About 1,000 protesters gathered in Albany, New York on Wednesday ahead of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D) annual state of the state address, in hopes of pressuring the governor to end the practice of hydraulic fracturing by natural gas drillers.
Activists arrived mid-morning in seven chartered buses, according to The Times Union. They lined up across the Empire State Plaza concourse, protesting along the sole path lawmakers and audience members would have to walk to attend Cuomo’s speech.
The demonstration was organized by an array of progressive groups like Greenpeace, 350.org, the Sierra Club, Friends of the Earth, Democracy for America and Environment America, among others. They also sent an open letter to Cuomo on Monday, noting the dangers of fracking-related methane emissions.
“Methane is a potent greenhouse gas, 33 times more efficient at trapping heat than carbon dioxide over 100 years, and about 100 times more potent than carbon dioxide over 20 years,” they wrote. “As such, even small amounts of gas leaked into the atmosphere make enormous contributions to global warming. Increasing evidence, including a study led by researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, indicates that methane emissions from HVHF and related operations have been significantly underestimated by both the gas industry and the Environmental Protection Agency.”
The state is taking public comment for several more days on proposed fracking regulations, which are set to be implemented in February if the governor doesn’t shut the whole process down.
The pending regulations come on the heels of a thinly sourced New York state report claiming that fracking is safe being leaked to the media. The report was reportedly kept secret by the governor, who’s allegedly worried about “strident opposition on his party’s left.”
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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