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Anti-Fracking Coalition Calling For State-Wide Ban

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Utica, NY (WIBX) - ”Fracking is not the answer!”, said, Eric Weltman, Sr. Organizer, Food & Water Watch, delivering a message to Governor Andrew Cuomo about the controversial natural gas drilling practice. It happened during a conference call hosted by,  New Yorkers Against Fracking Coalition with several business leaders, all against hydraulicfracking.

“Fracking would harm existing industries, such as tourism and agriculture, while endangering public health, communities and the environment and this is to endorse our statement calling on Governor Cuomo and the legislature, to ban fracking in New York,” Weltman said. He says, ultimately, the negative impacts of fracking will be felt by all New Yorkers, if Cuomo gives the practice a green ligth.

During the call, reps from the state’s Agriculture, food and drink world, all said fracking poses a huge threat to their businesses. Larry Bennett, spokesperson, Omegang Brewery in Cooperstown, said his company’s opposition to hydrofracking comes after extensive studies done on the practice. “Water is our lives blood. We make beer out of water, even our highest alcohol beer is, you know, pushing 90-percent water. As a rural brewery we draw all of our water out of the ground, out of the aquifers beneath us. We use a million gallons a year and it’s growing by about 20-percent a year. We see this as a huge threat to our business,” he said.

Bennett points to the long leases landowners sign with gas companies looking to drill on their property, potential for accidents that could put them out of business, and the negative impact to the environment, especially the state’s rich water resource. Over 120 Townships have already enacted bans to keep the practice from their community, while Cuomo weighs the option to ban, or allow gas companies to drill in the state.

Here’s what three business leaders taking part in the conference call said:

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