Friday, July 10, 2015

IT'S OFFICIAL. FRACKING BANNED IN NEW YORK

It's official. Fracking banned in New York - Catskill Mountainkeeper

It's official. Fracking banned in New York

Breaking news! The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has completed all the review steps, and high-volume hydraulic fracturing is now banned in New York State. The ban was made official with today's release of the state's Final Findings Statement (FFS).

Hardly anyone believed that such an amazing victory over the titanic fossil fuel industry was possible. The prevailing wisdom: there is too much money in the state's Marcellus shale to achieve an outright ban.

We proved them wrong. New Yorkers like you kept ramping up the pressure, sending message after message to the Governor and other decision-makers, making phone calls, and showing up for rally after rally.

You and your friends and neighbors made all the difference, proving that when people come together, we can do the impossible: put people and nature before profits.

This is a great day for New York State, and for the movement to fight all kinds of extreme fossil fuel extraction and combat climate change. Please join us in thanking Governor Cuomo and DEC Comissioner Joseph Martens for doing the right thing to protect New York's people and natural resources. The ban truly gives new meaning to the "I Love New York" slogan. You can call the Governor to leave a message of thanks at 518-474-8390.

On behalf of the Catskill Mountainkeeper staff and board, I thank you for your terrific activism and support. I look forward to continuing to work together to protect our wildlands, our farmlands, and the health of our people.

Warm regards,
Ramsay
Ramsay Adams
President, Catskill Mountainkeeper

P.S. You can help build on the momentum of this incredible victory by making a tax-deductible giftto help us keep fighting and winning.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Cooperstown Passes Resolution Regarding Climate Change

Resolution of the Board of Trustees Of the Village of Cooperstown Regarding Climate Change March 3, 2015 Whereas an overwhelming majority of credentialed scientists, in the United States and abroad, support the findings that climate change is happening and that human activities are a key contributor to it; Whereas the U. S. National Academy of Sciences and the U. K. Royal Society have stated, “It is now more certain than ever, based on many lines of evidence, that humans are changing Earth’s climate. The atmosphere and oceans have warmed, accompanied by sea-level rise, a strong decline in Arctic sea ice, and other climate-related changes; Whereas the 2014 National Climate Assessment, reviewed extensively by the National Academy of Sciences and a Federal Advisory Committee, states that in the Northeast “Heat waves, coastal flooding, and river flooding will pose a growing challenge to the region’s environmental, social, and economic systems… [which] will increase the vulnerability of the region’s residents, especially its most disadvantaged populations; Whereas the 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review of the U.S. Department of Defense states that the effects of climate change are “threat multipliers that will aggravate stressors abroad such as poverty, environmental degradation, political instability, and social tensions – conditions that can enable terrorist activity and other forms of violence; Whereas the United Nations International Panel on Climate Change has reported “Impacts from recent climate-related extremes, such as heat waves, droughts, floods, cyclones, and wildfires, reveal significant vulnerability and exposure of some ecosystems and many human systems to current climate variability … and “All aspects of food security are potentially affected by climate change, including food access, utilization, and price stability; Whereas New York State “Executive Order No. 24 set a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in New York State by 80 percent below the levels emitted in 1990 by the year 2050; Whereas the Union of Concerned Scientists has called “for government and corporate decision makers to reduce the threat of global warming by: • Expanding the use of renewable energy and transforming our energy system to one that is cleaner and less dependent on coal and other fossil fuels. • Increasing vehicle fuel efficiency and supporting other solutions that reduce U. S. oil use. • Placing limits on the amount of carbon that polluters are allowed to emit. • Building a clean energy economy by investing in efficient energy technologies, industries, and approaches; Whereas if left unaddressed, the consequences of climate change will adversely impact all Americans, hitting the most vulnerable populations--children, the elderly, the sick and the poor—hardest, and saddling future generations with the costly burden of a damaged planet; and Whereas most faith traditions recognize a moral obligation to care for the most vulnerable peoples and to be responsible stewards of the Earth; Whereas global warming and resultant climate instability are broadly considered issues requiring correct and sustained actions by nations, states, and communities; Whereas local, state and federal governments are incurring increasing costs to repair damage from severe climatic events, and these costs are only expected to increase and will ultimately be borne by taxpayers; Whereas addressing climate change through increased energy efficiency measures and increased development of renewable energy sources could provide benefits in terms of employment and sustainable economic activity; Whereas the Village of Cooperstown and its surrounding region have experienced multiple 100 and 500 year storms in the past 10 years; Whereas the Village of Cooperstown and the surrounding area rely largely on tourism, agriculture and health care to support a sustainable environment and economy which would be negatively affected to an increasing degree by unmitigated climate change, but could benefit from positive actions to address climate change; now therefore be it Resolved, that the Board of Trustees of the Village of Cooperstown: 1) urges the County of Otsego, the State of New York, and the Congress and President of the United States of America to take prompt and effective measures to rapidly address climate change by promoting and encouraging a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels and their associated infrastructure, improvement in the efficiency of energy systems, and the development and installation of renewable energy systems; and 2) stands ready to work with any level of government to achieve these goals, that will in the process create safe, sustainable jobs and provide real, clean energy solutions for generations to come.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

GASLAND'S JOSH FOX AND ZEPHYR TEACHOUT IN ONEONTA FEBRUARY 21

SOLUTIONS GRASROOTS TOUR: A SOLAR HOME COMPANION We’re excited to announce that Josh Fox will be hitting the road with Zephyr Teachout for The Solutions Grassroots Tour: "A Solar Home Companion" February 21st at 1pm in Oneonta at the Hartwick College February 21st at 7pm in Oneonta at the Foothills Performing Art Center February 28th at 11am in Cortland at SUNY Cortland March 7th at 11am in Chatham at Real Food Market Co-op March 8th at 3pm in Plattsburgh at SUNY Plattsburgh March 10th at 6 pm in New Paltz at SUNY New Paltz More NY and PA dates coming soon! We've worked hard to create relationships with the best renewable energy companies in NY and PA and we are bringing renewable energy solutions to you, town by town on an individual, community and town-wide basis. Come and join the discussion and learn with us. Josh Fox, Zephyr Teachout and an array of renewable energy experts will be visiting towns across New York and PA. They'll start off the conversation with some of our organizing history, and a bit of music, and will even show you sneak peaks of Josh's new film on climate change before anyone else in the world. But we will begin the conversation of how we can get our country off of fossil fuels and onto the wind and sun. It starts with you, as it always has. Please join us. As a community we’ll sit down and figure out how we can build energy that’s not only healthier for our towns and planet, but energy that’s democratic and will benefit all people. Together, as a community, we can overcome anything. We can build something better. In the room, that day we will offer you the ability to switch to a renewable energy provider, put solar on the roof of your house, or just organize for better renewable energy laws. It’s a conversation that is both literally and figuratively electric. Bring your friends. Bring your family. And most importantly- Bring your electricity bill. Let's start this new day together. Let's all remember where we were when we finally began to get off fossil fuels, that is the only real ban, that is the only real way we have a future. RSVP for A Solar Home Companion today! Don’t worry if we’re not coming to your neck of the woods just yet. We want every community we've toured to with GASLAND and GASLAND PART II to go renewable. Sign up at www.SolutionsGrassroots.com to get updates on Josh’s future tours. See you on the road! Lee Ziesche, Grassroots Coordinator

Thursday, January 29, 2015

STOP THE PIPELINE to Hold Comment Writing Event at Green Earth Feb 7 and 21

Stop the Pipeline to Hold Comment Writing Events at Green Earth Help Convince the DEC (Department of Environmental Conservation) to Deny Water and Air Quality Permits to the Constitution Pipeline Members of Stop the Pipeline (STP) will hold two comment writing events on Saturday, February 7th and Saturday, February 21st, from 2:00-6:00 PM at The Green Earth, 4 Market St., Oneonta. These are part of the campaign to convince the DEC to deny water and air quality permits for the Constitution Pipeline. Constitution received conditional approval from the federal government but can't be built without permits from NY State. Pipeline construction endangers long-term water and air quality, creates a threat to headwaters and related stream systems, and compromises spawning and viability of important fish species. With Constitution, wholesale tree stripping, especially on hillsides, will lead to increased flooding in an area recently devastated by more frequently occurring 100-year inundations. Landowners, many facing eminent domain proceedings, will lose property value and access, and the quality of life they have established through years of hard work. The Constitution with its associated compressor stations, and a second pipeline project proposed by Kinder Morgan, are a threat to our health, environment, land values, and way of life. Join your neighbors in telling the DEC to do what is environmentally and ethically correct – deny Constitution Pipeline the 401 water quality certificate and air quality permit. With the help of STP volunteers, create personalized letters from sample comment letters and Talking Points. Bring a laptop if you have one, or just bring your pen. For more information, see http://dec.stopthepipeline.org/write-to-nys-dec/

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Fracking Ban Rally and Celebration in Albany Rescheduled for January 21

 
  
 

Due to the passing of former Governor Mario Cuomo, the State of the State Address has been re-scheduled for Wednesday, January 21st. We lend our condolences to the Cuomo family. We are also writing to inform you that our rally and celebration has been re-scheduled for the 21st as well. See original e-mail with new date below. Thank you!

Fellow New Yorker Against Fracking, 

For many years, we were told fracking in New York was inevitable. That no one stops the oil and gas industry and that ultimately Governor Cuomo would cave. For many years, we said that a statewide ban was possible. That the power of the people could triumph over toxic fracking and that our Governor could be a hero by banning fracking and lead this country toward a renewable energy future. Four and a half years later, thankfully we were right.
 
With every great victory, comes a great party. And we are ready to celebrate and have some fun. For Renee, John and I, this campaign has been one of the most grueling, labor intensive, emotionally exhausting and hard won battles we've ever fought. We did it from a place of love for our family, friends and communities. We also did it for your families, friends and communities and all New Yorkers.
 
Please come and join us on January 21st in Albany from 11:30-12:30 pm for a celebration rally outside of the State of the State Address thanking the Governor and each other for this incredible victory and shift our focus to renewable energy. Following the rally we will be hosting a big party at the The Hilton Albany from 1:00-4:00 pm

RSVP and Find Info on Facebook

Find Buses, Carpools and General Info on the Web
We would also like to ask you for an end of the year donation. Frack Action is a small yet powerful organization. Our team has been instrumental in developing the strategies and day-to-day organizing work that helped win a ban on fracking in New York. We have been able to do this because of support from you.

In the coming year, we plan to help lead the shift to New York becoming the renewable energy capital of our nation, as well as assisting people in other states where fracking is happening or is about to start. 

Please make a tax-deductible end of the year donation today. Click here to donate. Thank you.
 
We would like to wish you all a very happy and healthy New Year in New York!

All the best, 

Julia, John & Renee
Frack Action 

Thursday, December 25, 2014

A Message from Sandra Steingraber: Fracking Ban Celebration January 7

Dear fellow New Yorkers,

I’ve long imagined sending you this communiqué.

On January 7, we're holding a rally in Albany to celebrate our victory banning fracking in New York. We will also have a party afterwards in a nearby hotel in walking distance from the Capitol building where we will share stories, songs, food and drinks to celebrate this momentous victory.

A week ago today, on December 17, Governor Cuomo prohibited fracking in the state of New York, citing the Department of Health’s review of the public health impacts of fracking.

That 184-page report, released on the same day, pointed to troubling signs of harm and risk to our health, water, and air — and also revealed gaps in the data that still need to be filled in. Among the multitude of fracking-related problems documented in the DOH report: increased seismic activity, soil contamination, noise pollution, and respiratory complaints among those living near drilling and fracking operations in other states.

“The potential risks are too great,” said pediatrician and Acting Commissioner of Health, Dr. Howard Zucker, “In fact, they are not even fully known.”

After six long years of investigation, deliberation, and organized grassroots power, the public health argument won the day.

Our victory celebration takes place in the capitol building in Albany on January 7, during Governor Cuomo’s annual State of the State address.

And because activists party with a purpose, we have three goals in mind for our festivities. The first is to thank our governor publicly and effusively for standing up to the oil and gas industry, so becoming the first chief executive in a shale gas state to ban fracking.

As you might expect, the fossil fuel industry is not accustomed to the word NO from any elected official, and, for his courage, Governor Cuomo is now coping with a lot of blowback. Let’s make sure he knows just how momentously right his decision is — for us, for our children, and for the whole world.

In fact, I’ll start that laudatory conversation right now: Governor Cuomo, thank you. Your historic — and heroic — decision to prohibit fracking in New York is an affirmation of science, public health, and democracy itself. You’ve set yourself apart as a political leader and earned a place in history. As for those who now disparage the peer-reviewed findings of the DOH report, they sound more and more like the tobacco industry every day. In spite of what the gas industry says, good science is on the side of saying no to fracking.

Indeed, Dr. Zucker’s conclusions (“the overall weight of the evidence … demonstrates that there are significant uncertainties about the kinds of adverse health outcomes that may be associated with HVHF, the likelihood of the occurrence of adverse health outcomes, and the effectiveness of some of the mitigation measures in reducing or preventing environmental impacts which could adversely affect public health”) are echoed in three other recent independent reviews of the evidence: a 103-page compilation by Concerned Health Professionals of New York; a statistical analysis by Physicians, Scientists and Engineers for Healthy Energy; and a 540-page assessment by the environmental assessment agency of Quebec — the results of which have just prompted the Quebec Premier, Philippe Couillard, to extend the moratorium on fracking in that Canadian province indefinitely.

Our second task on January 7 is to celebrate and thank each other and recognize the extraordinary movement we have built, comprised of hundreds of grassroots groups and organizations, large and small. Let there be no mistake. Science alone did not a statewide ban make. The slingshot that brought down the gas industry Goliath was made of two elements: good data and powerful organizing.

Of and by us. Everyone who wrote a letter. Everyone who held a sign. Everyone who marched, rallied, testified, made phone calls, and circulated petitions. Everyone who broke a gas lease. Every community that passed a local ban or moratorium. And the more than 250 organizations that comprise the New Yorkers Against Fracking coalition. It all mattered.

Environmental writer Rebecca Solnit said it best: "The governor did it because he was pushed hard by activists. Look at the weather vanes, but respect the wind."

As just one example of what a mighty wind we are, cast your mind back two years. Do you remember what you were doing in December 2012? Maybe you were writing daily critiques of the draft fracking regulations that the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation had just dropped on us?

Do you recall the holiday season called Thirty Days of Fracking Regs?

Over that one-month comment period — which included Hanukkah, Christmas, and New Years Day — New Yorkers wrote and delivered some 204,000 informed, science-based comments to the DEC.

To do so, some of us hunkered down, cleared our desks, and virtually canceled Christmas itself.

(I wasn’t at all sure at the time, but I’ll say it now: it was so worth it.)

The third goal for our party on January 7 is to articulate the opportunities ahead for renewable energy and express our ultimate desire: a transition from dirty fossil fuels and the destructive tentacles they spread throughout our communities. In this, we are responding to a challenge issued by Governor Cuomo himself when, during his cabinet meeting of one week ago, he pointed to the economic desperation in areas of upstate New York, asking, "What can we do in these areas to generate jobs, generate wealth ... as an alternative to fracking?"

All together, I think we have some ideas to offer. Maybe even a blueprint for the future based on renewable energy and sustainable development. So, let’s convene. Let’s confer. Let’s put our heads together and begin the task of answering the governor’s good question.

As inspiration for our victory rally, and for the days ahead, here is a poem by Rumi, the 13th-century Persian poet and jurist. As you read, imagine the two contiguous worlds he references as the one that we currently occupy, in which dirty, destructive fossil fuels still dominate, and the one that we are beginning to imagine and plan for, in which they do not.

“The breezes at dawn have secrets to tell you
Don't go back to sleep!
You must ask for what you really want.
Don't go back to sleep!
People are going back and forth
across the doorsill where the two worlds touch,
The door is round and open
Don't go back to sleep!”

Happiest of holidays!

Unfractured, now and forever,

Sandra

p.s. Where were you when you heard the news that Governor Cuomo had prohibited fracking in New York? Let’s make time on January 7 to tell our stories.  My own moment of astonishment and joy happened to be caught on film as Governor Cuomo’s announcement came just as 28 civil disobedients at Seneca Lake were being released from the Schuyler County Jail. A winery owner and a maple syrup maker — the very personification of sustainable development for upstate New York — hoisted me into the air for a bit of wild street dancing. You can laugh about it here.

p.p.s. The buses from Long Island, Brooklyn, and Manhattan to Albany have been canceled because of another important event that evening: a public hearing in Queens concerning Port Ambrose, a proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility off the coast of Long Island that would threaten the ecology and promote fracking. For more information, visit the Facebook event page.

What: Rally to Celebrate New York Fracking Ban and Lead the Nation in Renewable Energy!

When: Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Time: 11:30 am - 2:30 pm

Where: Concourse Hallways, outside the entrance to the Convention Center, Empire State Plaza, Albany, New York

NOTE: THE RALLY IS INDOORS

For a Shuttle in the Albany/Capital District region contact Susan Weber at sweber2@nycap.rr.com or at 518-462-3247

SIGN UP FOR BUSES HERE!


Reserve a Seat in Westchester/Rockland/Newburgh,
http://act.foodandwaterwatch.org/site/Calendar?id=115341&view=Detail
Reserve a Seat in New Paltz,
http://act.foodandwaterwatch.org/site/Calendar?id=115361&view=Detail

Reserve a Seat in Kingston,
http://act.foodandwaterwatch.org/site/Calendar?id=115362&view=Detail

Reserve a Seat in Saugerties/Catskill,
http://act.foodandwaterwatch.org/site/Calendar?id=115381&view=Detail

Reserve a Seat in Syracuse/Westmoreland, http://act.foodandwaterwatch.org/site/Calendar?id=115161&view=Detail

Reserve a Seat in Ithaca/Caroline/Whitney Point, http://act.foodandwaterwatch.org/site/Calendar?id=115101&view=Detail

Reserve a Seat in Binghamton,
www.citizenactionny.org/notonewell

Reserve a Seat in Buffalo/Rochester,
http://act.foodandwaterwatch.org/site/Calendar?id=115221&view=Detail

To Reserve a Seat in Cooperstown, Oneonta or Sharon Springs contact Susan Pastor at admin@otsego2000.org

For general RSVP, Carpooling, Comments and To CO-SPONSOR sign up here,
http://bit.ly/2015SOS

www.nyagainstfracking.org
www.notonewell.org

Co-sponsors (in formation):

New Yorkers Against Fracking
Frack Action
Food & Water Watch
Catskill Mountainkeeper
Citizen Action of New York
Sierra Club - Atlantic Chapter
NYPIRG
Alliance for a Green Economy
Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy
United for Action
Environmental Advocates
Riverkeeper
Center for Health, Environment and Justice
Environment New York
350.org
MoveOn.org
Citizens Campaign for the Environment
New York Working Families Party
Green Party of New York
Progressive Democrats of America
Syracuse Peace Council
Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation
Park Slope Food Co-op
Occupy the Pipeline
Water Defense
New York Society for Ethical Culture
Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) - NY
Gas Free Seneca
Rochesterians Concerned About Unsafe Shale Extraction
PAUSE
Sanford Oquaga Area Concerned Citizens
Vestal Residents For Safe Energy
City of Binghamton Residents Against Fracking
Western NY Drilling Defense
POWR
Southern Tier Against Fracking
Otsego 2000
Concerned Citizens of Montauk
Hudson River Sloop Clearwater
MoveOn Long Island
MoveOn Capital District
NYC Friends of Clearwater
Grassroots Environmental Education
Three Parks Independent Democrats
Westchester for Change
All Our Energy
Coalition to Protect Communities from Fracking's Collateral Damage
Marcellus Accountability Project
Back to Democracy
Yoga for the Earth
Cayuga Lake Watershed Network
New York Youth Against Fracking
FLEASED
Sierra Club Niagara
Western NY Environmental Alliance
CC4CW
Nurse Rise
GreenStar Co-operative Markets
Dryden Resource Awareness Coalition
Shaleshock
Shaleshock CNY
Campaign for Renewable Energy
350NYC
Damascus Citizens for Sustainability
WESPAC
Community Free Democrats
New York State Young Democrats
North Shore Audubon Society
South Shore Audubon Society
GDACC (Gas Drilling Awareness of Cortland County)
Environmental Justice Committee, SUNY Cortland
Nassau County Green Party
Mothers Out Front
North American Climate Conservation and Environment
Franciscan Earth Corp
Binghamton Regional Sustainability Coalition
Western NY Peace Center
Slow Food Huntington
iEatGreen
Stencils Against Fracking
Jews Against Hydrofracking
Stop the Minisink Compressor Station
Campaign for Renewable Energy
People for a Healthy Environment
Sustainable Tompkins
The Pearl of Seneca Lake Bed and Breakfast
Fossil Free & Green NY
Southern Cayuga Anti-Fracking Alliance
Reach Out America
Protect Orange County
Learning Sustainability Campaign/Green Watch
The Kirkland Committee to Prohibit Hydro-fracking
Gandhi Earth Keepers International
Friends of Sustainable Sidney
Friends of Butternuts
Frack Free Genesee
Elmirans and Friends Against Fracking
Bay Ridge Peace Action
Bay Ridge Democrats
Barnard Columbia Divest for Climate Justice
Ban Fracking Now
Alchemical Nursery
MoveOn New York
MoveOn Finger Lakes
Interfaith Moral Action on Climate
Granny Peace Brigade
Residents Opposing Unsafe Shale Gas Exploration (ROUSE)
Broadway Democrats
Samuel J. Tilden Democratic Club
MoveOn NYC
Physicians for Social Responsibility - New York Chapter
Sierra Club - Lower Hudson Group
Huntington - Oyster Bay Audubon
People for a Healthy Environment
We Are Seneca Lake
Baum Forum
Chefs for the Marcellus
American Sustainable Business Council
Businesses Against Fracking New York
Residents Against Fracking Tioga
Green Sanctuary, UUCB, Binghamton
Delaware Riverkeeper Network
New York State Sustainable Business Council
Earthworks
Brooklyn For Peace
 
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    Sunday, December 21, 2014

    Hydraulic Fracturing Banned in New York State December 17, 2014



    THE ISSUE:
    New York is banning the drilling for natural gas using hydraulic fracturing.
    THE STAKES:
    Growing evidence about the risks posed by the process make it the right decision.

    Gov. Andrew Cuomo always promised that he would let science determine New York's future course when it comes to fracking.
    In announcing Wednesday the state will formally ban high volume hydraulic fracturing, the controversial process of pumping water, sand and chemicals deep into the ground to release and extract natural gas, the governor delivered on that promise.
    In that, Mr. Cuomo deferred to the recommendation of his acting health commissioner, Dr. Howard Zucker, who released a 176-page, two-year health study that found widespread fracking will likely contaminate the state's air and water and pose significant health risks to residents of the communities around the drilling sites.
    Dr. Zucker's compelling conclusion, in which he posed the question of whether he would raise his family near a drilling site, put it best: "After looking at the plethora of reports behind me ... my answer is no."
    In banning fracking, New York goes against the trend in which a growing number of states are attempting to cash in on a natural gas boom. But that very boom provided state Health Department researchers the abundant and ever-expanding foundation of data that led to their overwhelming conclusion. States where fracking has been under way are experiencing myriad problems with methane, benzene and other volatile organic compounds polluting the groundwater and air. Data also link the gas drilling process with earthquakes.
    In 2009, when New York land owners and developers were urging at least limited fracking to tap the gas-rich Marcellus shale formation, only six peer-reviewed studies on the environmental health impact of the hydraulic drilling process were available. Today, 154 such reports have been completed, examining various types of drilling operations in Pennsylvania, Colorado, Texas and elsewhere, according to Physicians, Scientists & Engineers for Health Energy, a New York-based group opposed to hydrofracking. Long-term studies also are under way, which the group believes will reveal cancer and respiratory problems for residents of the communities where there is gas drilling.
    Skeptics may say Gov. Cuomo's decision was politically easy, coming during an oil glut that has reduced demand for natural gas. But by instituting an outright ban on fracking, the Democratic governor is already taking political hits from the drilling industry and many Republicans, particularly in the financially pressed Southern Tier and Western New York. Even there, however, fracking's wisdom is disputed by many.
    Now the governor and his staff must follow through on his pledge to find alternative and safer economic development opportunities for those areas, which have been struggling for decades.
    Scientific research will continue on fracking, and surely technological improvements will, as well. There might come a time when the process is safe enough for some use in New York. But the science today is clear: that time isn't now.