Friends of the Earth media release. June 30, 2015
As public hearings get underway today in Sale for the state government Inquiry into Unconventional Gas, the US state of New York has shown what is possible when policy makers listen to community concerns about this destructive industry.
Nearly a year to the day after New York communities won the right to ban oil and gas development locally, a statewide ban on high-volume hydraulic fracturing (or “fracking”) was made official.
Last month, in a comprehensive document known as the final Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (SGEIS), the New York state Department of Environmental Conservation detailed the health and environmental impacts associated with fracking, and concluded that the practice is too dangerous to proceed in New York.
“New York state has become the newest jurisdiction to formally ban gas fracking” said Friends of the Earth co-ordinator Cam Walker. “A growing number of states and provinces around the world are banning fracking. Vermont was the first US state to do so in 2012. Just this week Lancashire Shire Councillors in the UK have twice voted down proposals for fracking after huge community campaigns. And late last week the Victorian Farmer's Federation strengthened its position on unconventional gas when VFF members voted to support a ban on unconventional gas drilling for at least the next 5 years.”
“More than 60 Victorian communities have already declared themselves coal or gasfield free. This demonstrates that this industry will not be able to gain public licence to operate. The sooner the government accepts this fact the better for everyone”.
“This inquiry is the best chance our state will ever have to stop the spread of this destructive industry. With evidence growing every day about the negative impacts of unconventional gas drilling, there is a compelling case to place an outright and permanent ban on all onshore unconventional gas drilling in Victoria”.
Cam Walker 0419 338 047
Ursula Alquier (presenting at hearing in Sale): 0499 991 324
Chloe Aldenhoven (in Sale for the hearings): 0432 328 107