10:30 am Jun. 14, 20111
Councilman Charles Barron walked to the stairs at City Hall yesterday carrying a small podium bearing the city seal and a dozen activists unfurled a banner and put on stickers that said “Ban Fracking Now.” It was time to start the rally.
Last week, the New York State Assembly passed a one-year moratorium on hydrofracking, a method of drilling for natural gas by injecting the ground with water, sand and chemicals. And with a week left of the New York State legislative session, the protestors wanted to put pressure on the State Senate to move the bill forward.
“Hydraulic fracturing, which is the formal name for it, is detrimental for the drinking water of all New Yorkers and people in the state of New York,” Barron told the crowd.
“To dig into natural gas in the 21st century, so that the mayor and the governor’s business cronies can make a lot of money at the environmental risk of polluting our waters, is unconscionable and unacceptable,” said Barron, whose Council district is in East New York and Brownsville. “This city has to move toward more affordable, clean and renewable energy sources like solar energy and hydro energy; geothermal energy from the earth; wind. When you have wind, sun, water and the Earth that can supply more energy needs than this planet can even have a desire for, there’s no reason why we have to continue to count on nuclear energy, gas, oil, coal, those energy sources that are detrimental for the environment and to the health of New Yorkers. So I’m here today to say we need to ban hydraulic fracturing, hydrofracking, as the shorter term is called.
“One of the ways we can do that is to put forth legislation in the state and corresponding legislation in the city to protect the drinking water of the people of New York. I commend you for your stance and your work and your report and I’m anxious to see all that was found in the report. But we need to get the legislative bodies working in this state to protect the environment and the drinking water of our people by banning, hydrofracking, or hydraulic fracturing, which is the formal term. “
Then Barron left. United for Action Activist David Braun and Jessica Roff from the Brooklyn Food Coalition spoke after him, about the environmental risks of hydrofracking.
If the moratorium isn’t passed this week, organizers of the event said, they will try again in January.
At noon, some of the protestors left for another hydrofracking rally at State Sen. Marty Golden’s office in Brooklyn, as members of a different scheduled protest filtered to the City Hall steps holding signs.
Correction appended: An earlier version of this article misspelled Jessica Roff's last name.
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