparable damage
to the environment by polluting drinking water and the air by releasing methane
and radon gases and a host of other highly toxic chemicals into the
A recent study by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has
confirmed earlier findings that the rate of methane leakage from natural gas
fields would be much higher than previously anticipated. These findings
contradict the claim by the natural gas industry and their supporters that the
use of natural gas would benefit the environment.
Folk singers Pete Seeger and Natalie Merchant joined the protesters, who
made it clear that they were going to continue to “Stand up and fight
back.” The rally was organized by dozens of groups, including New Yorkers
Against Fracking, Catskill Mountainkeeper, Shaleshock and Frack Free
— Peter Cook