Profits vs. People
By Wenonah Hauter
Food & Water Watch
This weekend, despite the wishes of the New York State Legislature, New York Governor David Paterson vetoed legislation that would have put a moratorium on vertical and horizontal hydraulic drilling, a controversial practice known as fracking. Bowing to industry interests, the governor instead issued an executive order placing a weaker moratorium on horizontal fracking alone.
While the state of New York must be commended for being the first in the nation to take this critical step in banning fracking, the out-going governor’s decision makes little sense for consumers and the environment, as both horizontal and vertical fracking utilize toxic chemicals that can cause contamination of our drinking water, and both can release underground gases, which can lead to dangerous explosions.
Unfortunately, Paterson’s moratorium, which lasts until July of 2011, will expire before the 2012 release of a much-anticipated EPA study, the first of its kind, on the safety of fracking. It is therefore our hope that incoming Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo will strengthen the moratorium when he takes office, lengthening the ban and broadening it to include all forms of fracking.
Unfortunately, Governor Paterson is not alone in advancing fracking. The Delaware River Water Basin Commission (DRWBC), also tasked with protecting public resources and safety, exhibited their willingness to negotiate with industry last week by drafting regulations that would allow fracking to expand in Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York.
And, remember, fracking — developed by Dick Cheney’s Halliburton — is EPA exempt. Watch the film, Gasland, for more info. And, remember that the guy who produced that film is now on the Terrorist Watch List. I guess he terrified the corporate earth killers but good.
Let’s hope the citizens of New York and the entire Delaware River Water Basin show those public servants who’s really in charge.