Advocates & Mark Ruffalo Praise Fracking Ban in NYS Budget as Momentous Achievement

Groups praise Governor Cuomo and the NYS Legislature for making the state’s ban on fracking permanent law as part of the 2020 NYS Budget

Albany - Environmental and public health organizations applauded Governor Cuomo and the NYS Legislature for permanently banning hydraulic fracturing as part of the 2020 NYS Budget. This year, the Governor and both houses of the legislature prioritized the fracking ban: Senator Jen Metzger and Assemblyman Steve Englebright introduced legislation to permanently ban hydraulic and gelled propane fracking, and Governor Cuomo included the hydraulic fracturing ban as part of his executive budget. The final budget addresses both forms of fracking by enshrining the state’s hydraulic fracturing ban into permanent law, and kicking off a process to ultimately ban the dangerous practice of gelled propane fracking. 

"The science on the dangers of high-volume hydraulic fracturing is clear and non-controversial, and agreement to institute a permanent statutory ban is a big victory for public health and the environment," said Senator Jen Metzger. "The bill I introduced in December would have also banned fracking with gelled propane, and while the budget language doesn't quite get us there, it puts us on the right path and would effectively head off any industry stampede for permits to use this destructive process."

Actor and advocate Mark Ruffalo said, “While Trump is rolling back environmental regulations, Governor Cuomo, Senator Jen Metzger and the New York State legislature are protecting our water, air, land and public health by enshrining the fracking ban into state law. Thank you to our elected leaders and all the New Yorkers and the Onondaga Nation and Native people who dedicated their time and energy to organizing the anti-fracking movement.”

Sandra Steingraber, PhD, a biologist, author, and co-founder of Concerned Health Professionals of NY, said, "Never has the importance of listening to science been clearer. New York State's ban on fracking follows overwhelming scientific evidence that drilling and fracking are disastrous for the environment, climate change, and public health. Thanks to Governor Cuomo and the New York State legislature for enshrining the ban on hydraulic fracturing into permanent law and moving toward a ban on the equally dangerous practice of gelled propane fracking. This is a truly momentous achievement."

"With this budget, New York State leads the world in stopping the environmentally destructive practice of hydraulic fracturing," said Ramsay Adams, Catskill Mountainkeeper's Executive Director."The historic ban is included today thanks to Governor Cuomo, the State Legislature, and all of the grassroots activists that have worked tirelessly over the years to bring this to fruition."

“Five years ago, Governor Cuomo announced a ban on fracking – a singular victory for our environment. Enshrining New York’s fracking ban into law helps ensure that we can keep our communities safer and air and water cleaner for years to come. This is next level leadership and a major testament to our tireless lawmakers who continue to fight for and prioritize public health and bold climate action,” said Rich Schrader, New York Policy Director at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).

Julia Walsh, Campaign Director of Frack Action, said, "Governor Cuomo and the NYS Legislature have forever protected our drinking water, environment, and public health from fracking. This is an historic achievement. The rest of the country and the federal government should take heed and follow New York's courageous lead."

"At a time of great worldwide crisis," said Dr. Kathleen Nolan of Physicians for Social Responsibility--NY, "Governor Andrew Cuomo has shown visionary leadership by focusing his proposed budget on both our immediate and our longterm needs, thereby forging a viable path into a sweeping renewable energy future, including a permanent ban on fracking in New York State. These are goals," she continued, "that our communities have urged and that our legislators have embraced. To recognize that we not only can but must find funding for this urgently needed transition requires a depth of vision and a stability of purpose that have propelled Governor Cuomo into a dynamic and inspiring leadership role not only in New York but throughout our country." 

“Five years ago, Governor Cuomo sent shock waves across the globe by announcing a ban on fracking in New York. This line in the sand changed the trajectory of our state’s energy policy and led to more ambitious goals, including making New York carbon neutral by 2050,” said Roger Downs, conservation director for the Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter. “While the ban has withstood court challenges and regulatory end-arounds, Governor Cuomo and the legislature recognized that there are still powerful interests keen on reversing this historic prohibition. The Sierra Club applauds New York lawmakers for enshrining the fracking ban in law, ensuring that the state can continue to move forward in protecting our air, water and public health, while we build a better renewable energy future.”

"The grassroots movement against fracking and fracking infrastructure is still strong in New York State. We applaud Governor Cuomo and the legislature for enshrining the fracking ban into law," said Riverkeeper's Director of Advocacy and Engagement, Jessica Roff. "This permanent ban is a huge step toward protecting New Yorkers, communities, and our environment for generations to come."

Eric Weltman, Senior Organizer of Food & Water Watch, said, “Five years ago, a grassroots movement successfully took on the oil and gas industry and won New York’s historic ban on fracking. Until now, what Governor Cuomo put in place with a flick of his pen could have been undone by a future governor. Now, Governor Cuomo and the legislature have taken the essential step of protecting this landmark measure for generations to come. We applaud Governor Cuomo, Senator Jen Metzger and Assemblymember Steve Englebright for leading the effort to enshrine the ban into law.”

Background
In 2015, Governor Cuomo’s administration, including the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation and NYS Department of Health, announced the completion of the Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (SGEIS) process and a public health review that found high-volume hydraulic fracking was a danger to public health and the environment and determining that it would be not permitted in New York State. Since that time, more than a thousand additional peer-reviewed scientific studies have been published that overwhelmingly confirm the serious public health and environmental risks and harms of fracking.

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Media Inquiries:
Katherine Nadeau, katherine@catskillmountainkeeper.org 585.944.4024