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Students Protest Hydrofracking At Capitol

11:04 PM, Apr 30, 2012   |    comments
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By Joe Spector

Some of the younger members of the anti-hydrofracking community voiced their concerns at a rally in the Capitol on Monday, Gannett's Aaron Scholder reports.

Members of a summit of 150 youth leaders in the state, known as Power Shift New York, marched through the building to chant at Gov. Andrew Cuomo to ban the controversial practice.

The group delivered a letter signed by 17 other anti-fracking organizations as well as a petition against the practice that was signed by more than 1,600 people.

"We're here to let Gov. Cuomo know loud and clear that if he wants to be a leader for the youth vote and for environmental communities in New York, that he needs to take a stand to ban fracking and lead us toward a cleaner, greener future and economy," said Laura Smith, a student at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie.

The group also held a mock wedding and annulment to signify the need to separate what they said were back-room deals between gas corporations and politicians.

Members of the group said they felt their voice needed to be heard to show that the youth population was significant in the state.

"Our generation, by 2016, will be the largest voting block," said K.C. Alvey, an Ithaca native and recent graduate of Cornell University. "We have a range of campuses and high schools that we're connected with. People are active and we are waking up to the challenges that we face as a generation and as a nation."

Hydrofracking in New York is on hold until the state Department of Environmental Conservation completes its environmental review, which is expected later this year.

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