Skip to content

Albany Common Council bans Fracking

October 18, 2011

by Kaitlyn Jasnica

The Albany Common Council on Monday banned hydraulic fracturing, or hydrofracking, in the city limits by an 8 to 5 vote. The new ordinance goes to Mayor Gerald Jennings for his approval or veto.

Hydraulic fracturing, commonly referred to as fracking, is a method of gas extraction that involves injecting chemicals deep underground to fracture rock formations, according to Frack Action, a group who protected fracking oustide the meeting Monday night.

““The carcinogenic chemicals are vented into the air creating ground level ozone worse than downtown L.A.,” said Daniel Morrissey, of Water Equality, an organization involved in fracking protesting. “Lung cancer and asthma are rampant in these localities, so we need to assure public health integrity in Albany.”

Common Council Member Dominick Calsolaro was the lead sponsor of the Albany fracking ban. He said fracking would cause immediate health concerns for the people of the Albany area and would harm the environment. Dissenters on the council said they are afraid gas companies might fight back with lawsuits. Calsolaro said it was the obligation of the Common Council to intervene in regulating land use and matters involving the public’s health and welfare.

Many people came to the Common Council meeting to voice their concerns about the fracking issue. John Armstrong recently graduated from Cornell University in May of 2011. He is currently a statewide grassroots coordinator for Frack Action. Armstrong and other Frack Action associates travel around the state of New York in hopes of eventually implementing a state-wide ban on fracking. Armstrong was one of many who told  the council members during the public comment period why fracking should be banned.

“Fracking poses an inevitable, public health, environmental, and economic catastrophe for New York State,” said Armstrong.

Hours before the decision was finally made, dozens of people joined together to protest fracking in front of City Hall. Some stood with anti-fracking signs over their heads. Others took it to the extreme and started chanting “No fracking way!” while someone played drums for a beat.

After three hours of discussion, the council finally voted on two ordinances involving fracking. The council unanimously voted to ban the dumping of radioactive water that comes from hydraulic fracturing into the Albany landfill. Shortly after, the council voted to ban  fracking altogether. The crowd of dozens that showed up to support the ban was thrilled.

“I feel great about it. Citizens have shown an overwhelming support for the ban against fracking and the Common Council acted on the public’s voice and has taken action to protect Albany citizen’s health, air, water, and local economy,” said Armstrong.

From → Uncategorized

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: