Business Leaders Argue Fracking Won’t Create Jobs; Will Harm Food and Water Safety and Existing NY-Based Businesses
(Albany, NY) New Yorkers Against Fracking, a coalition of diverse organizations, including founding member Catskill Mountainkeeper, announced today that over 1,000 businesses had signed on in support of a statewide ban on fracking, joining health groups, political organizations, consumer groups, and environmental organizations.
The businesses noted that fracking had failed to create jobs in other states – with a national report showing that jobs were moving from the gas industry to the oil industry in Texas and Louisiana and West Virginia data showing that shale gas had not been a job boom – and unnecessarily put people’s health at risk. Furthermore, businesses fear that fracking will jeopardize current jobs and reduce job growth in many industries.
“The gas industry makes a lot of claims about jobs,” said Larry Bennett of Brewery Ommegang. “But we have actually been creating jobs in upstate New York and know that fracking will make it harder for us to grow our business.”
Food industry leaders recently came out in opposition to fracking because of its detrimental effect on agriculture, food safety and water. “This goes beyond affecting chefs, it could have a huge impact on those who live in upstate New York,” said Bill Telepan of Telepan Restaurant. “The drinking water, and the land, and the food upstate will be affected – and then all of us will be affected.”
“Our business depends on water,” said Steve Hindy of Brooklyn Brewery. “We can’t take the chance that fracking wastewater contaminates our state’s water supplies.”
“As responsible business owners, it is imperative that we educate ourselves on the harms of fracking,” said Heather Carlucci, Chef at PRINT. “Hydraulic fracturing, or natural gas drilling, can easily damage our water table and food sources and thus harm two of New York State’s great economic strongholds, tourism and restaurant businesses.”
“In the last two years my companies have created over 100 jobs in New York City, so I know something about job creation. This much is clear: fracking isn’t the answer to our economic woes. Study after study shows green energy creates more local jobs than fossil fuel production over the short and long term. We need a real economic development vision for all of New York that includes local agriculture, tourism, and small business support. Governor Cuomo should start working on that and keep New York safe from fracking,” said Guillaume Gauthereau, co-founder and CEO of Totsy.com and 2012 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year finalist.
“Within a generation, western New York will be the major breadbasket for the Northeast,” said Art Hunt of Hunt Country Vineyards. “We have abundant clean water, clean air and fertile soil. We cannot afford to lose precious acres to development that can harm our water and other natural resources if we hope to continue to feed this country in the future.”
Since the possibility of allowing fracking in the Southern Tier was publicly aired last month, opponents to fracking have been raising their voices. Almost 10,000 people have emailed or called Governor Cuomo and New Yorkers Against Fracking has held rallies across the state including Rockville Center (in Senate Majority Leader Skelos’ district), Brooklyn, Poughkeepsie, Rochester, Syracuse and Albany (at the Governor’s office). Major artists, including Yoko Ono, Sean Lennon and hundreds of others, announced their opposition to fracking with the launch of Artists Against Fracking. Just last week, the Senate Democrats held a forum on fracking in NYC that indicated serious ethical impropriety on behalf of the NYS DEC in colluding with the gas industry, and also showed that serious health, economic, and environmental concerns have not been addressed in the DEC’s review of fracking.
Leaders of the effort at the press conference announced that the businesses pledged to continue organizing businesses throughout the summer.