Hydraulic fracturing, which is a way of drilling deep underground for natural gas, and is dangerous to the water supplies that run through New York State, has been under a moratorium in New York State since 2008. The United States Department of Energy has convened an Advisory Board which has been charged with making recommendations to make hydraulic fracturing safer in the future. While I am in doubt that hydraulic fracturing can ever be made safe, I recently joined with other New York State elected officials to demand that the Board include representation from communities affected by fracking. Right now the Board does not include any ordinary citizens and six of the seven members of the Board, including the chair John Deutch, have ties to the natural gas and oil industry. The letter we wrote insists that Mr. Deutch step down from the chairmanship and that an independent panel chair and other impartial Board members be included.
Hydraulic fracturing is a critical issue for the environmental health of our state and its citizens and I urge members of the community to become familiar with this issue. In other parts of the country, fracking has devastated communities. Fracking creates toxic and radioactive wastewater spills, industrial truck traffic, air pollution-related health problems, and tremendous damage to local businesses and property owners. New York can not afford to put the health of our water and our communities at risk for short term gains.
The Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment was established in 1978 to aid the Legislature by providing technical plans for meeting the requirements of legislative timetables for the reapportionment of Senate, Assembly and Congressional districts. Reapportionment happens every 10 years. Next year, 2012, all elected officials excluding our city council members will run on new district lines created by gains and losses in population. Based on the most recent census I believe the 52nd A.D. gained population, so my assumption is the new 52nd AD will look very similar to the current district.
On Tuesday September 20, 2011 at 10:00am the task force will hold a public hearing at Brooklyn Borough Hall. The hearing is one of many being held throughout the state. These hearings are a great opportunity to hear first hand about the process as well as voice your opinions, comments or concerns.
ASSEMBLY AGING COMMITTEE
My first roundtable as the new Chair of the Assembly's Committee on Aging will be on Tuesday, October 25th at Borough Hall at 9:30am. The roundtable will focus on the growing problem of elder abuse. I will be joined by experts in the field to begin discussing ways in which state and local governments can partner to end elder abuse throughout New York State. Throughout our state seniors are experiencing physical or psychological neglect or financial exploration, all of which go unreported in many cases. Our seniors have worked hard their entire lives and deserve our support. We need to give elder abuse the attention that it deserves, and I intend to use this roundtable to discuss ways in which we can tackle elder abuse at every angle. I hope you will be able to join me at this important hearing.