Center for Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, December 17, 2014

Contact: Patrick Sullivan, (415) 517-9364, 

New York Fracking Ban Increases Pressure on President Obama to
Protect Public Lands From Fracking Pollution

ALBANY, N.Y.— After years of public pressure, New York today became the second state to ban hydraulic fracturing because of risks to people and the environment. The announcement from Gov. Andrew Cuomo adds to the pressure on the Obama administration to end fracking across the country, including on America’s public lands.

“New York just took a huge leap forward in protecting its people and wildlife from the dangers of fracking,” said Kassie Siegel of the Center for Biological Diversity. “Now it’s time for other leaders to follow, including President Obama and Gov. Jerry Brown in California.”

The federal government will soon issue the first-ever rules for fracking on public lands. The Center and a coalition of other environmental and consumer groups last year delivered to President Barack Obama and the Bureau of Land Management more than 600,000 public comments asking the federal government to ban fracking on public lands.

Ninety percent of wells drilled on America’s public lands are now fracked, bringing toxic chemicals and dangerous pollution to wild areas and nearby farms and communities. The federal government leases millions of acres a year to oil and gas companies, even as negotiators at a recent U.N. climate summit focused on the need to end all fossil fuel use by 2050 to prevent catastrophic climate disruption.

Fracking involves blasting millions of gallons of water mixed with dangerous chemicals into the earth to fracture rock formations. Citing concerns about methane pollution and fracking’s potential to unearth vast amounts of dirty oil, leading climate scientists last year called on Gov. Jerry Brown to halt fracking in California.

“New York has always led the country in protecting the environment, and now it’s time for President Obama to follow Gov. Cuomo’s wise example and halt fracking immediately,” said Siegel. “We can’t allow oil and gas companies to sacrifice our health and speed the world towards climate chaos.”

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 800,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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