Candlelight Vigil Against Fracking
Religious opponents of hydrofracking gathered in Cobbs Hill park on November 14 to hold a candlelight vigil against allowing fracking in New York State. The action was coordinated with other cities around the state. Approximately 50 people were present representing Christian, Catholic, Baptist, Presbyterian, Unitarian-Universalist, Jewish and Buddhist religions, among others. It is written in the scripture of all of these religions that humanity is given stewardship of the Earth. Fracking, which causes severe environmental damage is an abrogation of that responsibility.
Attention was also drawn to the proposed TPP or Trans Pacific Partnership act. This secretive agreement, if approved, would extend NAFTA-like protections to China and other East Asian countries. It could negate any environmental or labor claimed as "harmful to trade." We have seen what harm this can cause with NAFTA and TPP includes a much larger part of the world.
Recent election results indicate a strong opposition to fracking. Governor Cuomo was elected in 2010 and one of the major issues was his opposition to fracking in New York. Since then he has been under intense pressure from the industry to permit drilling. In 2012 anti-fracking candidate Ted O'Brien defeated pro-fracking Sean Hanna in the 55th Senate district. Republicans generally support fracking but even Republican Senator Joseph Robach of the 56th district has reservations. He has proposed a compromise that would allow it in counties along the southern border of New York, where groundwater has already been contaminated by fracking in Pennsylvania, but not permit it in the rest of the State.
The rally was organized by a state-wide group New Yorkers Against Fracking and local R-CAUSE Rochesterians Concerned About Unsafe Shale-gas Extraction. Their statement reads as follows:
Fracking is inherently dangerous and threatens our water, health, communities and environment. The evidence is in and the scientists and experts have spoken: Instead of white-washing fracking with a sham health study, Governor Cuomo should ban it.
Zora Gussow of R-CAUSE speaks with TV reporter about why the group has assembled