News Release

New York and Fracking: Clinton vs Sanders

CROSSROADS-FINAL-1USA Today reports Bernie Sanders “may have his best chance of challenging [Hillary] Clinton upstate, where he’s pushing an offensive on fracking and trade deals that have hurt manufacturing jobs, an issue that helped him pull off a surprise victory over Clinton last month in Michigan. On Tuesday, the Vermont senator opened a Rochester rally blasting Clinton for promoting fracking in other countries while Secretary of State.” See from Huffington Post: “Bernie Sanders Calls For Total Ban On Fracking In New Ad.”

KATE BARTHOLOMEW, ecogreenwolf at gmail.com
A member of the Coalition to Protect New York, Bartholomew said today: “There’s only one candidate who has spoken clearly against shale gas extraction — and the other candidate favors and has promoted it. This is significant for anyone involved in fighting climate change or fighting for renewables.

“It’s also important when accessing environmental policy to note where the candidate stands on the TPP [Trans-Pacific Partnership] since that deal threatens any environmental protections that are in place. Similarly, Sanders is the reliable candidate on that issue, others seem to shift with the political wind.”

Bartholomew noted that many environmentalists are participating in the “Democracy Spring” protests this week. See from Reuters: “Police arrest 400 at U.S. Capitol in protest of money in politics.” See continuing live coverage by TheRealNews.com.

She added: “In New York State, thanks to an unprecedented negative response to the DEC’s [Department of Environmental Conservation] process of preparing the Final Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement on fracking, as well as a separate health impact study by the Department of Health, the Governor deferred to the conclusions of those two departments and all high-volume horizontal fracking activity in New York is banned, essentially, for the foreseeable future.

“Pennsylvania, on the other hand, is feeling the negative effects of fracking — both environmental and economic, since natural gas prices are plummeting and the promised windfall — both for individuals and localities — rarely materialized.

“Now, we’re focusing on addressing fossil fuel infrastructure — pipelines, importation of waste, withdrawal and export of water. We’ll be hosting many rallies and actions, such as the one on May 14 sponsored by 350.org in Albany. The focus will be on Bakken crude oil trains going through an Environmental Justice community in Albany. Such a train exploded in Lac-Megantic, Quebec in 2013, killing 47.'”

MAURA STEPHENS,  mstephens at ithaca.edu
Stephens is an independent journalist and founding member of the Coalition to Protect New York and FrackBustersNY.org, among other groups. She said today: “Hillary Clinton has been strongly pushing for fracking throughout the world. Bernie Sanders on the other hand has strongly opposed fracking and other fossil fuel exploitation. For me — and for many other climate activists — this is the number one issue.”

“And when I say ‘fracking,’ I mean more than just the unconventional high-volume horizontal slamming of millions of gallons of toxic liquid into shale and other formations to extract fossil fuels. We mean the fracturing of our air, water, and food supply, of our health, our communities and our lives. Because these things are all interconnected. The rampant buildout of infrastructure for a short-term supply of ancient fuels is a big shell game, or as we call it here in the Marcellus, a shale game. Only one of the candidates seems to understand this.”

See Mariah Blake’s piece, “How Hillary Clinton’s State Department Sold Fracking to the World.”