The Working Families Party is out with a last-minute push to pressure the Assembly to ban hydro-fracking during the special session, slated to get underway shortly in Albany.
Hydro-fracking–short for hydraulic fracturing–is a controversial process of drilling for natural gas that involves lacing water with explosive chemicals deep underground to create explosions that release gas. The state Senate has already passed a ban, and the WFP, Move-On and others have gathered 50,000 signatures calling on the lower house to follow suit.
“We can start from scratch again next year but given the question of how the Senate is going to shape up, really the best chance to take action on this issue is for the Assembly to immediately take up and pass the bill that the Senate passed,” said Bryan Collinsworth, online organizing director for the Working Families Party.
Last week, Gov. David Paterson said that he did not think that there was political support for drilling at the time. The state’s environmental agency is studying the risks involved, which could impact the state’s water supply. However, as Collinsworth pointed out, the state Dept. of Energy could lease permits to drill at any time, and might be especially tempted given the state’s dire financial crisis.
As for the Ruffalo connection, the former star of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is becoming something of a regular spokesman on progressive issues. During the campaign, he was a prominent backer of Eric Schneiderman’s winning attorney general campaign.
Ruffalo’s email below:
You probably know me from my acting, but I’m also a resident of upstate New York, where I’m raising my family. We get our water from a well – and I don’t ever want to worry about me or my kids drinking water that’s been contaminated by risky natural gas drilling known as horizontal hydraulic fracturing.
That’s why tomorrow is a hugely important day for me, and all New Yorkers who value clean water. It’s the last chance for our State Assembly to vote on whether to place a moratorium on “fracking” throughout our state this year.
If the Assembly passes this bill tomorrow, it goes to the governor’s desk for his signature. If they don’t, the bill dies at the end of the year, and we’ll have to start over from scratch.
I’ve just signed the emergency petition sponsored by the Working Families Party and MoveOn.org calling on the State Assembly to pass this moratorium and protect our water. Will you sign, too, and share this with fellow New Yorkers?
A few months ago, everyone thought this fracking moratorium was dead. Then environmental groups like Frack Action invited me to join a press conference in the State Capitol, where Pete Seeger stirred the crowd into an amazing rally for safe water right in the middle of the building.
Tens of thousands of New Yorkers like you joined us in speaking out — and we got the State Senate to pass the moratorium bill. If the State Assembly passes it on Monday, all it will need is the governor’s signature to become law.
Assemblymembers need to hear from us to do the right thing. Please, take this final chance to sign the WFP/MoveOn.org petition and share it with everyone you know: