ADVERTISEMENT

More testing isn’t needed; we must ban fracking now

In the second of a three-part series on fracking, “As environmental debate rages over fracking, people in western Pennsylvania express dread,” The News highlights the Pennsylvania residents who suffer from sore throats and headaches, have had their farms disrupted by pollution and no longer have clean drinking water. The common variable in these instances is their proximity to fracking and natural gas operations.

It is perplexing that the editorial board (“We need much better data on fracking before setting off on a drilling boom”) treats these real-life examples and the dozens of studies that substantiate them as unanswered questions. We know that fracking has contaminated drinking water from the various studies by major universities across the country. We know the resulting air pollution poses serious risks – that’s why the American Lung Association raised the issue in supporting a moratorium in New York.

The editorial suggests opening two counties to bear the burden of testing fracking in New York, even though Pennsylvania has already been a testing ground. We should not allow our neighbors in the Southern Tier to become subjects in experiments as if their health and lives are expendable. After countless drilling “experiments” have proven harmful, residents of the Southern Tier should not be used to dispel industry propaganda.

The special-interest natural gas industry didn’t lobby successfully for fracking to be exempt from the Safe Drinking Water Act, Clean Air Act and other federal regulations for no reason. It’s because the inherently destructive process poisons us, our water, air and land. Gov. Andrew Cuomo must not subject Southern Tier residents to an experiment in which we know the outcome. He must protect the health and safety of all New Yorkers and ban fracking.

Rita Yelda

Organizer, Food & Water Watch

Buffalo