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Grisanti and Fracking

I am deeply saddened to read that Senator Grisanti is being mislabeled as a legislator who cares about the environment and conservation of New York State (“Grisanti Receives Praise And Condemnation For Earth Day,” AV Daily, April 23, 2012). While Senator Grisanti is the head of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee, he has never convened a public hearing on the topic of fracking, though 18 bills regarding fracking are in his committee—including the ban bill. Fracking is New York’s most paramount and impending environmental issue, and when Senate Democrats asked him to hold a hearing to allow the public to make their voices heard on the 18 bills, Grisanti ignored the request. On Wednesday, April 25, the Senate Democrats held their own public hearing on these bills. Not only did Grisanti not convene the hearing, he also did not attend. So where was he?

The hearing that the Democrats held began at 11am in Albany in Conference Room B. Few people knew that right next door in Conference Room C at 10:45am, Senator Grisanti was speaking as part of the Earth Day Lobby event being held that day. Senator Grisanti spoke of his environmental triumphs and made himself out to be an anti-fracking superstar—concerned about the issue so much so that he introduced five new bills on the topic. He did not mention that he’d ignored the other 18 bills to come out with his own flawed, loophole-filled legislation, however. He also did not mention that he received over 800 calls in one week in late March to support the ban bill, not more regulation.

While Grisanti was touting his accomplishments in Albany at the Earth Day Lobby event under the guise of a legislator who cares about the future state of our environment, our health, and the destructive process of fracking, the true story was in the next room. First he ignores the issue and forces the Democrats to hold their own hearing; then he does not attend that hearing; and then, on the same day in the room right next door, he’s making himself out to be a hero.

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