At State Of State, Gratitude Over Fracking Ban
For the past few years, the State of the State address has given anti-fracking activists a high-profile platform to get their message out in Albany. This week, the message was different.
Unlike the thousand or so activists who lined the Empire Plaza hallways in years past, this group was smaller and in better spirits. After Governor Andrew Cuomo banned hydrofracking in New York, the protesters wanted to give him a shoutout. Carelton Corey came from the Utica area.
“I’ve been here three or four times in the past asking the governor to protect us from hydrofracking, and now that he did, I think he needs a big thank you,” Corey said,
Biologist Sandra Steingraber has become a leader in the anti-fracking fight. She said the ban showed the power of an informed citizenry.
“We’re here to celebrate what we’ve done. We’ve had an amazing victory over the ‘Shale Army.’”
Steingraber said political opinion was changed by science, and she too, gives credit to the governor.
“He had the courage to stand up to the worlds most powerful industry and say not so fast, not here in New York,” she said.
A Siena College poll out this week showed New Yorkers support the ban by more than a 2-1 margin. But for Allegra Schecter the fight keeps going.
“We won the battle but not the war. We are still being inundated with gas infrastructure, pipelines, and compressor stations, and LNG terminals,” she said.
That infrastructure moves gas through New York. And until its gone the activists say, the state won’t fully move from fossil fuels to renewable energy.
David Chanatry is with the New York Reporting Project at Utica College at www.nyrp-uc.org