Bob Downing

Dozens of grass-roots environmental groups across New York have banded together to fight a plan to allow drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus shale in New York state.


They are opposed to horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing or fracking and want New York to ban it.


They intend to push their view in advertisements across the state.


The new coalition, New Yorkers Against Fracking, got a financial boost from activist-speaker-college professor Sandra Steingraber, who has donated much of her $100,000 prize money from the Heinz Award to fund the new initiative.


Other groups involved are Food and Water Watch, Frack Action, Water Defense, Catskill Mountainkeeper and United for Action.


Major national environmental groups such as the Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defense Council support regulations on fracking but do not support a ban,


New York has been under a four-year drilling moratorium. State officials are looking at lifting than ban, perhaps later this year.