Public Opinion On The Issue Remains Cautious

NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — A method of pulling natural gas from deep underground has faced increased scrutiny in New York State.

Governor Cuomo may have been feeling some of the heat on Saturday when hundreds of environmental activists gathered near Chelsea Piers, CBS 2’s Steve Langford reported.

The group chanted “Hey, hey, Cuomo, hydro fracking has got to go.” The chant was a reference to hydraulic fracturing a natural gas extraction method often referred to as fracking.

“We want him to make a decision that really protects the residents of the city and protects the farms and the water resources of the state,” Wenonah Hauter of Food and Water Watch said.

The riverfront setting was no coincidence, Governor Cuomo was scheduled to host a lunch at a restaurant inside of Chelsea Piers. Protestors even mobilized a pair of boats to face the waterfront venue.

Whether the message made it to the governor is another matter. He was not at the event on Saturday. Lunch organizers were told two weeks ago that the governor would not be able to attend.

The state has launched a health study on the potential impact of fracking .

“Any decision on hydraulic fracturing will be based on the science and the facts,” the Governor’s Office told CBS 2.

Protestors appeared unsatisfied.

“It doesn’t matter that the fracking isn’t happening because the infrastructure is happening,” Sane Energy Project’s Clare Donohue said.

On November 1, a pipeline under the Hudson River near Gansevoort Street will begin carrying fracked natural gas into Manhattan from Pennsylvania.

Despite objections from protestors Spectra Energy claims the project is safe.

“The New York, New Jersey expansion project was built to meet and, or exceed all federal safety regulations and requirements,” Spectra said.

Public opinion about fracking remains cautious.

“I think it does a lot of damage but I don’t really know if we have many other options at this point,” Kristin Leighton said.

Supporters of fracking say the practice would mean an economic boom to several upstate counties and help end American dependence on foreign oil.

Pending a decision by the governor the protestors have no plans to stop.

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