This weekend, the movie Promised Land hits theatres, opening up the debate about hydrofracking to the entire country. Here in the Southern Tier, opponents of the practice came together for a special showing Friday. Our Elyse Mickalonis tells us what they thought of the film, and why they were inspired to speak out afterward.
TOWN OF DICKINSON, N.Y. -- It’s the latest environmental film Hollywood has released, and it’s one that’s getting a lot of attention in the Southern Tier.
“Wouldn’t it be great if everyone put their honest cards on the table and told us what’s really going on with this industry? That’s what I got out of the movie,” said Matt Ryan, (D) Binghamton Mayor.
The movie Promised Land hit theaters this weekend. The Matt Damon flick focuses on the issue of introducing natural gas drilling to a struggling rural community, but not everyone is on board.
It's an issue Binghamton Mayor Matt Ryan has been very outspoken about. He joined an anti-fracking rally after he watched the movie on Friday.
"We're fighting hard to bring our economy back, Governor Cuomo should also, along with all the farmers and people, and get together and learn how to make farming profitable let farmers do what they do, we can grow biodiesel fuels, do a lot of things,” said Ryan.
Walter Hang, Toxics Targeting President, added, “This movie is a tribute to the growing nation recognition that fracking poses potential health threats to the environment.”
Binghamton’s hydrofracking ban was overturned in October when a judge ruled it was illegal. And while many feel fracking is safe and is needed to bring business to an area hit hard by flooding, Ryan says there are more options.
"We're at a crossroads in this country, we need to make sure that we go for with positive energy, non-carbon-based energy economy. Many countries across the globe are doing it now. We're losing out to those countries. We can do it,” said Ryan.
The mayor says he hopes more people will watch the movie and discuss the issue with their neighbors.
New Yorkers will have to wait a bit longer to find out whether or not fracking will be allowed in the state. More than a month ago, the DEC filed a 90-day extension on a rule making deadline.