How New York Activists Banned Fracking

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by Eric Weltman
In These Times

On December 17, years of relentless organizing culminated in the administration of Gov. Andrew Cuomo announcing a ban fracking in New York.

In winning this historic victory, we defeated the oil & gas industry, with its massive financial clout and political influence. We also undermined the conventional wisdom that a ban was not feasible—a sentiment widely held by political insiders but also by many green groups who easily conceded that fracking would be permitted.

As Ling Tsou, co-founder of United for Action, a New York City-based grassroots group that fought for a ban, noted, “The mainstream environmental organizations thought the best we could get were good regulations and thought we were crazy.”

But thousands of “fracktivists” like Tsou persevered, and against the odds, with a combination of smart strategy and lots of hard work, banned fracking in New York. Here is how we did it.

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