Pete Seeger on NY Fracking: ‘No Question It Should Be Banned’

93-year-old activist suggests Governor Andrew Cuomo’s reputation is on the line.

(Photo: Lucas Jackson/Getty Images)

A six-time grantee of the National Geographic Expeditions Council, Jon writes about all things ocean.

When Pete Seeger talks, people ought to listen.

One of America’s preeminent political activists and environmentalists, the 93-year-old New Yorker—born in NYC, he’s lived in a house he built by hand high above the Hudson River in Beacon for the past 50 years—has been outspoken about the evils of fracking since the issue was first raised here several years ago.

In a conversation I had with him at his home a few Sundays ago, he was forthright in how he perceives the future of fracking in his home state. “There is no question it should be banned,” he said. “Maybe the moratorium can be continued, but ultimately that form of extraction should never be conducted in New York.”

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In the accompanying video clip, Seeger speaks directly to the man he thinks holds the fracking future in his hands, Governor Andrew Cuomo.

“Your father was perhaps the best governor this state has ever had,” says Seeger, referring to Andrew’s father, Mario. Seeger goes on to say that if the current Governor Cuomo allows fracking, he has “the possibility of being the worst.”

So far the governor has had no response to Seeger’s direct message, posted on YouTube.

Both a friend to and heir of Woody Guthrie’s unique form of political activism through music, Seeger’s words have special power as Guthrie’s 100th birthday is celebrated all year long.

Though slowed by a bad leg, Seeger continues to appear in public, singing his songs and speaking his mind.

“I’m going to live long enough to make sure those frackers don’t drill in New York,” he says, “no matter how long that takes.”

Governor Cuomo has implied he will make a decision this summer on whether to lift the four-year moratorium against fracking in New York, or continue it while scientific studies on its pros and cons are continued.

Should New York Governor Andrew Cuomo outlaw fracking? Let us know in the COMMENTS.

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