The first coordinated international day of action against fracking, the Global Frackdown, united activists on five continents through more than 150 events to call for a ban on fracking in their communities.
As part of the effort, Food & Water Watch, WNY Drilling Defense, the Western New York Peace Center and other local community organizations convened in Niagara Square in Buffalo to discuss fracking’s impact on the Western New York region.
Sheila Miller, local coordinator for Food & Water Watch said, "Without a ban in New York State on fracking, many homeowners will find that spending thousands on extensive water testing is their only option. The gas industry does not tell residents what's in the chemical concoction they use, leaving us in the dark about what's being pumped into the ground around us.
"Fracking in New York will produce billions of gallons of toxic wastewater per year, which leads to contamination of our streams and rivers, due to its regular mistreatment and illegal dumping. Locally, the Niagara River is under threat if Cuomo allows fracking in New York.”
Opposition to drilling and fracking has escalated over the past year, and the oil and gas industry has increased its public relations campaign to convince the public that fracking is safe.
They have used images of President Obama in their ads, after Obama began to support “safe fracking” in time for this election season.
Earlier this year, The American Petroleum Institute launched its Vote 4 Energy campaign, an effort to promote drilling and
fracking during the 2012 election.
A controversial form of energy extraction, fracking involves blasting millions of gallons of water mixed with chemicals underground to release natural gas and oil from tight rock formations. Drilling and fracking have been linked to water contamination and the process has been responsible for industrializing rural areas.
To date, 270 municipalities in the United States have taken action against fracking. There is a moratorium on fracking in the
Czech Republic, Romania, the German state of North Rhine Westphalia, New Jersey and New York.