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Grassroots Groups Unite For Statewide Ban on Fracking in New York

"We spent three years trying to prove that fracking could be done safely, and what we learned is that it can't be done safely. It is incredibly dangerous; it is incredibly toxic."

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And then the sort of big environmental groups burst onto the scene after they realized what was happening -- the Natural Resources Defense Council and Earth Justice and Environmental Advocates. Then some of the national advocacy groups like United for Action and Common Cause get involved. And then you had some more grassroots groups like Frack Action start up, so you just had this sort of incredible birthing of people saying, "I'm going to take control of my own destiny," and Mountainkeeper's just embraced all of those organizations, supported them in every way we can.

You know, they are essential to winning this fight. It's a little like when you think about modern warfare. You know how you beat a big army? With lots of little pods fighting that are loosely affiliated -- that are sort of communicating, but not really. They're just out there fighting, and that's what we've got going here in New York, and it's pretty incredible.

The other thing about this industry is that they put this lie out there that natural gas is clean; it's a domestic fuel source -- for national security it's important; it's cheap; it's abundant. So you had five -- and I mentioned earlier that I was going to come back. I want to sort of hit those real fast.

So, "Is natural gas clean?" No. It is clean when you burn it; it's cleaner than burnt coal; less carbon emissions. But fracked gas requires an enormous amount of energy to extract. All the truck traffic; all the diesel generation; all the chemicals. When you look at the full life cycle of that, and transporting it, studies by various significant folks show that it's as dirty as dirty coal. So, now everybody's looking at the full life cycle of natural gas, but that lie has been called out. So, it's not clean; it's not a climate-solving fuel.

Two -- national security. Will this somehow relieve us of our dependence on foreign oil from the Muslim nations that hate us? No, it won't. In fact, we're going to export most of this to Japan and China and other places. And so, it's just not true that this will change the dynamic at all when it comes to the geopolitics of oil. That's just a lie. And OPEC and ExxonMobil ... ExxonMobil's the biggest operator here in the natural gas play here in New York State. They are the biggest company operating here, and they are the same biggest evil company that has us addicted to their other fossil fuels. So, it's a total lie.

So, it won't make us safer.

And then, is it cheap? Is it this cheap resource because it's in our backyard? No, it's not cheap. We subsidize this industry enormously in order to provide this cheap gas, so we're paying for it out of our own taxes to subsidize this rich industry to do this, and there's a glut of natural gas on the market right now. So, it's not even profitable. So, the whole economics of natural gas are so bad that the  New York Times did a major investigation into it, and I urge everyone to read it, by Ian Urbina, who looked at the economics. And it's essentially a Ponzi scheme and that it's a house of cards that will fall down. He literally called it a "criminal Ponzi scheme." This is the  New York Times; it's been vetted by all the senior editors.

So you've got the economics are bad; it's not a clean climate fuel; it's not going to solve our environmental climate crisis at all. So really, it's just a bridge fuel to profit for ExxonMobil and Halliburton. That's all it is. And as long as we all accept that and that's what this is about, fine. But those lies have to be called out, and let's just say, do we want to give our land over to ExxonMobil so they can make a bunch of money? If that's the decision, great. But all these other reasons that it supposedly such a great thing are not true.

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