Environmental Organizations & Advocates Praise Governor Cuomo for Permanent Fracking Ban in NYS 2020 Budget

January 20, 2020 -- 

Albany - Governor Cuomo announced the introduction of a bill to permanently ban fracking as part of his New York State 2020 Budget. Advocates and environmental organizations across the state applauded the Governor’s leadership on this important bill to permanently protect the public health and environment of New Yorkers for generations to come. 

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 therefore it would be not permited in New York State. Since that time, more than a thousand additional peer-reviewed scientific studies have been published that overwhelmingly confirming the serious public health and environmental risks and harms of fracking. Governor Cuomo’s announcement today was welcomed and applauded. 

Actor and long-time anti-fracking advocate Mark Ruffalo, "Today Governor Cuomo showed our state and the nation once again what real climate leadership looks like by announcing a legislative fracking ban as part of NYS 2020 Budget. By listening to the science, he is on the right side of history in working to ensure that NY's fracking ban becomes the law of the land.”

“Governor Cuomo’s bold announcement to pursue a permanent fracking ban will protect New Yorkers’ health, water, and the communities we cherish, and we call on the New York State Legislature to make the ban law” said Ramsay Adams, Catskill Mountainkeeper’s Executive Director. “Between today’s announcement and the nation-leading Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, New York is walking away from powering our grid with fossil fuels. In the years since Governor Cuomo implemented the regulatory ban on fracking in New York, the science has become indisputable: fracking isn’t safe.”

"New York State continues to lead the nation in recognizing the harmful health and environmental impacts of fracking." said Dr. Kathleen Nolan, a co-founder of Concerned Health Professionals of New York. "I am especially happy to see fracking for oil and gas rejected as a part of our clean energy future," she continued. "It just does not make sense to fracture the earth beneath our feet with highly pressurized toxic mixtures of sand and fracking chemicals, causing earthquakes and risking our drinking water resources, all to bring to the surface a carbon-based fuel, that worsens our climate crisis, accompanied by extremely toxic waste materials that cannot be disposed of safely."

“Five years ago, Governor Cuomo sent shock waves across the globe by banning 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, it is hard to ignore the powerful interests still keen on reversing this historic prohibition. Enshrining the fracking ban in law will ensure that the state can continue to move forward in protecting our air, water and public health, while we build a better renewable energy future. We commend Governor Cuomo for including the fracking ban in his budget proposal.”

“Governor Cuomo affirmed that it’s time we cement New York’s statewide fracking ban into law, which would enshrine it for generations to come,” said Rob Friedman, Policy Advocate, Natural Resources Defense Council. “While New York became the first state in the country with known gas reserves to ban fracking, the existing ban still remains vulnerable to the whims of future administrations. As the climate crisis and the science around the dangers of fracking become clearer and more horrifying, we must resist resting on our laurels and act now for the safety of public health and our environment.”

“There is a lot of talk of what a Green New Deal must include and today Governor Cuomo made it clear that banning fracking must be part of the solution to the climate crisis,” said Julia Walsh from Frack Action. “Every year more scientific reports and health studies come in showing the alarming risks and problems with fracking. New Yorkers has thus far been spared these harmful impacts thanks to Governor Cuomo’s leadership and with this announcement this ban can become a permanent safeguard for New Yorkers.”

“As an abundance of science now clearly shows, fracked gas is just coal wearing an invisibility cloak. It’s harmful to the climate, harmful to our health, and poses serious radiation risks to workers. Introducing permanent a fracking ban into the New York State budget is exactly the right thing to do,” Sandra Steingraber, PhD, biologist and cofounder, New Yorkers Against Fracking.

“We applaud Governor Cuomo for proposing to make the ban on fracking permanent in law," said Jeremy Cherson, Riverkeeper’s Legislative Advocacy Manager. "This proposal, if approved in the final budget agreement, will protect New Yorkers and our environment from possible actions by future administrations.”

“Governor Cuomo is right that we must make the fracking ban permanent in New York,” said Alex Beauchamp, Northeast Region Director at Food & Water Action. “We’re already in the midst of a climate crisis, and it’s never been clearer that we must move away from fracked gas and all fossil fuels."

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