Yesterday it was widely reported that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has agreed to ban fracking after a state environmental review found that the gas drilling method cannot be employed without unacceptable risk to public health and the environment. This decision comes after Green Party gubernatorial candidate Howie Hawkins, who advocated for a fracking ban, took nearly 5% of the vote in the 2014 election. This significant turnaround by the Cuomo administration, which announced plans in 2012 to introduce fracking in New York’s Southern Tier, comes after years of unrelenting pressure from community activists, including Greens across New York.
From the New York Green Party:
The Green Party of New York (GPNY) and its recent gubernatorial candidate Howie Hawkins join the chorus of New Yorkers celebrating what appears to be an imminent fracking ban, arising from today’s reports from Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens and Acting Health Commissioner Howard Zucker.
“This news is a victory for all New Yorkers who have dedicated their lives for the past six years to keep fracking out of New York,” said Howie Hawkins, 2014 Green candidate for Governor. Hawkins ran in 2010 and 2014 on a strong anti-fracking platform and confronted Cuomo about the issue during the October 2014 gubernatorial debate in Buffalo. “Together, we have won more than just a ban – today, we have a strong movement that must now use our people power to win the transition to 100% renewable energy for New York by 2030 in order to fight climate change.”
“Finally, the Cuomo administration has embraced what we have known all along – that fracking pollutes the air, land and water, posing incalculable risks to families and business across New York, especially those near drilling sites,“ said GPNY Co-Chair Gloria Mattera.
“If communities had let up on Cuomo and the fracking industry for even a moment, they would have started drilling long ago,” said Michael O’Neil, who serves as Co-Chair alongside Mattera. “We must still address the fracking infrastructure that has already been built, tying New York to the dangerous fracking economy.”
Since 2010, GPNY has campaigned locally and statewide for a “Green New Deal”, which would create millions of jobs building a clean and renewable energy system. The Green Party of New York is a member of the New Yorkers Against Fracking coalition.