In a new article on The Huffington Post, Mark Ruffalo explains how allowing gas companies to drill in New York state could lead to easy money — and terrible environmental consequences.
"A few weeks ago, I drove about an hour from my home in Upstate New York to Dimock, Pennsylvania," the actor writes. "Dimock is a tiny town in the midst of green fields and sloping ridgelines — the kind of bucolic countryside that drew me to this region over a decade ago. But now Dimock represents a future I dread."
Ruffalo goes on to mention such consequences as contaminated water, radioactive holding ponds, loud machinery, and an industrial site where once was a quiet farm. At fault is a loophole in the Safe Drinking Water Act that exempts the chemically heavy process of hydraulic fracking — which companies use to extract the gas — from regulation.
"This isn't even a case like the Deepwater Horizon disaster in which BP disregarded the rules," he adds. "There simply aren't any fracking rules for companies to follow. The results speak for themselves."
While Pennsylvania currently allows drilling, New York state has a moratorium in place for new permits to allow more time to review the environmental impacts of fracking — something Ruffalo would like to extend.
"I have traveled to Albany to talk to elected officials. It has taken many trips, many conversations, many citizen activists, but I have seen the tide slowly turning. Some politicians are starting to realize that letting industry run roughshod over the state may not be good for New York. There is increasing support from both political parties for a bill pending in the statehouse that would place a moratorium on natural gas drilling in New York until May 15, 2011."
Ruffalo, who will play the new Incredible Hulk for Joss Whedon's upcoming "The Avengers," lives on a small farm in Sullivan County in New York.
You can learn more about the harmful effects of natural gas fracking here.