Wednesday, April 10, 2013


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Hudson Valley officials unite with activists against fracking

KINGSTON – Several of the region's most noteworthy politicians have offered support in the fight against hydraulic fracturing, a controversial gas mining technique known to pollute water supplies. 

Hudson Valley United Against Fracking held a kickoff event Tuesday at the Ulster County Office Building in Kingston, to urge a moratorium on fracking.

Former Congressman Maurice Hinchey was joined by State Senator Cecilia Tkaczyk, State Assembly Members Frank Skartados and Didi Barrett, New Paltz Town Supervisor Susan Zimet, Ulster County Executive Michael Hein, and a host of environmental organizations.

They were accompanied by dozens of local "fractivists," pleading for Governor Cuomo to delay gas drilling until independent scientific environmental studies are completed. 

Large deposits of natural gas exist deep within the shale below upstate New York, representing a financial boon for the energy industry.

Hinchey said this is one of the most contentious environmental issues he has seen in his 40 years of environmental work.

"Everywhere fracking has been allowed, the process has contaminated their water, polluted their air, and destroyed their land," said Hinchey.

“We're talking about our children, and our children's children; we're having a conversation about whether or not we're going to poison them. It's absurd," maintained Hein. 

"I'm incredibly proud as the Ulster County executive, to be part of the Hudson Valley, a place has turned out to be the conscience of New York State," Hein said. "But I will be the proudest when we can once and for all in New York State that we will not play games with our future. We are going to leave this planet like we found it, for generations to come, and generations after that," Hein said.