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Abinanti Talks Hydrofracking at Pleasantville High

PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. – Assembly member Thomas Abinanti (D–Greenburgh) visited Pleasantville High School last week to lead a discussion on hydraulic fracturing – or hydrofracking – with juniors and seniors in an environmental science class.

“We’re studying hydrofracking, and Mr. Abinanti is actually involved in some of the committee hearings of the environmental impact statements for hydrofracking,” said teacher Maryelisa Blundell. “These are all voters or soon-to-be-voters.”

Abinanti, who is opposed to hydrofracking, said the discussion mostly can be boiled down to an issue of environment versus business.

“Everywhere you try to produce energy has environmental impacts and costs money. And it’s a trade-off. So, you've got this tug back and forth between the political parties as to the right way to go,” Abinanati said. “It is very good study on what government is all about and its interface with new business.”

The process of hydrofracking is to harvest natural gas by pumping water and chemicals into the earth to break open rock formations and allow the gas to escape and be captured.

“We have not been able to get the companies to release what’s in that cocktail of chemicals,” Abinanti said. “Every one of the companies says ‘well, this is a trade secret, we don’t want everybody to know what’s in this.’ Well, we as people who want to protect our environment, want to know what’s going into the ground.”

While he said the issue typically divides Democrat and Republican party leaders, Abinanti has teamed with conservative State Sen. Greg Ball on a legislation that regulates hydrofracking. He does not expect Gov. Andrew Cuomo to enact any regulations in the near future, however.

As alternate enegery source, Abinanti suggested the state invest in designing buildings with bigger windows, solar panels and wind turbines. He said there currently is no incentive for buildings to produce energy on-site, which he hopes to change.

“We didn't inherit this Earth from our ancestors; we are guardians for our grandchildren,” Abinanti said. “It’s your world. You guys have to understand this. You’re inheriting it.”

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