Homework Against Fracking
For nearly five years, New York youth have been taking action to tell Governor Cuomo and that fracking is bad for our health, our land, and our communities. But in December the New York Department of Environmental Conservation published proposed fracking regulations – even though they have yet to complete the environmental review, even though a health impact assessment hasn’t been released, and even though Governor Cuomo promised New York that a decision on fracking would be based on facts and science.
As young people and students in New York State, we have committed to fighting for an unfractured future. We will not sit idly by and wait for leadership from adult politicians. Today, and every day, we stand up and call attention to the dire reality we are facing. Fracking will not come to our state, and will not jeopardize our futures.
After over 66,000 comments on the draft SGEIS in 2011, citizens of New York had every reason to believe that they would be used by the Department of Environmental Conservation, as legally mandated, to inform the regulatory process. The DEC has issued these regulations illegally, prior to the completion of the draft SGEIS and the health impact review.
Governor Cuomo said the decisions regarding High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing would be based on science, but the DEC has not provided the science backing up these proposed regulations. Decisions should not be made before the data are in. Consideration of these regulations in advance of and separate from the SGEIS review is unacceptable. These documents are inextricably bound and cannot be considered in isolation. Recognizing that you may decide to consider the regulations now, below are comments from and about young people in New York against fracking our futures.
-Across the state, students are working to demand our colleges divest from the fossil fuel industry. We refuse to support the very industries that are jeopardizing our futures though financial investments or by allowing fracking to enter our state. Students are connecting the dots between climate disasters and the industries that cause them.
-If Governor Cuomo allows hydraulic fracturing, young people are the ones who will live with the consequences. We are at a crucial time where we must begin decreasing the level of greenhouse gas emissions, not allowing for tons more. Our elected officials should be spending their time supporting the victims of climate change, not questioning if more fossil fuel dependency will support our economy: it's a no brainer. It is our duty as young people to protect our futures, especially when the adults we helped put into power aren't doing it for us.
-Yesterday, over forty young people from Tompkins County alone came to Governor Cuomo's State of the State Address to do their Homework Against Fracking. They took a day off of school to join almost two thousand people across the state in demanding the Governor ban fracking. For hours they chanted, "listen to your sons, listen to your daughters, we must protect our waters," and "our future is unfractured," and have committed to coming back if the DEC doesn't protect our futures.