TARRYTOWN, N.Y. -- Anti-Fracking groups plan to stage a protest with hundreds attending Thursday when Gov. Andrew Cuomo visits Tarrytown for a campaign fundraiser at the Doubletree Hotel on Broadway overlooking the Tappan Zee Bridge.
The protesters say the event is meant to send a message -- "Ban Fracking Now" -- and will include Hudson Valley residents and environmental organizations.
Fracking, or hydro-fracking, is a method used to get natural gas from rock. New York has plentiful gas deposits trapped in rock deep below ground. To release the gas, drillers pump down million of gallons of water filled with chemicals.
“Gov. Cuomo needs to see that opposition to fracking is widespread and will continue growing as New Yorkers learn more and more about the many dangers gas development brings to communities large and small,” said Alex Beauchamp, regional director at Food & Water Watch, a consumer rights group. “We need him to protect our state, and we’ll follow him everywhere he goes – especially as his reelection campaign heats up – until he bans fracking once and for all.”
The organizers said they hoped Cuomo would show for the event.
"The question of whether Cuomo will actually appear has been raised, given his recent history of bailing out of scheduled appearances where anti-fracking protesters have promoted their presence," a press release from Food & Water Watch read. "Such recent bail-outs include a Long Island event on Monday, March 31, numerous Manhattan events, and last summer’s State Fair in Syracuse."
Food & Water believes fracking and natural gas operations have increasingly been accompanied by serious disasters and emergencies. Just weeks ago in Pennsylvania, a natural gas well exploded, killing a worker, shaking homes, sparking a fire that burned for four days, and emitting gas into the atmosphere. In July in West Virginia, a fracking explosion injured at least five people and led to state and federal investigations.