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Wednesday, March 6, 2013
CEDC Calls on Gov. Cuomo to Demonstrate Leadership
CEDC calls on Governor Cuomo to Lead
In a full-page ad in the Albany's Legislative Gazette the grassroots organization Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy
and the environmental law firm Community Environmental Defense Council
(CEDC) call on Governor Andrew Cuomo to demonstrate leadership on
hydraulic fracturing. The question of whether New York should permit
high volume fracking has been debated for years, but the state still
has not developed a coherent approach to the issue. "Governor
Cuomo has repeatedly promised us that 'science, not politics' will
decide the fate of fracking, but where's the science?" asks Catskill Citizens' Kate Bowers.
"After two years in office, the governor still hasn't
ordered an independent health impact assessment, something the medical
community insists is vital if the state is to make an informed
Economist Jannette Barth also signed onto the ad. She's
been calling for an in depth, economic analysis of shale gas extraction
for years. "The notion that fracking the Marcellus Shale will
automatically benefit the state and local communities is simply not
supported by the facts. One only has to look at the extreme poverty and
endemic health problems in the coal mining regions of Appalachia to
realize extractive industries can impoverish communities."
CEDC Attorneys Helen and David Slottje are concerned that
the governor will not stand up to the gas industry and protect rural
residents. "The right of a community to control its own destiny is guaranteed by the New York State Constitution, but
the governor has indicated he might try to overturn local laws if they
get in the way of fracking" says David Slottje. (Last summer Governor Cuomo was quoted
as saying "You could override local government, or you could say,
'Well we're going to respect home rule if it coincides with the obvious
and necessary ramp up period anyway.'")
Over the last three years CEDC has helped scores of
municipalities enact moratoria and zoning ordinances that prohibit
Another signatory, author and Riverkeeper founder Robert H.
Boyle, has been at the forefront of environmental battles in New York
for decades. He says the governor's failure to reform the DEC's
Division of Mineral Resources is a troubling sign. "It's well known that Mineral Resources is a captive agency that's been doing the bidding of industry lobbyists for years. If Governor Cuomo cannot, or will not, put his own house in order, then he cannot be trusted to protect New York State."
CEDC is a nonprofit, public interest law firm. We largely
rely on the generous donations of individuals to enable our work to
protect our environment, promote democracy and justice, and advocate for