Cuomo Bans Fracking

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Cuomo Bans Fracking in New York State

December 17, 2014 by Theresa Riley

This post first appeared on BillMoyers.com.

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced earlier this week that New York State would ban fracking. The decision ends years of uncertainty about the future of fracking in the state. Acting Commissioner of Health Howard Zucker said that the controversial method of extracting gas from deep in the ground posed too many risks to public health and could contaminate the state’s air and water.

Anti-fracking activist Sandra Steingraber, who spoke last year with Bill about her decision to go to jail as part of her protest in the upstate New York community where she lives, told BillMoyers.com, “This victory is an incredible affirmation of science and the principles of public health.” Here’s a video of her reaction on Wednesday.

In a phone interview with us that day, she said, “It truly is a thing of beauty to see government living up to its purpose. Governments are tasked with protecting the health, safety and well-being of its citizenry — and to protect us from threats that we can’t protect ourselves from… This decision provides equal protection for everyone under the law.”

Watch a clip from Steingraber’s interview with Bill in which she explains why she has spent more than six years fighting fracking, and feels parents must do what they can to stop climate change for the sake of their children and the planet.

She tells Bill: “[I]t is the environmental crisis that is the great moral crisis of our age. … And in that, I don’t want to be a good German. …I want to be one of the French resistance. One of the people who stand up and say, ‘This is not right. No matter how difficult this is to change, we’re going to have to change it.’”

Following her most recent arrest for civil disobedience,  Sandra Steingraber and fellow activist Colleen Boland were released from jail the day before Thanksgiving after serving eight days of a 15-day sentence for blockading the gates of an upstate, fracked gas storage facility owned by Crestwood Midstream.