“Dear Governor Cuomo, I am writing to express my concern about fracking in New York State…”
This video and the ‘A Million Fracking Letters’ campaign it promotes, were created by Doug Wood, the associate director of a Port Washington, New York environmental organization, Grassroots Environmental Education. He even wrote the music himself.
He told Breaking Energy that he launched the campaign on September 6 after months of concern about increasing hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as “fracking,” development in the state. He is particularly worried, he said, by the potential health risks fracking could pose for local communities.
“Certainly there are some economic reasons why fracking would be a good idea but in the analysis of cost-benefit, you have to look at the cost of human health as part of that cost,” Wood said.
New York State recently released a draft report on fracking that would allow for dozens of new operations but with stricter regulation. See the full report: NY State Release Fracking Report.
“I have some friends up in Albany,” he said. “Some guy said to me, you are going to need a million letters if you expect to stop the oil and gas companies.”
So Wood set out to find a million letters. The video and campaign website, now supported by dozens of environmental, public health and media organizations–including Grassroots Environmental Education–aims to spread public awareness of fracking and is aimed at motivating 1 million New Yorkers to send personal letters to Governor Andrew Cuomo.
“The governor is going to need enough ammunition to say I can’t do this,” Wood said. Without a very strong show of public opposition, he said, Cuomo would have no way to stop the strong and wealthy oil and gas companies from fracking.
But many industry insiders say concerns of public health risk are overblown and that fracking is not more dangerous than other development projects if all safety procedures are executed correctly. The problem, CEO of Texas-based Breitling Oil & Gas, Chris Faulker, told Breaking Energy, is that the fracking community never made a real effort to build trust and communicate with the public. Read more: ‘We’re Our Own Nemesis’.
While Wood acknowledges that his efforts may be “a pie in the sky,” he said the campaign is slowly catching on.
“This is the way democracy is supposed to work,” Wood said. “I am thrilled about it.”
Learn more about A Million Fracking Letters.