In response to comments made by Senator Chuck Schumer on MSNBC’s Morning Joe show on Monday, May 5 in support of hydrofracking, Howie Hawkins issued the following statement:
Senator Schumer is correct that most Democratic Party officials support hydrofracking, from the White House on down to the State House. But millions of New Yorkers, including millions of Democratic voters, know that fracking pollutes the air, land, and water, sickens people living near fracking wells, and contributes to global climate change. Unfortunately, their elected representatives listen more to the corporate lobbyists that line their pockets with campaign cash than to the wishes of constituents.
I called for an outright ban on fracking when I ran for Governor in 2010 and I am still calling for a ban. The state legislature should vote in the current legislative session on the bill to ban fracking. Voters should know where their lawmakers stand before the fall elections. The vote on the fracking ban is needed now in order to force Governor Cuomo to get off the fence and take a stand on fracking. I fear that after November election, when Cuomo turns to his presidential ambitions, he will join the national Democratic and Republican leaderships' pro-fracking consensus and give the go ahead to fracking in New York.
My campaign is calling for 100% Clean Energy in New York by 2030, including a complete ban on fracking, a phase out of all nuclear plants, no new fossil fuel infrastructure, and the rapid development of a clean energy system based on distributed renewable energy production from solar, wind, and water resources and an interactive smart grid. Building out the clean energy system will create 4 ½ million jobs in our state over the next 15 years, far beyond the most outlandish job projections by the fracking industry, but without the costs to air, land, water, and climate and without the damage to existing industries, including agriculture, tourism, and all manufacturers and other businesses that depend on clean water.