Hundreds rally to fight hydrofracking

Tony Avella

January 05, 2012

By Simon Garron-Caine

Angry New Yorkers who oppose hydraulic fracturing in the state again rallied on the steps of West Capitol Park today. They heard both environmentalists' warnings of the dangers of unregulated hydrofracking and a commitment by lawmakers to passing a bill that fully bans drilling in the state from the bill's sponsor.

Sen. Tony Avella, sponsor of bill S.4220, joined co-sponsor Sen. Liz Krueger and Assembly sponsor William Colton, to rally the crowd with chants of "4220 or fight" and "no fracking way."

"Between the three of us, we are going to force this [fracking] ban bill through, because what matters is not all the money that the oil and natural gas companies are going to spread around to all of our colleagues," said Avella to the crowd. "What matters is you and the ability for all of us to go to our tap, turn on the water and drink it."

The 350-person strong rally also heard from a county legislator urging local fracking bans while they await a state ban and a Department of Environmental Conservation union representative who lamented the department's huge responsibility and lack of resources. Later, protestors lobbied their district representatives in the Capitol and marched to DEC headquarters in Albany.