Wes Gillingham, Catskill Mountainkeeper Program Director is quoted In Peter Applebome’s January 10, 2012 New York Times article, “Drilling Critics Face a Divide Over the Goal of Their Fight”, on the issues that divide environmental groups on fracking. Mr. Gillingham said, “When we started out, what we wanted was more information on what this (fracking) means for New York. No one had any thought about calling for a ban. But the more you find out about gas drilling and how it’s been practiced by the industry today, the more you realize it can’t be done safely. It would just be a disaster for New York State.” Even though Mr. Gillingham has worked closely and effectively with national groups, he is still baffled that they can support fracking under any conditions, “For the average person on the ground over the Marcellus Shale who is living with this issue, the fact that the national groups are not saying, ‘Not here, no way,’ is shocking.”
A former staffer at a state government agency responsible for regulating hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has warned that allowing the controversial gas drilling method in New York would lead to contamination of the state’s aquifers and would poison its drinking water….Wes Gillingham, the program director of Catskill Mountainkeeper, one of a large number of environmental groups active in opposing fracking in New York state, echoed Bayer.”It is not just a matter of numbers of personnel. We need people overseeing the industry and inspecting the cement around the casings,” he told the Guardian.