by Laura Mitic (Carmanah) for The Jellyfish Project
New York just became the second state in the United States to ban hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, within it's borders. Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the ban after the "significant public health risks'' of fracking were identified by Commissioner Howard Zucker.
According to Dr. Zucker, his review came down to one question: "Would he want his family to live in a community where fracking was taking place?"
Fracking is the act of drilling into the earth and injecting a high-pressure water mixture, composed of water, sand and chemicals, into shale rock. This allows the natural gas inside to be released and flow out of the well. It takes 1-8 millions gallons of fresh water and approximately 40,000 gallons of chemicals to complete each fracturing job. Many of the chemicals used are toxins and carcinogens, and nearby communities have felt their effects after drinking contaminated water, leading to sensory, respiratory and neurological disorders.
Governor Cuomo claims that this has been the most emotionally charged issue he's had to deal with so far, including discussions about gay marriage and the death penalty. The decision has been met with much support by the community, environmentalists and liberals, but also with a great deal of resistance from the oil and gas companies who claim that fracking in NY would create many jobs and millions in revenue.
Check out more here on NY here
To learn more about the controversies surrounding fracking, click here
Here is an amazing interactive site on fracking