Sen. Tony Avella, center, and other lawmakers address anti-fracking protesters in the Capitol Monday.
February 05, 2013Following the Department of Environmental Conservation testimony at Monday's joint legislative budget hearing, hundreds of New Yorkers rallied on the Capitol's Million Dollar Staircase to speak out against high-volume hydraulic fracturing in New York state.
"It is not too late Governor Cuomo," said Dr. Sandra Steingraber, founder of Concerned Health Professionals of New York. "We don't know everything about the health effects of fracking, but emerging data gives us reason for concern Ö People of New York, deserve and demand a real health study. Not a last minute, improvised, book report. We deserve transparency and participation."
Those who spoke at the event called out to Cuomo, demanding that a health review being conducted by the Department of Health be released for public comment and participation.
Though Cuomo did not mention fracking in his Executive Budget address, the topic has been the subject of heated debate in New York.
"We are not afraid," said Senator Tony Avella, D-Queens. "The person who should be afraid of his political ambitions is Governor Cuomo. I have said it before and I am saying it again here. Governor Cuomo, if you allow hydrofracking in this state, [with] that first contaminated well, which we all know will come; your presidential ambitions are done."
Renee Vogelsang, the regional organizer for Frack Action, Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, D-Manhattan, Josh Fox, the writer and director of the documentary "Gassland," actor Mark Ruffalo, Arun Gandhi and Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton, D-Itaca, also spoke at the event.