It was 90 degrees, and a group of elected officials, environmental activists and one award-winning actor stood on the stone steps of City Hall yesterday afternoon, sweating profusely.
Standing behind the speakers, holding a sign, was a Pennsylvania resident named Craig Sautner, who wore a baseball hat, flannel and jeans. This was his third event in New York City. He had come, he said, to try and spare us from what had happened to him and his neighbors.
“It was a beautiful area, trees and fields and farms and everything,” Craig said, describing where he moved to in Montrose, Penn. back in 2008. He held up the gallon jug of murky brown water he said came from his tap. “Now we live in a gas field.”
If the elected officials on hand at the press conference—State Senators Liz Krueger, Bill Perkins, Diane Savino and Joseph Addabbo, and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Councilman James Gennaro among them—have their way, New York State will take a big, deep breath before moving forward with its own plans to drill for natural gas in upstate New York’s Marcellus Shale.