News Details - Legislature Chair Urges Rejection of “Limited” Fracking Proposal
Legislature Chair Martha Robertson was among those speaking out yesterday at an Albany session, urging Governor Cuomo to reject a proposal to allow “limited” hydrofracking in parts of five Southern Tier Counties. The reported plan would establish a demonstration project allowing such drilling in parts of Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Steuben, and Tioga Counties.
Robertson was among those who spoke at a news conference at the Capitol, where a coalition of organizations and individuals called upon Governor Cuomo to reject the plan that his Administration is reportedly considering. This week, the coalition sent a letter to the Governor, signed by more than 100 organizations and individuals, urging rejection of the reported proposal.
Speaking as a Southern Tier resident, and as a representative of the group Elected Officials to Protect New York, Robertson noted that the counties identified form a horseshoe around Tompkins County (as well as Schuyler and Cortland Counties), and a plan to allow drilling in “just” five counties does not protect those outside that zone, since environmental, social, and economic impacts don’t respect county or town lines.
“I used to think home rule was good enough,” Robertson said. “I represent the Town of Dryden, where we fought hard – and are still fighting – for our own local ban. But every week we learn about new risks: seismic activity, high radon levels, and ground level ozone, for example. Not only do these dangers not respect county lines, much of the damage this industry causes is irreversible. It's not even possible to put a wall around the communities that think they have no other economic prospects. We are all in this together.”
Two weeks ago, Elected Officials to Protect New York sent a letter to the Governor asking that he extend the moratorium on hydrofracking until comprehensive health, socioeconomic, and cumulative environmental impact assessments have been completed. Elected Officials to Protect New York currently includes 320 officials from 37 counties—including 12 members of the Tompkins County Legislature.