New York Crossroads Rally

June 13th, 2013
New York Crossroads Poster

New York Crossroads Poster

On June 17 New Yorkers Against Fracking, a grassroots energy organization, is organizing a rally in Albany, NY, “calling on Governor Cuomo to reject fracking and lead  the nation in constructing a renewable energy economy here and now in New York.” Fracking, short for hydraulic fracturing, is a controversial gas extraction method that allows drillers to reach pockets of natural gas thousands of feet below the earth’s surface. In addition, the method uses millions of gallons of water mixed with hazardous chemicals that are injected into the wells to facilitate the retrieval of the gas. During the course of the process pockets of methane are freed and migrate to well openings or people’s basements and explode. Other problems include spills of the chemicals and contamination of work areas, which in turn leaches into wells and waterways. Many of these issues are well documented in such books as Tom Wilber’s Under the Surface: Fracking, Fortunes, and the Fate of the Marcellus Shale, and Seamus McGraw’s The End of Country.

According to the US Energy Information Administration,  New York State consumed four times as much energy as it produced in 2010. In the near term, fracking would appear to hold out the promise of overcoming this shortfall. However, global warming with its attendant storms has changed from a passing to a pressing concern. Even fracking proponents pitch natural gas as a “bridge” to a world someday powered by renewables. The premise of the rally in Albany is to encourage Cuomo to embrace a recent policy plan, “Examining the Feasibility of Converting New York State’s All-Purpose Energy Infrastructure to One Using Wind, Water and Sunlight,” that lays out how New York can become solely reliant on renewables by 2050. Highlights of the report may be found here.

One Response to “New York Crossroads Rally”

  1. The New Yorkers Against Fracking Crossroads rally brought together over 2,000 people from all parts of the state. The organizers sought to extend the moratorium on fracking and hoped the legislature would step up and embrace clean renewable energy. The organizers ran a tight ship: there was a great sound system, impressive array of speakers and things clicked along. Speakers like Maurice Hinchey and Debra Winger were eloquent and performers like Natalie Merchant were inspiring. All in all the event was empowering. It seems fracking cannot be produced safely. For example, at the onset of drilling six percent of all fracking sites develop contamination due to spills and bad well casings. The chances of contamination increases to 50 percent over the course of 30 years. Hence when Oren Lyons, from the Onondaga Nation, noted that water is life and that New York State is the source of 24 percent of the nation’s potable water it became abundantly clear that we truly are at a crossroads. Drilling will compromise life in NYS—and bring an end to everything we hold dear. Another speaker, Arun Gandhi, grandson of “Mahatma” Gandhi said that when the world looks to the US they focus on New York and New York State (NYS). Gandhi hoped that the battle to begin to roll back the scourge of fracking, and the turn to renewals, starts in NYS.

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