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Grisanti is a Fracker

It’s no surprise that Senator Mark Grisanti isn’t taking a stronger stand on fracking, even though it’s such an important environmental and health issue for New York State (“Week In Review: Independence, Amodeo, and the Power of Money,” October 11, 2012). With so much campaign money on hand—more than 90 percent of which is from downstate donors—it’s no wonder Grisanti is ignoring the 1,700 Western New York residents who have signed a petition urging him to get behind a statewide ban on fracking. After all, this ignorance is being rewarded with endorsements from pro-fracking lobby groups like Unshackle Upstate.

Senator Grisanti’s ties to the oil and gas industry are becoming more apparent, also. In September, Grisanti spoke at the Buffalo Association of Professional Geologists Symposium, a gas industry funded conference. Sponsors included Norse Energy Corp., an oil and gas drilling company, The Palmerton Group, a consulting firm that makes it’s money from environmental accident remediation, and Environment & Ecology, a firm that counts oil and gas companies among its clients and has much to gain from fracking in the state. The symposium’s keynote speaker was Terry Engelder, a vocal proponent of Marcellus shale drilling who grossly over-estimated Marcellus gas reserves and used his inflated numbers to sell false promises of jobs and economic boom. By being part of this pro-fracking symposium, Senator Grisanti has shown that he’s not taking the concerns of his constituents seriously.

With recent EPA water testing in Wyoming establishing a federal link between fracking and tainted water, and the Government Accountability Office’s report stating the risks associated with shale drilling are still largely unknown, it’s obvious that if fracking in New York were to move forward now, it would be a sacrifice of the state. Senator Grisanti has failed to use his chairmanship of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee to protect New Yorkers from this, and has put the powerful oil and gas industry before the people. Grisanti is wrong on fracking and he needs to know we’re holding him accountable.

> Rita Yelda

WNY Drilling Defense, Buffalo

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