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Gas Industry Wants Fracking Rushed For Their Own Gain

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has been trying to throw out two lawsuits seeking to force the state to make a decision on fracking. Shame on the Joint Landowners Coalition of New York and Norse Energy for filing legal challenges that argue that Governor Cuomo’s administration has “unnecessarily” delayed the review of fracking in New York. There is a reason that New York has not moved forward with fracking and that’s because we’ve seen the contamination it causes in other states and must be careful about what will happen to the residents of our state.

Last year it was reported in the Denver Post that oil and gas spills contaminated ground water sources as a result of more than 2,000 spills over the last five years, posing a threat to our drinking water. Also last year the Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project released eighteen months of findings from one county south of Pittsburgh and they found twenty-seven cases where people were hurt by nearby drilling, including seven cases of skin rashes, four of eye irritation, thirteen of breathing problems, and three of headaches and dizziness. Knowing that these sorts of problems occur with fracking, why shouldn’t New York be cautious and take the necessary time to study it?

What the JLC and Norse Energy want is for this process to be rushed and to throw the residents of this state under the bus for their own bottom line. But we know that fracking has a wide range of impacts and that shale drilling could cause a lot of problems for our health and environment. I commend Attorney General Schneiderman for wanting to throw out these lawsuits, and I urge Governor Cuomo to take the next step and put in place a full ban on fracking in the state.

> Rita Yelda, Buffalo

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