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Largest anti-fracking rally to date
On Saturday, hundreds of people gathered at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine for the largest anti-fracking rally in New York state history. Water Defense was joined by numerous other speakers, including State Senators Tony Avella and Adriano Espaillat, State Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal, Wenonah Hauter of Food and Water Watch, Gasland director Josh Fox and Bill McKibben of 350.org. (Video: Water Defense's executive director Claire Sandberg speaks at the rally.)
Saturday's rally exemplified the momentum that the movement to ban fracking in New York has gained in the last few years. A look across the United States, where gas companies are fracking in 34 states, should make us all the more proud that we've organized a majority of New Yorkers to fight the gas industry, and that we've maintained a moratorium on fracking. While we wait for the NY Department of Environmental Conservation to review some 61,000 comments submitted by New York residents on proposed fracking regulations, we shouldn't be afraid to take a moment to pat ourselves on the back for what we've accomplished.
But, as several speakers pointed out, the fight we're in is much larger than New York State. Fracking is going on all over the world, and the very same companies that want to drill in our backyards are drilling for oil a mile under the ocean in the Gulf of Mexico and building pipelines to transport tar sands oil.
Our fight in New York has proved that organized people can defeat organized money. Our challenge now is to apply that lesson nationally - and globally - to build a clean energy economy.
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