Advocates on Paterson's Fracking Order
December 11th, 2010

A coalition of environmental groups are weighing in on Gov. David Paterson’s veto of the hydrofracking moratorium and his subsequent executive order putting a temporary hold on fracking until July 2011. While they praise Paterson for setting a national precedent, they say Paterson’s order leaves loopholes and is not as strong as the moratorium he vetoed.

The following statement was issued by these groups:

Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy, Citizens Campaign for the Environment, Catskill Mountainkeeper, Delaware Riverkeeper Network, EARTHWORKS Oil & Gas Accountability Project, Earthjustice, Environmental Advocates of New York, Frack Action, Hudson Riverkeeper, Natural Resources Defense Council, Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation, and Sierra Club-Atlantic Chapter:

Governor Paterson has signaled that he understands fracking is a dangerous process that poses serious health and environmental threats. The moratorium makes New York the first state to insist on protecting the health and safety of its citizens and drinking water, before allowing drilling to proceed. Unfortunately, Governor Paterson issued this order while simultaneously vetoing a stronger bill passed by overwhelming bipartisan majorities in the New York State Senate and Assembly.

Unlike the moratorium bill, the Executive Order does not protect against the dangers of all fracking wells, but allows so-called vertical wellsexactly the kind of wells that were responsible for ruining nine square miles of aquifer and poisoning the drinking water of more than a dozen families in Dimock, Pennsylvania, along with many other pollution incidents in Pennsylvaniato move forward. This loophole still leaves New Yorkers at risk and gas corporations are already threatening to exploit it.

When the incoming governor replaces Paterson this January, he will have the opportunity to fix the loophole and set New York on a long-term protective course for fracking. Governor-elect Cuomo has already said existing watersheds are sacrosanct and he would not support any drilling that would threaten the States major sources of drinking water. He has said any drilling in the Marcellus Shale must be environmentally sensitive and safe. Were looking to him to make good on his word.

New York has the opportunity to show the nation how to change the narrative on frackingchoosing safe and healthy drinking water over poisoned wells, destroyed property values and devastated communities. We thank the State Legislature, particularly Assemblyman Robert Sweeney and Senator Antoine Thompson, for acting earlier this year to protect New York from fracking. Without their efforts, its unlikely that Governor Paterson would have issued this Executive Order. We urge Governor-elect Cuomo to continue the Executive Order under his administration and lead the way to protecting New York from the dangers of natural gas drilling.

By on December 11, 2010, 6:25 pm
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