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Anti-gas drilling TV commercial unveiled

By Fritz Mayer
August 21, 2012

NEW YORK STATE — Television commercials touting the benefits of natural gas have become commonplace over the past couple of years with energy companies like Exxon and Chesapeake and industry lobbying groups like American Petroleum Institute and American Natural Gas Alliance spending millions on slick productions that paint drilling as an activity that will bring jobs and prosperity.

Now, the Delaware Riverkeeper Network (DRN) is jumping into the TV advertising arena with a spot that advises viewers of a large anti-drilling rally planned for August 27 in Albany. The areas that will receive the commercial, via cable television stations, include Binghamton, Elmira, Utica and Sullivan County.

In the Sullivan County market, the spot will air on the how-to channel HGTV, the movie channel Lifetime and during various programs on the left-leaning cable news channel MSNBC.

“In an effort to expose the terrible impacts of fracking and gas development infrastructure, Delaware Riverkeeper Network is investing in this creative effort to reach into the homes of New Yorkers to let them know the imminent dangers at hand and what they can do to influence what will happen,” said Maya van Rossum, the Delaware Riverkeeper. “It’s unfair that the deep pockets of energy corporations allow them to dominate popular airwaves and, as a result, to overwhelm the public discourse with distortions and falsehoods.”

The ad urges viewers to join DRN and a host of other environmental groups at an event called Don’t Frack New York. The purpose is to “deliver our pledges of resistance to Governor Andrew Cuomo and demand a ban on fracking. The pledge lays out that stopping fracking is necessary to prevent the destruction and poisoning of New York’s water, air and food systems on which life, health and economic prosperity all depend—including that of future generations.”

The march begins at Albany Riverfront Park. The park is located across from the Hudson River Way Pedestrian Bridge, at the corner of Broadway and Pine Street. There will be street theater, music, inspiring speeches, a rally and a march.

The event is meant to put pressure on Cuomo in advance of the release of the rules regarding fracking that are expected to be released soon by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. More than 40 environmental and activist groups at the local and national level, including Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy, Catskill Mountainkeeper and Damascus Citizens for Sustainability, are participating in or supporting the event. Visit www.dontfrackny.org.