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Debra Winger, Josh Fox among anti-frackers in Capitol Monday

By Anthony Mancini
Staff writer

Debra Winger protesting against high-volume hydraulic fracturing at the Capitol Monday.
January 23, 2012
Academy Award nominated actress Debra Winger and "Gasland" director Josh Fox spoke at an anti-hydraulic fracturing rally in the Legislative Office Building of the Empire State Plaza Monday to support the message of the rally: a complete ban of the controversial gas drilling process.

During hydraulic fracturing, or hydrofracking, a water, sand and chemical mixture is pumped underground, creating fissures in sheets of bedrock so their natural gas content can be harvested. Opponents of hydrofracking are concerned about fracking wastewater seeping into people's drinking water and air pollution.

Winger, who starred in 1982's "An Officer and a Gentleman" and 1983's "Terms of Endearment," said she remembered seeing natural gas industry commercials as a child, which claimed the fuel is clean-burning. She said she now knows the unclean consequences of gas drilling.

During his speech after Winger, Fox said hydrofracking is "…unnecessary for everyone except the gas industry." "Gasland," which Fox directed, starred in and filmed, is an Academy Award nominated documentary focusing on the impacts of hydraulic fracturing on people and the environment across the U.S.

"Everything that stops fracking in New York state is a good thing," Fox said.

Approximately 600 protesters rallied in the Capitol today to try to convince lawmakers to ban the controversial procedure. After a press conference in the LOB, many protesters, including farmers from acroos the state, marched to the second floor of the Capitol to "break bread" with the governor.

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