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What Rain? Hundreds Turn Out in Albany to Fight for Clean Energy Exploration in NY

More than 700 farmers, small business owners & landowners take pro-gas message directly to their state lawmakers

ALBANY, N.Y. – Hundreds of local landowners, community leaders, and elected officials descended upon the Capitol building in Albany this morning, determined to show their support for commonsense efforts to leverage the state’s abundant energy resources into jobs, revenue and opportunity for New York – and equally determined to separate fact from fiction on the critical technology needed to safely convert that potential into reality.

“For the better part of two years, those who oppose the responsible development of New York’s natural gas resources on ideological grounds have dominated the discussion in Albany,” said Dan Fitzsimmons, director of New York’s Joint Landowner’s Coalition, a group that turned out hundreds at the rally this morning. “Today’s event marks a turning point in that debate. We’re talking about a resource base that could put thousands of New Yorkers back to work, produced with a technology that’s been used here in the state for decades without incident. The problem is: No one in this town seems to know it. Our hope is that after today, they will.”

Held this morning on the east side of the Capitol complex, early estimates suggest the rally attracted the participation of more than 700 citizens – none of whom were deterred by the steady rain that fell throughout the demonstration.

Despite the weather, the crowd stood firm and brought forward a very simple list of requests: 1) that policy-makers do their part to educate themselves on the safety and necessity of natural gas exploration in New York, and 2) that the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) do its part to put in place a sound regulatory framework needed for that work to finally proceed.

Lee Fuller, executive director for Energy In Depth, applauded the group’s efforts this morning, and used the occasion to remind lawmakers that New York has been safely producing natural gas for more than 150 years, and has been relying on hydraulic fracturing technology to bring local wells to life for more than a generation.

“Those who are actively fighting to ban hydraulic fracturing in New York today apparently are unaware that operators have been safely deploying fracturing technology in the state for decades,” said Fuller. “The only difference now is that we’re looking to explore formations that are deeper in the ground, and further from water aquifers nearer to the surface. If anything, the work we’re looking to undertake today is safer and more tightly regulated than anything that’s ever been done in the past. To the extent that message was sent today in Albany, it could represent a pivotal change in the dynamics of the current debate.”

NOTE: Click HERE to view pictures from today’s event.

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