On March 8th, 2011, three of our classmates visited New York State Senator Tom Duane’s Office and discussed the topic of Hydraulic Fracturing with Laura Morison, his Chief of Staff. They wrote an article about their visit, which is published below. Find a photo from their visit below the article.
Visiting NY State Senator Tom Duane’s Office
March 16, 2011
By: Maite, Kyjah, and Katherine
It was last period when we realized that we would be meeting with a governmental official to discuss an important issue that impacts all of New York. As we entered the building and rode up the elevator we debated whether to stay pro, con, or neutral. Anxious to hear Laura Morrison’s ideas, we choose to present her with both sides to try and understand her perspective. Laura Morrison favored the con side because of its mass effect on all New Yorkers, from upstate farmers to students in all boroughs; it is not about economic growth for the nation, it is an individual economic venture. Although this new source of energy would benefit the United States and decrease the reliance on foreign oil, we are taking the pressure off of international relations and putting pressure on relations state to state in America.
According to Senator Tom Duane hydrofracking “is a cynical move that will pit New Yorkers against each other.” Thankfully, New York is a state where despite obvious differences in social class and economic status there is an understanding of a majority. If Hydraulic fracturing occurred in New York it would not just affect one demographic, it would affect everyone. Tom Duane is very opposed the idea of hydrofracking because it typically only benefits gas companies and usually harms everyone else who depends on water. He believes that the Environmental Protection Agency has to regulate and prevent those individuals who are of influence to stop them from doing their work.
We discussed that possibly drilling near NYC water sheds could lead to potential Human Rights issues. If New York water is polluted, millions of people would not have access to safe drinking water. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights clearly states that all people have “the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.” If New York’s Water Sheds are polluted then it would greatly affect people and animals health. Potentially disregarding Human Rights laws in America is too great of a threat. The possibility that millions of people will be without water in one of the Greatest Cities on Earth borders on inhumane treatment.
New York is not the only city being treated threat. Small towns all across America have already begun to suffer. Cities all across Texas, New York, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and more will not have access to safe drinking water. Agriculture will suffer, people’s health will be in jeopardy, and the money made through hydrofracking will all be spent in repairing the damages. Laura Morrison believes that hydrofracking would not be bad for the country if there were regulations so there would not be environmental damage as well as the public gaining money not just the big gas companies.
Fortunately for us it is not too late, there is something that can be said and done through grass tops and grass roots. The grass tops are big companies that have money and power to influence government officials and campaigns. Grass roots are a group of people that want to make a difference driven by volunteers on a level with aspirations to influence politics. To target these organizations, people should be self-aware by getting involved. Our school is involved in many aspects of raising awareness. The NYC iSchool has working on raising awareness through many social-media outlets to address the need for more voices to come together. With more people we can get more results to make a difference.
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