Welcome to Elected Officials to Protect New York – a statewide, non-partisan network of current and former New York State elected officials committed to protecting a healthy and prosperous environment for our communities.
EOPNY was founded in 2012 due to the growing concern potential threats from high-volume hydraulic fracturing (HVHF, “fracking”) posed on public health, the environment, and our local economies. Our foundational letter, upon which our core membership was formed, simply asked the Governor to maintain the moratorium on fracking until and unless proper studies had proven its safety for all New York citizens.
With countless peer-reviewed studies showing the inherent flaws in the fracking process, it is clear that fracking has failed to meet that high but common-sense standard.
We are enormously grateful to Governor Cuomo for his decision, announced December 17, 2014, to prohibit HVHF in New York State; and the willingness of both the Governor and DEC Commissioner Martens to heed the science on the issue, carefully reviewed by Health Commissioner Dr. Nirav Shah and completed by Dr. Howard Zucker.
New Direction, New Opportunities to Make a Difference in our Communities, our State
The Governor’s decision to ban HVHF was, in all senses, a “watershed” event. Prior to this, however, our group was looking ahead for ways to take a strong public stand for renewable energy – the right path forward for New York State.
Accordingly, in September 2013, EOPNY released a template municipal resolution on this topic to all of our members. The resolution stresses the critical need to transition to renewable energy sources, and the economic opportunities inherent in this shift – in stark contrast to mounting hazards to the environment, public health, local economies, and the climate that fracking represents.
By spring 2014, this template resolution had been passed in 10 municipalities, a benchmark noted by our Earth Day press conference in Albany that year.
We believe the science is “in” on fracking. Moreover, we know that methane leakage at every stage of production, processing, and transport of natural gas, in addition to potentially hundreds of toxic liquid and airborne chemicals associated with gas development present dire risks to the environment and public health.
Again, while we are grateful for our state’s ban on fracking, we are mindful of the threat posed by its associated infrastructure, and view these projects as being contradictory and counter-productive in the quest to transition our state toward renewable energy.
Because of this, we strongly stand for a clean healthy environment for all New Yorkers, rapid transitioning toward renewable energy sources, and working with the Governor on initiatives promoting economic revitalization based on renewable energy. We are dedicated to bringing the voices and priorities of local elected officials concerned about climate change and the negative impacts inherent within fossil fuel development and infrastructure to the Governor and the agencies he leads.
City of Syracuse
Co-Founder and Advisor, Former Councilmember and
Town of Caroline