1/20/13

CMK: 200,000+ Anti-Fracking Comments Submitted

Sean Lennon and Yoko Ono at Anti-Fracking Rally in Albany
According to advocacy organization Catskill Mountainkeeper, key organizer of an anti-fracking rally in Albany  during the Governor’s State of the State address on January 9, more than 200,000 comments have been submitted to the State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) opposing its draft fracking regulations.

CMK, partnered with Earthjustice, NRDC, Delaware Riverkeeper and Hudson Riverkeeper, has delivered another 200 pages of technical comments to the DEC.

This unprecedented level of activism was built in large part on the commitment of Sandra Steingraber, who generated thousands of comments through her website,“30 Days of Fracking Regs”; the all-volunteer Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy, which submitted 23,000 comments to the DEC; Chip Northrup, who blogs at No Fracking Way; and New Yorkers Against Fracking, which helped get people to the Albany rally.

Public opinion about fracking is changing. A recent Siena Research poll showed 51% of upstate voters now opposing fracking, compared to the 38% who would allow it.

The next critical fracking deadline is February 13, when the DEC is supposed to have finished reviewing, analyzing, studying and acting on the hundreds of thousands of comments delivered to Albany on January 11.

Will the DEC rush through the comments, ignoring detailed scientific and technical points submitted and issue regulations by the end of February? It's certainly possible:  the DEC has done that before.

Why is the Cuomo administration rushing the fracking regulatory process, with the state's future at stake?

CMK is raising funds for a lawsuit, in the event the DEC gives the go-ahead, to stop the state from issuing fracking permits.  Mail contributions to the CMK legal fund to Catskill Mountainkeeper, Box 381 Youngsville, NY 12791.

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