Supporters of the controversial gas drilling practice hydrofracking gather in Albany for a rally. They want the governor to reverse the moratorium on fracking, saying it could bring jobs and other economic benefits to the area. Megan Cruz has the latest from the Capitol.
ALBANY, N.Y. -- Beth Russo cheers along with hundreds of other hydrofracking supporters. She rode a bus to Albany Monday all the way from the Southern Tier to ask Governor Cuomo to lift the state moratorium on gas drilling.
“I actually have more concern for the future for my children and grandchildren with our deficit and the lack of jobs than I do from fracking,” Russo said.
That's because while fracking opponents say the process poisons our air and water, Russo and others here say they don't buy it.
"Fracking isn't something new. They've been fracking for years in many other different states and they haven't stopped it," said Otsego County resident Steve Barton.
Many people at Monday's rally came from Russo's neck of the woods, as well as Central New York. They say hydrofracking is a safe way to revitalize communities suffering from industries on the decline.
Barton said, “We had 23 operating dairy farms in 1972. Today we have nine.”
Barton sold his cows a couple years ago. He's now trying to cultivate a crop farm, while working two other jobs. But fracking opponents ask if the benefits are worth the risks.
John Armstrong said, “We need to go and look at the science on this, see what the impact would be to public health and the scientists are cautioning there may be very serious ramifications to public health and the environment.”
“Do I look like I'm glowing? I mean I'm perfectly fine, I'm perfectly healthy, people in Dimock are perfectly healthy," said Pennsylvania resident Sherry Hart.
Hart lives just miles from where they now frack in Pennsylvania. Opponents say there's been evidence of contamination there.
Russo said, “I do believe there's risk in any exploration of energy but I think as long as it's well monitored and we learn. I always refer to the BP accident. We didn't stop drilling for oil because of that accident.”