Thursday, June 09, 2011

What the Frack?

An open letter to Governor Cuomo:

The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of New York State
NYS State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224

Dear Governor Cuomo,

I am writing to express my support for three bills that have been introduced into the NYS legislature. They are: A7400, A7013, and S3472.

All three bills address water protection and/or proliferation of runaway heavy industry in rural New York State. I am very concerned about the natural gas extraction process known as hydraulic fracturing, and worry that permits for this type of drilling will be issued prematurely by the NYS DEC. There have been no studies done by the gas companies that address the cumulative impacts their gas wells would have on our environment. The SGEIS that the DEC is now writing should require that before any drilling permits are issued, the gas companies perform independent peer reviewed studies, which should be paid for by the gas companies themselves, not the State of New York (i.e. the taxpayers).

The bills mentioned are a good start to regulation, but I personally believe that the process of high volume, slick water, hydraulic fracturing is inherently unsafe and will cause greatly increased health risks through extensive air and water pollution. We can only look at the devastation already done in states like Pennsylvania, Texas and Wyoming to name just three. I understand that we need to work toward new energy sources but not by sacrificing our air and water. Water is our most precious resource and there is not an unlimited supply of fresh drinking water.

So, please do the right thing and place environmental and socioeconomic concerns before the self-interests of the gas companies.

John Azelvandre
A little background:

Hydraulic fracturing has been in the news of late; with many concerns being raised about it's environmental impacts. It is a process in which water and certain (often undisclosed) chemicals are injected underground in order to fracture rock and release natural gas. There are serious concerns that these waters and chemicals and the minerals they dislodge will pollute groundwater and surface water. (See this excellent series of articles that recently appeared in the New York Times: Drilling Down)

There has been a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing (fracking) for natural gas in New York State for the past year or two. It expires in July. The bill A7400 extends it for another year. The Assembly has passed it; it needs to get through the State Senate and past the governor's desk.

A7013 will classify all wastewater from crude oil and natural gas extraction as hazardous waste, to be treated accordingly;

S3472 allows local governments to enforce local laws and ordinances that may regulate or restrict oil and gas extraction.

(Info courtesy of:

Please write the governor today! You can do it by email, here:

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