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Legislature was wise to prohibit fracking

As The News reported on Dec. 12, “Erie County Legislature votes 9-2 to ban fracking on county-owned property.” I applaud the legislators for passing a ban against dangerous fracking on county land and prohibiting chemical-laden waste from being brought into county facilities or spread on county roads.

Specifically, Chairwoman Betty Jean Grant showed prescient leadership in advocating for our county to take a stand against the destructive process of fracking and its toxic byproducts. It is refreshing to see our elected officials stand up to the gas industry and its representatives. The industry and its boosters have spread so much money around our state through lobbying, campaign contributions and propaganda that we have seen many cave to the pressure.

The gas industry seems willing to say and do anything while spending unlimited amounts of money in order to frack our state. It is even suing our state for taking time to review the health impacts of fracking, which we know from scientific research can be incredibly serious. Fracking is a threat to public health and the environment. The industry has proven itself to be a bad neighbor. In Pennsylvania, gas drilling companies have failed to take responsibility for contaminating water and even stopped providing clean water to residents affected by the problems the companies created.

At the public hearing held on this legislation, no one spoke in opposition. Many residents testified in support. Petition signatures were submitted from thousands of county residents in support of the ban. I am proud of our county for taking a lead to protect residents. However, since pollution does not know municipal boundaries, next Gov. Andrew Cuomo must protect all New York communities by banning fracking and fracking waste.

Lee Herbst

Grand Island