A standing-room-only crowd of over 120 gathered at the University at Albany campus center last Thursday night to discuss the risks of a controversial natural gas drilling technique called “hydrofracking”.
Most attendees admitted to attending in order to see and meet actor Mark Ruffalo, a Sullivan County resident who has spoken up against fracking. While Ruffalo understood that the large draw was due to his fame, he hoped to enlighten students on a technique which is potentially poisoning public water supply.
Ruffalo and his wife moved to Sullivan County from Hollywood a few years go in order to raise their family. He noticed neighbors leasing their land to gas drilling companies. His community quickly divided on the subject.
“The basic, fundamental life source – water, which we all take for granted – is being ruined. As soon as I got there, I pretty much landed smack dab in the middle of this fight.”
According to Ruffalo, “There hasn’t been one place where they’ve done this and people haven’t had their water contaminated. How did we get to a place where it’s OK for one in ten people to lose something so essential?”
Mark plead to the crowd, “It is upon us to prove they’re poisoning our water and not upon them to prove that they are not. I’m counting on you. My kids are counting on you. The whole world’s changing and it’s in your hands. It is in your grasp to change the way we’re treating our water and land and air.”
In between flashes from cell phone cameras, the Shutter Island and 13 Going on 30 actor made a passionate plea to the crowd to become involved and demand safety regulations of this technique. He explained that hydrofracking is completely exempted from the FDA. The Environmental Protection Agency currently uses standards and regulations set in 1994. (Read the Entire Article)