Among the more than 1,500 anti-fracking advocates who descended upon the Capitol for Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s State of the State address was actress Debra Winger, a longtime Sullivan County resident. The three-time Academy Award nominee, who won critical acclaim for her roles in films like Terms of Endearment and Shadowlands, was one of Hollywood’s biggest stars before she pulled back from the limelight in the mid-’90s to write a memoir, teach at Harvard University and concentrate on her family. No stranger to politics, Winger, who famously dated Bob Kerrey for several years when he was governor of Nebraska, has long been a champion of progressive causes. City & State Editor Morgan Pehme pulled Winger aside in the Empire State Plaza to speak with her about hydrofracking.
“Kathleen Nolan, a regional director for Catskill Mountainkeeper, a group opposed to hydrofracking, criticized the state for not doing more to assess the impacts of fracking.“Commissioner Shah’s admission that the DOH is not doing a health study, but merely a health review, is unconscionable,” she said Wednesday.”
ALBANY — New York Health Commissioner Nirav Shah broke his silence on the state’s review of the health impacts of hydraulic fracturing, telling lawmakers Wednesday that he anticipates completing the analysis in “the next few weeks.”
In a legislative budget hearing on public health and Medicaid spending, state lawmakers pressed Shah for details on when the department’s findings would be public. Shah began his review in September at the request of the Department of Environmental Conservation, which itself has been reviewing the environmental effects of fracking since 2008. But little about the review has been revealed, and Shah previously declined to discuss it while the analysis was in progress.
Asked by Assembly Health Committee Chairman Richard Gottfried, D-Manhattan, about the state of the review, Shah said, “The vast majority of the material for our review, the health review, is available on the Internet at the DEC website.”
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|Times Herald-Record||- Jan 7, 2013||
|YNN Hudson Valley||- Jan 5, 2013||
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Fracking is Coming Unless We Pull Together to Stop It
If the stakes weren’t so high, the way that New York State is conducting its review of fracking’s environmental and health impacts would be laughable. Again and again the Governor and the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) have put the cart before the horse and turned what should be a straightforward, science-based process into a convoluted debacle.
It’s hard to explain how the DEC could issue the regulations that would govern fracking BEFORE they finished their Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement, the in depth document they have been working on for the last several years.
Or how they could issue those same fracking regulations BEFORE the panel of three medical experts they hired to study the health impacts of fracking submitted their report.
And all of this is coming on the heels of the devastating report this week by researchers with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) that has reconfirmed earlier findings of high rates of methane leakage from natural gas fields and in fact found that levels can be much higher than previously anticipated. These findings utterly vitiate the climate benefit of natural gas, even when used as an alternative to coal.
This week The New York Times released a copy of a year-old closely guarded report from the state’s Health Department that concluded that fracking could be done safely within the regulatory system that the state has been developing for several years. It is inexplicable how the state could come to that conclusion with no original research and no independent assessment of the public health risks.
Unfortunately this is not a laughing matter and the fiasco that has become the regulatory process is moving us toward the implementation of fracking in New York State.
But there are still things that we can do to fight this outrage:
Help flood the DEC with comments on proposed fracking regulations
We have until just January 11, 2013 to make comments on the DEC’s proposed fracking regulations. We are trying to replicate the staggering 66,000 comments that were submitted to the DEC on the draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (dSGEIS) and we need your help to do it. We want the Governor and the DEC to understand the depth of public sentiment against fracking New York State. Please go to Thirty Days of Fracking Regs to learn more about the flaws in the regulations and submit your comments.
Join us for a rally in Albany at the Governor’s State of the State Address on January 9, 2013 and speak out to ban fracking
We will be rallying before the Governor gives his annual State of the State Address.
Date/Time: Wednesday, January 9th, 2013
, 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Place: Empire State Plaza – Concourse hallway near the entrance to The Egg
(Indoors), Albany, NY
Stay over in Albany and join us at the New York State Assembly Hearings on the DEC’s proposed fracking regulations on January 10, 2013.
Your testimony at the New York State Assembly Hearings will be extremely important in our fight to ban fracking in New York State. For more information and to register to testify please click here.
Date/Time: Thursday, January 10th, 9:30 AM
Place: Legislative Office Building, 2nd Floor, Albany, New York
This is a critical time in the fight we have been waging against fracking and now more than ever we need your help.