“Forty-three years ago today, U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson from Wisconsin organized a nationwide grassroots demonstration and teach-in for a sustainable environment and called it ‘Earth Day.’ The rallies held in cities, towns and universities united millions of Americans behind a concerted call for action, ushering in creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts.
On this 43rd annual Earth Day, as New York State considers whether to permit hydrofracking, it is important to remember that Senator Nelson was inspired to act by a massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California -- then the largest such spill in the country. Today, in spite of alarming accounts of environmental degradation and human and animal illnesses associated with hydrofracking in Pennsylvania and elsewhere, the State's Department of Environmental Conservation continues to pursue a regulatory framework to legalize this risky method of drilling.
I stand with my colleagues who don’t believe that it’s possible to safely regulate hydrofracking with current drilling technologies and am co-sponsoring legislation (S.673) that would ban it throughout the New York. We shouldn’t risk our natural resources and public health on an industry that will only perpetuate our reliance on fossil fuels. Instead, New York should be leading the country in launching new clean-energy initiatives and seeking ways to meet the challenges of climate change. That is why I’m fighting to pass legislation to establish the first-ever limits greenhouse gas emissions in New York State (S.735) and to create a solar incentive program (S.2522) that will promote clean energy generation while minimizing impacts on rate payers.
As a great New Yorker and early environmentalist, Theodore Roosevelt, once said, ‘The conservation of natural resources is the fundamental problem. Unless we solve that problem it will avail us little to solve all others.’”
-New York State Senator Brad Hoylman (D, WFP – Manhattan)