Letter to Governor Cuomo Accompanying Delivery of 200,000+ Comments

January 11th, 2013

 

The Honorable Andrew Cuomo

Governor of New York State

NYS Capitol Building

Albany, NY 12224

 

Dear Governor Cuomo,

 

We deliver this letter to you today immediately preceding our delivery of more than 200,000 comments to your Department of Environmental Conservation on the High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing regulations released on November 29, 2012. This is an unprecedented number of comments, more than three times the record-setting 66,000+ comments the DEC received during the previous comment period, even though that comment period lasted four times longer.

 

The message in each of these 200,000 comments is that fracking cannot be done safely and must not be allowed anywhere in New York State. This overwhelming response by New Yorkers – made in the midst of major national and religious holidays – shows the overwhelming and growing opposition to this dangerous form of natural gas extraction.

 

The comments come from doctors, nurses, engineers, scientists, farmers, business owners, faith leaders, elected officials, mothers, fathers, grandparents, children, and members of all political parties. They were collected in living rooms, churches, schools, stores, factories, holiday parties and from vast social networks online and offline.

 

Among the millions of New Yorkers opposed to fracking, those who have submitted these comments have done so under protest. A decisive body of scientific evidence indicates that no amount or type of regulations can prevent disastrous and unacceptable negative impacts of fracking and associated drilling. Furthermore, these citizens protest your administration’s decision to release draft fracking regulations before its own health review and environmental impact study has been completed and made public. As they stand, these regulations have insufficient science behind them.

 

Governor Cuomo, you have vowed that your decision on fracking will be based on the science and the facts. You have also promised that transparency will be a staple of your leadership. However, your administration’s review of fracking stands in stark contradiction to both of these promises.

 

These comments reference a vast body of scientific data and evidence that show fracking cannot be done without irreparable harm to our environment, significant public health impacts and economic disruption for communities across the state. New Yorkers will not accept a practice in our state that jeopardizes the health and well-being of our families, our neighbors, and generations to come. And as our state recovers from yet another devastating natural disaster, we will not accept a practice that science shows contributes enormously to climate change, leading to more catastrophes like Sandy, Irene and Lee.

 

The citizens who wrote these comments in such a historic number reject the flawed, secretive review behind these regulations. It is wrong to release regulations before the state’s own health and environmental reviews are completed. Is politics, rather than science and the best interest of New Yorkers, driving your decision on fracking?

 

We urge you to seize the opportunity in New York State to reject this process that would create a toxic legacy, and instead pioneer a clean energy future, as you started to this week. In doing so you would secure the support of a plurality of New Yorkers opposed to fracking. We request a meeting of a small group of scientists, leading activists, and Yoko Ono and Sean Lennon to bring the evidence that fracking cannot be done safely directly to you.

 

Sincerely,

Yoko Ono

Artists Against Fracking

 

Sean Lennon

Artists Against Fracking

 

Dr. Sandra Steingraber

New Yorkers Against Fracking

 

Jill Wiener

Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy

 

Julia Walsh

Frack Action

 

Alex Beauchamp

Food & Water Watch