Fordham Law Professor Zephyr Teachout, Health and Climate Experts, Artists and 100 Buffalo Residents Rallied Against Fracking in Global Frackdown
Buffalo Community Calls on Governor Cuomo to Ban Fracking
BUFFALO, NY (Saturday, October 18) – Over 100 Buffalo residents, artists, and health and climate experts joined activists around the world to speak out against fracking as part of the Global Frackdown today in Bidwell Park. The Buffalo event was part of a worldwide day of action, with communities across the globe organizing rallies against fracking. Residents in Buffalo called for Governor Cuomo to protect their health and safety and enact a statewide ban on fracking. On Thursday, members of the Concerned Health Professionals of NY renewed their call for the governor to consider the growing body included in their Compendium of the scientific, medical, and media findings showing the risks and harms of fracking.
Last month the People’s Climate March in New York City prompted 400,000 people to demand solutions to climate change, which means stopping harmful practices such as fracking. In Buffalo, residents continued the call for investment in renewable energy toward Governor Cuomo instead of furthering fossil fuel development by allowing fracking. Saturday’s events included a morning rally with local experts discussing the growing body of evidence connecting fracking to harmful health outcomes, a community speak-out opposing fracking, and music and entertainment.
Rita Yelda of Food & Water Watch said, “The people of Buffalo are taking a stand against fracking and making their voices heard, as part of the growing opposition to fracking throughout New York. Like much of the state, we too demand that Governor Cuomo keep fracking out to protect public health, and instead focus on developing the renewable energy sources that will make our state a national and international model while giving New Yorkers a chance at a healthy future.”
“Andrew Cuomo can be remembered as the Governor who banned fracking, or as the Governor who poisoned our state. Science and New Yorkers are on the side of a ban; big money is on the side of fracking. As Franklin Delano Roosevelt said, ‘a nation that poisons it’s soil poisons itself,’” added Zephyr Teachout, Fordham Law Professor and noted activist.
“Fracking is an inherently dangerous practice that threatens to harm New York’s residents, industries and environment,” said Julia White of NYPIRG. “Students are here today to tell Governor Cuomo to do what’s best for our health, safety and communities and ban fracking.”
“The amount of evidence linking fracking to various lung and skin diseases and other health problems is alarming,” said Mary Herbst, RN and member of Concerned Health Professionals of NY. “As a nurse and New Yorker, I expect Governor Cuomo and all of New York’s elected officials to fulfill their responsibility to protect public health by keeping fracking out of our state.”
“Fracking would put those of us living upstate at considerable risk of increased air pollution and the contamination of both local water supplies and the Great Lakes,” said Lynda Schneekloth of the Sierra Club Niagara Group. “A statewide ban on fracking is the only way we can protect future generations of Buffalo residents and all New Yorkers from considerable harm as fracking has a broad range of negative environmental and health impacts on communities.”
“Governor Cuomo should focus on investing in sustainable, renewable energy sources here in New York,” said John Washington of PUSH Buffalo. “Bringing fracking to New York will forever threaten our natural resources and public health, while distracting us from a move towards a renewable energy future.”
Sponsors of the Global Frackdown in Buffalo included Sierra Club Niagara Group, PUSH Buffalo, NYPIRG at Buffalo State, Food & Water Watch, New Yorkers Against Fracking, Citizen’s Campaign for the Environment, Western NY Peace Center, Western NY Drilling Defense, Protecting Our Water Rights (POWR), and Nurse Rise – Nurses for Safe Water.
The Frackdown also featured music and performances by local artists opposed to fracking, including The Nickel City String Band, My Rap Name is Alex, Dave Harter, Tyler Wescott, and Active Hope.