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New York groups call on Gov. Cuomo for fracking leadership

By Bob Downing Published: March 5, 2013

From the New York eco-group, Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy:

Fremont Center, NY, March 5, 2013:  In a full-page ad in the Albany’s Legislative Gazette the grassroots organization Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy and the environmental law firm Community Environmental Defense Council (CEDC) call on Governor Andrew Cuomo to demonstrate leadership on hydraulic fracturing. The question of whether New York should permit high volume fracking has been debated for years, but the state still has not developed a coherent approach to the issue.

 “Governor Cuomo has repeatedly promised us that ‘science, not politics’ will decide the fate of fracking, but where’s the science?” asks Catskill Citizens’ Kate Bowers. “After two years in office, the governor still hasn’t ordered an independent health impact assessment, something the medical community insists is vital if the state is to make an informed decision.”

 Economist Jannette Barth also signed onto the ad. She’s been calling for an in depth, economic analysis of shale gas extraction for years. “The notion that fracking the Marcellus Shale will automatically benefit the state and local communities is simply not supported by the facts. One only has to look at the extreme poverty and endemic health problems in the coal mining regions of Appalachia to realize extractive industries can impoverish communities.”

 CEDC Attorneys Helen and David Slottje are concerned that the governor will not stand up to the gas industry and protect rural residents. “The right of a community to control its own destiny is guaranteed by the New York State Constitution, but the governor has indicated he might try to overturn local laws if they get in the way of fracking” says David Slottje. (Last summer Governor Cuomo was quoted as saying “You could override local government, or you could say, ‘Well we’re going to respect home rule if it coincides with the obvious and necessary ramp up period anyway.’”) Over the last three years CEDC has helped scores of municipalities enact moratoria and zoning ordinances that prohibit fracking.

 Another signatory, author and Riverkeeper founder Robert H. Boyle, has been at the forefront of environmental battles in New York for decades. He says the governor’s failure to reform the DEC’s Division of Mineral Resources is a troubling sign. “It’s well known that Mineral Resources is a captive agency that’s been doing the bidding of industry lobbyists for years. If Governor Cuomo cannot, or will not, put his own house in order, then he cannot be trusted to protect New York State.”

 For more information, contact info@catskillcitizen.orgor call (845) 468 7063, or visit



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Utica and Marcellus shale web sites

Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management State agency Web site.

ODNR Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management. State drilling permits. List is updated weekly.

ODNR Division of Geological Survey.

Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

Ohio State University Extension.

Ohio Farm Bureau.

Ohio Oil and Gas Association, a Granville-based group that represents 1,500 Ohio energy-related companies.

Ohio Oil & Gas Energy Education Program.

Energy In Depth, a trade group.

Marcellus and Utica Shale Resource Center by Ohio law firm Bricker & Eckler.

Utica Shale, a compilation of Utica shale activities.

Landman Report Card, a site that looks at companies involved in gas and oil leases.FracFocus, a compilation of chemicals used in fracking individual wells as reported voluntarily by some drillers.

Chesapeake Energy Corp,the Oklahoma-based firm is the No. 1 driller in Ohio.

Rig Count Interactive Map by Baker Hughes, an energy services company.

Shale Sheet Fracking, a Youngstown Vindicator blog.

National Geographic's The Great Shale Rush.

The Ohio Environmental Council, a statewide eco-group based in Columbus.

Buckeye Forest Council.

Earthjustice, a national eco-group.

Stop Fracking Ohio.

People's Oil and Gas Collaborative-Ohio, a grass-roots group in Northeast Ohio.

Concerned Citizens of Medina County, a grass-roots group.

No Frack Ohio, a Columbus-based grass-roots group.

Fracking: Gas Drilling's Environmental Threat by ProPublica, an online journalism site.

Penn State Marcellus Center.

Pipeline, blog from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Marcellus shale drilling.

Allegheny Front, environmental public radio for Western Pennsylvania.