There has been an uptick in my fracktivist activity lately. This latest activity burst started with the recent New York State Court of Appeals decision upholding the home rule rights of towns in the state to ban unconventional drilling within their borders by using their zoning/land use powers.
There followed a lot of commenting on articles in the press about the decision and also about some important new scientific studies that have been published this month, along with the usual guest viewpoints and letters to the editors that need support or fact-checking.
Earlier this evening, I attended my town board’s meeting, along with a group of fellow residents who have been asking the board to consider a moratorium for years now. Given that the board no longer has the excuse of being afraid that they will be sued, we decided to bring it up again during the open comment period near the end of the meeting.
There were at least fifteen speakers for a town moratorium or ban and only three for drilling if/when the state lifts its moratorium. I even spoke, which is unusual as I prefer to communicate by writing rather than public speaking.
The frustration was that the board wouldn’t answer any questions that we asked. They are beholden to some of the large landowners and people in the trucking and construction business, so they pretend that it is all just a matter of preference, not a matter of science and public safety.
I asked one of the leaders of the anti-frackers how she thought it went, as I really wasn’t sure. She thought it went as well as it could have under the circumstances.
I guess – for tonight – that will have to do.