Fracking Bans are Beneficial to the Public Health & Natural Environment

by Duane Nichols on December 22, 2015

New York, Maryland, California ban fracking

New Yorkers Celebrate One-Year Anniversary of Fracking Ban

From New Yorkers Against Fracking,, December 18, 2015

Thursday marked the one-year anniversary of the announcement by Gov. Cuomo, the Department of Health and the Department of Environmental Conservation that New York would ban high-volume fracking given its serious public health and environmental risks.

New Yorkers and the many organizations that worked to ban fracking are reflecting on the ban that occurred one year ago and the anti-fracking movement overall, noting its importance nationally and internationally.

“I will always remember this as the day that Governor Cuomo became a climate leader and put New York at the forefront of the climate movement,” actor Mark Ruffalo, advisory board member of the New Yorkers Against Fracking, said. “He listened to the science and the experts in protecting New Yorkers public health, environment and climate. He said no to dirty, dangerous fossil fuel extraction and put New York on a path to a healthy, renewable energy future. We need more governors and leaders to show that type of leadership. As the world turned its attention to the climate conference in Paris last week, the need is crystal clear to leave fossil fuels in the ground and boldly build the 100 percent renewable energy future.”

Natalie Merchant, musician and advisory board member of New Yorkers Against Fracking, agrees. “As a life-long New Yorker, I’m grateful to Governor Cuomo and the good people of New York State who worked to ban fracking,” she said. “New York is a precedent setting state and what happens here is felt across the country and around the world. On this one year anniversary of the fracking ban, we should all be proud to be New Yorkers.”

Since the ban, more and more science has shown that it was the right decision. Following the UN climate conference in Paris, leaders and groups note the significance of Gov. Cuomo and New York’s climate leadership in keeping fossil fuels in the ground and scaling up renewable energy. Groups also highlight that Maryland followed New York’s lead as well as various communities and other countries including Ireland, where today a fracking ban bill is being introduced in the Irish Parliament.

“People across Ireland are looking to New York’s ban on fracking and Governor Cuomo’s leadership as we work to follow their lead by banning fracking,” Dr. Aedin McLoughlin, director of Good Energies Alliance of Ireland, said. “We hold New York State very dear to our hearts, and as we face the threat of fracking we are so thankful for New York’s ban. Governor Cuomo and New York’s anti-fracking movement have inspired a fracking ban bill that is being introduced today in the Irish Parliament.”

Maryland followed New York’s lead in early 2015 by passing a two and a half year moratorium on fracking. More and more, health experts and citizens are calling on the legislature and the governor to turn the moratorium into a ban. A renewed effort and rapidly growing movement in Pennsylvania, including the coalition Pennsylvanians Against Fracking, is calling on Pennsylvania Gov. Wolf to stop fracking in light of New York’s findings, evidence of serious health impacts, hundreds of cases of water contamination and a range of other problems.

The campaign to ban fracking in California has seen immense growth as Gov. Jerry Brown has faced mounting pressure to follow Gov. Cuomo’s lead. Communities in a number of states have taken actions to ban fracking. Internationally, Ireland has embraced a moratorium on fracking and is pursuing a health review inspired by New York’s. In a watershed moment, Lancashire, England denied fracking.

“New York State’s fracking ban has inspired and empowered local citizens’ groups and elected officials across the nation and around the world to ban fracking,” Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch, said. “Maryland and hundreds of communities have taken action to stop fracking, and momentum to stop fracking everywhere is quickly growing. In California, citizens are demanding a fracking ban and calling out Governor Jerry Brown for promoting himself as an environmental climate leader while increasing drilling and fracking in the middle of a drought and climate crisis. It’s time for Governor Brown and others to follow the leadership of Governor Cuomo and New York State and ban fracking now!”

The groups noted that the scientific evidence that has emerged in the past year further shows that the decision to ban fracking was right. In the first six months of 2015, more than 100 new peer-reviewed studies came out, overwhelmingly showing risks and adverse impacts.

This October, the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Physicians for Social Responsibility partnered with Concerned Health Professionals of New York to release the third edition of the Compendium of Scientific, Medical, and Media Findings Demonstrating Risks and Harms of Fracking, which demonstrates that the evidence is increasingly revealing more and worse risks and harms from fracking.

In a letter to President Obama and the Surgeon General, Physicians for Social Responsibility and Concerned Health Professionals of New York pointed to New York State’s leadership and urged them to acknowledge the health impacts, and urged other state’s governors to stop fracking.

“Governor Cuomo and his Administration rightly followed the science and protected public health by banning fracking,” Larysa Dyrszka, MD, of Concerned Health Professionals of NY, said. “A year later, well over a hundred more studies continue to reveal impacts includinginfant health issues and increased hospitalization rates. The ban on fracking is an example of excellent public policy based on science, which more governors and governments should follow.”

In the past year, the anti-fracking movement has focused on a number of issues, including: advancing renewable energy through local solar programs, engaging in the REV proceedings, and advocating for state policies. Many have worked to stop a range of gas infrastructure projects including the Port Ambrose LNG facility which Gov. Cuomo vetoed, pipelines, compressor stations and gas storage, all of which pose various threats to public health and safety.

Many have worked tirelessly to help residents affected by fracking in Pennsylvania, stop fracking and address climate change nationally, while also aiding international efforts. Notably, New York helped to inspire and build the national anti-fracking movement, which is getting bigger and stronger. The Americans Against Fracking coalition has delivered more than 600,000 comments calling for a ban of fracking on public lands.

See also:

Confirmed: 4.6-Magnitude Earthquake in British Columbia Caused by Fracking (Likely World’s Largest)

Portland Bans Fossil Fuel Export

Gov. Cuomo Vetoes Port Ambrose Liquefied Natural Gas Project

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Your health matters in Maryland — Will The Marcellus Shale Gas Advisory Group study health? Let’s ask!

Notice:  MD SGAG meeting on December 22 at 4:30 PM in Oakland, MD

The Maryland Shale Gas Advisory Group (SGAG) has completed the first phase of their charge to study and advise the county on transportation issues pertaining to natural gas development. The next meeting will be attended by one or more of our County Commissioners to go over the next phase of the group’s tasks. Some issues that have been brought up by the group include Public Health, Emergency Response, Updated Constraints Analysis, Economic Study RFP Review, Review of or Input to State Regulations, and Non-transportation Industrialization Impacts.

One major component to natural gas development that has been consistently overlooked is health. The avoidance of this issue was first apparent during the O’Malley administration’s Commission, where the health study was omitted. This is of utmost importance since increasing research has shown real heath affects near fracking locations. These can include, respiratory issues, low infant birth weight, low fertility, and problems associated with endocrine disruptors.

The County Commissioners have put no limitations on the SGAG which would allow them to take on this task. Even if there are no qualified members in the group to study health, they have the authority to set up a specialized sub-committee that could include health professionals with the expertise needed. Please attend this meeting and encourage this overlooked component to finally become part of the study. Your public comment is welcome.

Location: Garrett County Health Department, First Floor Meeting Room, 1025 Memorial Drive, Oakland, MD 21550 — Use the main entrance and walk straight down the main corridor through the large double doors. The doors are generally open throughout the meeting.

From: Engage Mountain Maryland, PO Box 747, McHenry, MD 21541

Email address is:

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CBS Local December 23, 2015 at 11:10 am

Grandparents Rock To Block Fracking

By Lisa Washington, CBS Local (Pittsburgh), December 21, 2015

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — When you think of grandmothers in rocking chairs, you probably don’t think of them sitting in the rain, singing and rocking as a way of protesting. “It’s mostly about the children,” said Laurel Colonello of Butler County, “the proximity of the well so close to the school…”

With anti-fracking signs in hand and singing modified Christmas songs to encourage the end of fracking, a group of grandparents hopes someone will listen to their concerns about the gas and oil drilling methods happening in Middlesex Township. They say the fracking by Rex Energy is too close to the Mars Area School District, where their grandchildren are learning.

“We are grandparents, and we are very, very concerned about our grandchildren and the children in this school district,” said Ping Pirrung, as she sat in a rocking chair positioned at the entrance of the Geyer Well Pad. “It’s just not acceptable at all.”

After numerous hearings and an injunction, Rex Energy has permits to continue drilling. The site is being developed off Route 228, near the Mars Area School District campus. A deal that would have allowed Rex to lease property from the district was rejected.

“This area is gorgeous,” added Ping. “It’s very rural and by coming in with all these wells, you’re just destroying it.”

Rex Energy spokesman Patrick Creighton released a statement. It reads in part, “As a local company, Rex has no higher priority than the safety of our employees and the communities we operate. At this specific site, Rex has provided regular operational updates to the Mars Area School Board … We will continue to meet or exceed all local, state and federal regulations.”



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