Culver City Observer -

New York Extends Fracking Moratorium

Governor Cuomo Cites Potential Health Risks in Action


January 8, 2015

After spending nearly two years and 4,500 hours reviewing scientific research, New York's Department of Health concluded that fracking poses significant risks to human health and safety.

With unprecedented deference to public health experts, New York's Governor Andrew Cuomo extended the state's moratorium on high-volume fracking operations.

Fracking has been a concern of Culver City residents and officials for many years with meetings held regarding the safety of fracking under Culver City from the Inglewood oil fields in Baldwin Hills.

Citing unknowable threats to air, water and the health of communities, New York's Commissioner of Health, Dr. Howard Zucker declared that, "there are questions that remain unanswered from lack of scientific analysis, specifically longitudinal studies of [fracking]."

Zucker concluded, "Would I live in a community with [fracking] based on the facts that I have now? Would I let my child play in a school field nearby? After looking at the plethora of reports behind me ... my answer is no."

"New York is the first state to put the science before the politics and come to a conclusion based on the weight of the evidence," explains Seth B.C. Shonkoff, Executive Director of PSE Healthy Energy.

"The decision is a clear example of how bringing scientific transparency to the issue - highlighting what we know and don't know - is an important component of responsible energy policy decision making."

In contrast to New York, California has allowed fracking to continue, even as scientists are still working to determine the full extent of risks.

"California has essentially reversed the regulatory process when it comes to fracking," said Jackie Pomeroy, spokesperson for CAFrackFacts. "By January 1, state regulators will have finalized California's fracking rules a full six months before any of the mandated scientific studies have been completed. Given the long-term and potentially irreversible impacts of fracking, it is critical that we make policy decisions based on science-unfortunately, the current timeline makes this impossible."


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