Senator Seward is wrong on fracking. On June 25, Mr. Seward told an Ithaca radio audience that the rumored granting of drilling permits in five counties would “give us some real true life experience here in New York whether this can be done safely or not.” This attitude is heartless and reckless.
The senator seems willing to risk parts of the state, including parts of our own district, if it means big business gets to drill. I disagree. No part of my district, no part of my state, is expendable. If we do not know that fracking can be done safely, and we do not, how can we justify permitting it? What do we say to the residents of Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Steuben and Tioga counties when it turns out that drilling poisons the water, destroys the roads and kills the housing market? Do we then compensate them for their ruined water tables, damaged infrastructure and lowered property values, and, if so, who pays for it?
The residents of this state deserve better than “let’s see whether this can be done safely.” Fracking is not the solution to our dependence on fossil fuels. We need an all out effort to develop and promote alternative, renewable energy sources and, when I am elected to the Senate, that will be one of my primary missions.
Leib is running for New York state's 51st Senate District