NORWICH – A local grassroots group rallied on the grounds of East Park Saturday to protest the potential for natural gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing in Chenango County, as well as four other surrounding counties where Governor Andrew Cuomo may permit it in the near future.
The rally, dubbed the “Rally to Protect Our Towns,” featured an extensive list of speakers and activists who stand in opposition of the practice of hydraulic fracturing (fracking). Speakers included Howard Leib, Democratic candidate for the 51st NYS Senate District; and congressional Democratic candidate for the newly drawn 22nd District, Dan Lamb. Saturday’s event was the fourth of its kind in a series called “Rolling Rallies” that have taken place across the five Southern Tier counties of Broome, Tioga, Chenango, Chemung and Steuben – known as the “sacrifice zone,” where natural gas drilling could initially be permitted.
“This is such a critical issue. It’s a kitchen table issue,” said Lamb when referring to his campaign platform to stop reckless fracking by promoting clean drinking water, property rights and public health. Lamb is vying for the congressional seat against Republican incumbent Richard Hanna, who Lamb said has “voted party lines” and “turned 180 degrees from his campaign in 2010” when it comes to the highly-contested issue of gas drilling.