Wednesday, under the leadership of Speaker Sheldon Silver and Environmental Conservation Committee Chair Robert Sweeney, the New York State Assembly passed legislation to extend a two-year moratorium on the drilling practice known as "fracking."
In response, Eric Whalen, field organizer with Environment New York, issued the following statement: "Across the country, fracking is a rolling environmental disaster - contaminating drinking water, making residents sick, and transforming forests into industrial zones. Environment New York, our allies and supporters have worked hard to build momentum for a moratorium on fracking in the state. Today, the New York State Assembly acted to protect our health and the environment from the rush to drill by passing a temporary ban on fracking. Great credit belongs to Assembly Speaker Silver and Assemblymember Sweeney for working to protect our air and water from toxic drilling, as well as the Assembly members who voted in support of this legislation.
"Our elected officials have been under immense pressure from the oil and gas industry, but today they disregarded this pressure and stood up for the best interests of New Yorkers. "We've seen other states take the plunge toward dirty drilling, and now they are facing poisoned water supplies, polluted air, and families worried about long-term health problems associated with the legacy of toxic pollution that fracking will leave behind. We need to keep this dirty drilling out of New York.
"Fortunately, leadership in the New York State Assembly understands these concerns, and have acted to protect New Yorkers. Environment New York encourages the New York State Senate and Gov. Andrew Cuomo to follow suit by approving this two-year moratorium."
Environment New York is a statewide, citizen-based environmental advocacy organization.