by Gabe Elsner, Washington, DC
This blog was cross-posted from Checks & Balances Project.
The following is a letter from 11 groups calling on New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to “Let the science and the facts make the determination, not emotion and not politics” regarding his decision on fracking. The only way to be sure that Gov. Cuomo is not making a decision based on politics, is for him to sign the following pledge:
I, Governor Andrew Cuomo, pledge to accept no money from the gas industry for any political race I undertake in the next 10 years. This pledge includes a re-election run for my current office as governor and any presidential run I might make.
I will also order New York state universities to turn away gas industry money of any kind so that any “studies” produced to promote fracking as safe or benign will not have the taint of pay-for-play to them.
By signing, Gov. Cuomo can demonstrate to the citizens of New York that his decisions have not been based on corporate influence from big‐moneyed interests. If he doesn’t, how can we be certain?
Below is the letter to the Governor:
July 25, 2012
The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo Governor of New York State
NYS State Capitol Building Albany, NY 12224
Dear Governor Cuomo:
Late last year, you said, “Let the science and the facts make the determination, not emotion and not politics” regarding fracking in New York.1
We applaud you in setting this great standard. Furthermore, we want to help you live by it as you make a final decision on fracking in and around New York State’s water supplies. We imagine this must be very difficult, especially considering the enormous amount of influence Chesapeake Energy and other gas industry lobbyists have in the state. As countless organizations such as New Yorkers Against Fracking and the Checks & Balances Project, a watchdog group, have documented, the gas industry has caused considerable damage in nearby Pennsylvania, including the contamination of drinking water supplies, threats to private property rights and human health, and other negative impacts in communities state-‐wide.2 3 4 Because of this, we want to suggest a way to instill the maximum amount of public trust in any decisions made in New York State involving hydraulic fracking.
Before you decide to move forward with any decisions pertaining to hydrofracking and shale gas drilling, and before you consider permitting the gas industry an opportunity to damage New York as they have done in Pennsylvania, Wyoming and other states, will you pledge to accept no money from the gas industry for any political race you undertake in the next 10 years? This would include a re-‐election run for your current office, or a future presidential campaign.
Will you also order New York state universities to turn away oil and gas industry money of any kind so that any “studies” produced to promote fracking as somehow safe or benign will not have the taint of pay-‐for-‐play to them?
Please sign the pledge and demonstrate to the citizens of New York that any decisions around hydrofracking have not been based on undue persuasion created by corporate influence from big-‐moneyed interests. If you don’t, how can we be certain?
Advocates for Morris
Damascus Citizens for Sustainability
Friends of Butternuts
Plymouth Friends of Clean Water
Sharon Springs Against Hydrofracking
Stephanie Low Artists, Inc.
Sullivan Area Citizens for Responsible Energy Development (SACRED)
The Checks and Balances Project
The Green Umbrella
University at Buffalo Coalition for Leading Ethically in Academic Research (UB CLEAR)
1 New York Times, Millions Spent in Albany Fight to Drill for Gas. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/26/nyregion/hydrofracking-‐debate-‐spurs-‐huge-‐spending-‐by-‐ industry.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all2 New Yorkers Against Fracking On Explosion At PA Natural Gas Compressor Station. http://nyagainstfracking.org/new-‐yorkers-‐against-‐fracking-‐speaks-‐out-‐on-‐explosion-‐at-‐pa-‐national-‐ gas-‐compressor-‐station/
3 Checks & Balances Project, Shut out and bought out. http://checksandbalancesproject.org/2011/05/02/shut-‐out-‐and-‐bought-‐out/4 Checks & Balances Project, Gas patch scientists explain how fracking can permanently contaminate public water supplies. http://checksandbalancesproject.org/2011/05/06/gas-‐patch-‐scientists-‐ explain-‐how-‐hydraulic-‐fracturing-‐can-‐permanently-‐contaminate-‐public-‐water-‐supplies/