"We're basically saying that the Governor has stood up and told the public that his final decision whether or not to allow fracking in New York will be based on science and that's a courageous stand," said Walter Hang, Toxics Targeting President.
Fractivists are expected to show up in force at B.U. Friday.
They're hoping to catch the President's eye as he rolls in. President Obama supports natural gas development. He outlined that point in his State of the Union address. Walter Hang, who is the President of Toxics Targeting, based in Ithaca, has been helping to organize the large anti-fracking rally. He says people from New York, Pennsylvania and even Ohio will be at the protest.
Walter Hang says, "They're going to be sending a very clear message to the President. He shouldn't be supporting shale fracking until comprehensive public health studies are completed and pollution liability safeguards are have been adopted. That should be his national policy and it isn't at this point."
New York currently has a moratorium on fracking. Pro-drilling supporters will be having a picnic rally at Otsiningo Park in Dickinson Friday.
That’s exactly why protesters are likely to be out in force tomorrow in Buffalo, and even more so when Obama continues his visit to Binghamton, NY. Fracking remains controversial throughout the U.S., thanks to concerns over potential water contamination and pollution from wells, as well as fears that the new supplies of natural gas will bind the country more permanently to carbon-heavy fossil fuels. Ground zero for that emotional debate is New York state, which has both a massive potential reserve of shale gas and a determined community of environmentalists and activists working to ensure that fracking never happens in the Empire State. “We’re going to be present in Binghamton by the hundreds, if not the thousands,” Walter Hang, the head of Ithaca-based Toxic Targeting, told WNYC.
Toxics Targeting and Citizen Action are joining forces to call on thousands of people to raise their voices about the hydrofracking debate.
“We’re all going to show up and confront the president that it is simply irresponsible to support shale fracking without assessing the health risks and adopting a pollution liability protection,” said Walter Hang, Toxics Targeting President.
Walter Hang, the owner of Ithaca-based Toxics Targeting and a well-known organizer in the Southern Tier, said he's focusing his efforts on the Binghamton University stop.
In an email Monday to thousands of fracking critics, Hang said the Obama visit will "dwarf all others in importance."
"We're working with as many groups as we possibly can to make this a national event on shale fracking," Hang said. "We're going to be putting out the call to action to groups in Pennsylvania and Ohio and all over New York."
President Obama is planning on visiting upstate New York next week to promote an education plan. But whenever a major politician visits the region, the issue of fracking is often on the agenda, whether they like it or not.
President Obama’s planned trip to Buffalo, Syracuse and Binghamton will focus on the importance of getting an affordable college education.
But activists opposed to hydro fracking want the topic of natural gas drilling to be on the agenda as well.
“We’re going to be present in Binghamton by the hundreds if not the thousands,” says Walter Hang, with the Ithaca based Toxics Targeting.
Hang says protesters are expected at the President’s other stops, as well, but the Southern Tier, which is at the epicenter of the gas drilling debate, will feature the largest demonstration.