Dear Governor Cuomo,
We, the residents of the Southern Tier, write to you on behalf a growing opposition in the five counties that have been widely identified as a sacrifice zone should you decide to move forward with fracking. We believe that you have been misinformed about fracking and the level of support in the Southern Tier. We fear that you are listening to out-of-state gas industry lobbyists and that you have been misled by the gas industry’s sophisticated misinformation campaign. These special interests have been manipulating and misinforming many to believe that the Southern Tier supports fracking.
The truth is that the majority of Southern Tier residents do not want fracking. We drink the water that would become contaminated and breathe the air that would make us sick should you decide to move forward with fracking. We are seriously concerned about the possible health impacts. Living on the border of Pennsylvania, we hear many of the horror stories that are coming from over the border. Rashes, nose bleeds, nausea, migraines, vomiting to begin with and later, cancers. We’ve been listening to New York’s medical and scientific experts who have raised serious health concerns about fracking. We know that the data and evidence show that fracking cannot be done without serious risk to our health, and we will not be the guinea pigs of this practice. We have seen the data about well casing failures, water contamination, air pollution, and still-unexplained negative health impacts.
At night many of us can see and hear the flaring over the border. We know how the towns with fracking have increased crime rates, debilitating truck traffic and diesel fumes, constant dangerous heavy-industrial activity amidst families and next to schools, and local economies unhinged by rapid and short term influxes of transient, out-of-state workers. We have seen the destroyed rivers, streams, farms, forests, and hunting lands across the border. We cannot raise our families and support our businesses in such devastated toxic wastelands.
Furthermore, it is very upsetting and disturbing that you would go to great lengths to ban fracking in the New York City watershed yet you would sacrifice our homes and beautiful farmland. If fracking is safe enough to frack our communities, families and friends then why is it not safe enough for New York City people? This seems like a cynical and hypocritical move motivated purely by politics and not the public safety and well being of all New Yorkers.
Although you have not met with any of your countless constituents who oppose fracking, you met with the out-of-state gas industry on May 9, 2012. Those are the special interests who have orchestrated a manipulative campaign to mislead you and the public into believing that the Southern Tier wants fracking. You owe it to us, your constituents from across the Southern Tier, to meet with us to learn our grave concerns. We are the regular, working class people who call this part of the state our homes and want to continue our lives and build a future here. We have no special interests except the prosperity of our families and communities.
You must allow us to be heard. We are citizens like any others. Whereas the out-of-state gas industry would silence our voices, we are New Yorkers and we believe you have a responsibility to represent our best interests and protect our well-being. We call on you to meet with us before you make a decision about fracking in New York State.
Sincerely on behalf of Save The Southern Tier,
Logan Adsit, Chenango County
Bette Ek, Chemung County
Eileen Hamlin, Broome County
Beth Miller, Steuben County
Binghamton Mayor Matt Ryan, Broome County
Isaac Silberman-Gorn, Broome County
David Walczak, Steuben County
Gerri Wiley, Tioga County