It’s been at least a month since we’ve seen hydrofracking protestors here at the Capitol, though we saw plenty of them over the course of the Legislature’s six-month 2010 session.
It seems that will change tomorrow. A handful of anti-hydrofracking groups are planning on using the New York State Yogurt Summit as a way to highlight the downsides of natural-gas drilling, particularly when it comes to agriculture. They point to a pair of studies, including a Pennsylvania State University report that tied drilling to a drop in Pennsylvania’s dairy production, though “the exact reasons for the decline are unclear.”
Groups including New Yorkers Against Fracking, Catskill Mountainkeeper, NYPIRG and Frack Action will be in attendance, according to a news release, calling on Cuomo to “save our yogurt, ban fracking.” Food and Water Watch, meanwhile, has launched an online, yogurt-specific anti-fracking letter that is being delivered to the governor’s office.
The Yogurt Summit will be held tomorrow in a theater near the Capitol, and it is expected to focus somewhat on the state’s regulations for dairy regulations.
While some farmers are certainly wary of hydrofracking, others welcome it as a way to keep their farms (many with large property-tax tags) afloat. Local chapters of the New York Farm Bureau, for example, have actively advocated for allowing hydrofracking in New York.
Meanwhile, several national environmental groups are paying attention to what New York will do in regards to high-volume hydrofracking. A state Department of Environmental Conservation’s report on the technique is expected to be completed this year, which theoretically would allow it to issue permits for the first time.
About a dozen national groups signed on to a letter to Cuomo today, urging him to not allow fracking “unless and until the impacts to New Yorkers’ health, environment and economy have been comprehensively and properly addressed.”
That letter, signed by groups such as the national Sierra Club and the National Parks Conservation Association, can be read here.