Contact: Lindsay Meiman, 350 Action, (347) 460-9082
New York, NY — Fracking was front and center during last Thursday’s Democratic debate, and today New Yorkers are heading to the polls with the fiercest debate on climate yet fresh on their minds.
After years of activist campaigning, New York imposed a statewide ban on fracking, resulting in a massive victory for community health and safety.
“The New Yorkers who fought for and won a ban on fracking to protect our water and our communities, and who marched together at the historic People’s Climate March, are the same voters heading to the polls today to cast their ballots,” said Yong Jung Cho, 350 Action spokesperson.
In September 2014, more than 400,000 people joined in the streets of New York City to demand climate justice from world governments. The People’s Climate March was led by communities on the front lines of environmental and climate justice fights, from African-American leaders impacted by Hurricane Sandy, to indigenous leaders fighting tar sands in their backyard.
Earlier this year, the Porter Ranch disaster just miles outside of Los Angeles shined a harsh spotlight on the dangers of existing gas infrastructure and intensified concerns about the impact fracking has on communities and the climate.
“Fracking is a bridge to planetary destruction,” said Cho. “New Yorkers and voters across the country know that the only safe place for fracked gas is in the ground.”
The latest research on fracking reveals that the nation as a whole is leaking methane into the atmosphere in massive quantities. Fracking wastewater disposal has been linked to a sharp increase in earthquakes and poses risk of contaminating groundwater.
Thursday’s Democratic debate brought a charged conversation on each candidate’s positions on fracking. As a result of activist pressure, Secretary Hillary Clinton has moved significantly to the left on climate, though she said that her position on fracking has not changed. Fellow candidate Bernie Sanders repeated his call for a sweeping national ban on fracking.
Sparks flew on Thursday’s debate stage when candidates were asked about the influence of fossil fuel money and industry lobbyist donations in the campaign. Throughout the course of the election, activists have pushed both candidates to express stronger stances on climate than ever before.
350 Action has not endorsed any presidential candidate and is working in primary states to urge candidates for president to take bold action on climate change by pledging to keep fossil fuels in the ground and support a just transition to a 100% renewable energy economy that works for all.