Updated 02/09/2013 11:10 AM
Activists protest as fracking deadline looms
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ALBANY, N.Y. -- Later this month, Cuomo faces a deadline to decide whether to allow limited hydraulic fracturing in New York State's Southern Tier, which borders Pennsylvania. More than 200,000 comments on this issue were submitted to the Cuomo Administration after the last public comment period.
Alex Beauchamp of Food and Water Watch said, "It has huge implications for water contamination. There is example after example in Pennsylvania of families that literally cannot drink the water, can't bathe with it. So there is that issue with the contamination, but also there are issues with the trucks on the roads."
Pennsylvania already allows hydraulic fracturing and recently a busload of celebrities and activists went there to see the environmental impact firsthand. Yoko Ono and Sean Lennon, who strongly oppose fracking, were part of that tour. They have requested a meeting with the governor on this issue.
Yoko Ono said, "Governor Cuomo, since you haven't met with me about the dangers of fracking, I'll show you right now on TV."
We asked Governor Cuomo this week if he'd take the meeting with Ono and Lennon.
Cuomo said, "I'll meet with anyone."
Earlier this week, Cuomo's commissioner for the Department of Environmental Conservation testified before the legislature and was grilled on hydraulic fracturing. Opponents packed the gallery.
Protests both in Albany and the city have been consistent since this issue has been under consideration by Cuomo.
Daniele Gerard of Three Parts Independent Democrats said, "If he allows fracking to go forward, any accident, any damage done, any pollution in the long term or in the short term, anything that happens will be on his decision."
The Cuomo Administration doesn't have to make a decision this month. They could, in fact, delay it again. Some believe, particularly those in the Democratic Party, that this is a headache he simply doesn't need right now. Especially since he and the legislature are hoping to pass the earliest budget in 30 years.