Saturday, December 22, 2012

Quakers oppose hydrofracking in New York State and beyond
Urge political representatives to prohibit the practice

[November 28, 2012; New York, NY]  New York Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (commonly called Quakers) formally opposed the practice of High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing (HVHF, hydrofracking, or fracking) at its Fall Sessions in Old Chatham, New York, on November 11, 2012. New York Yearly Meeting is the denominational organization of Quakers in New York State, northern New Jersey, and southwestern Connecticut.

The organization called upon political representatives to prohibit fracking in New York State, stating that the practice is “inconsistent with our faith and practices, which include a commitment to integrity, community, equality, and care of God’s creation.” It expressed its support for legislation and incentives that support renewable and sustainable energy, protect people and the environment, and foster a positive economy. The Yearly Meeting directed its clerk (presiding officer) and general secretary (staff executive) to communicate its stand to elected officials, other Quaker organizations and other faith communities, relevant environmental organizations, and the press. Finally, it asked its members to examine their own lives to find ways to reduce their need for fossil fuel energy and to consider joining in non-violent protest actions against fracking.

Full text of New York Yearly Meeting’s minute (formal statement of conscience) on fracking:

New York Yearly Meeting (NYYM) has considered the potential consequences of High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing (also known as HVHF, horizontal hydrofracking, or fracking) in New York State. We oppose hydrofracking in New York State and beyond. We urge our political representatives to prohibit the practice of HVHF in New York State. As Quakers, we experience the Divine through loving and truthful relationships with all people and all creation. After extensive efforts to inform ourselves about fracking we have concluded that it is inconsistent with our faith and practices, which include a commitment to integrity, community, equality, and care of God’s creation. We observe that the natural gas industry and government agencies have placed financial gain over the health of our communities and the environment. We see no legitimate reason to exempt hydrofracking from existing laws protecting water, air, land, and health, as is currently the case. In other states where horizontal hydrofracking has been performed, it has resulted in the loss of vast amounts of fresh water, the release of toxins into the environment, damage to communities, and cost to the taxpayers.
We support legislation and incentives that promote research, development, and use of renewable and sustainable energy; support local farms and farmers; protect the air and water; enforce accountability for industries that risk environmental harm; and create economic policies that promote work for New York State residents that they can do in good conscience. We urge all citizens to thoughtfully consider the long-term effects of hydrofracking on the water, land, local economy, infrastructure, services, and the community as a whole. We are encouraged by the many communities coming together to seek a way forward based on truth and respect. We are called to stand against fracking, and invite others to join us in opposition to this practice.

We, the task group of Witness Coordinating Committee charged with creating this minute, suggest the following actions:

We ask that the NYYM clerk and general secretary disseminate this minute widely through press releases, letters to our elected officials, to other yearly meetings and other Quaker organizations.
We charge our representatives to the New York and New Jersey Council of Churches to bring this concern to those bodies, and to advocate for those bodies getting under the weight of this concern.
We urge Friends to examine our own lives to discern the seeds that might inadvertently support the practice of fracking, and, to the degree possible, do what we can to limit or eliminate those seeds.
We ask Friends to prayerfully consider adding their names to the list of people, started in part by Friends, who have made a public commitment to join with others to engage in non-violent acts of protest, as their conscience leads them.  The link to this list is as follows:

About New York Yearly Meeting
New York Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) is the denominational organization comprised of the Quaker meetings (congregations) in New York State, northern New Jersey, and southwestern Connecticut. It was first established in 1695 and has met every year since 1696 to consider the work laid upon it by God’s Holy Spirit. For more information about the Yearly Meeting, visit the New York Yearly Meeting website,

New York Yearly Meeting
Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)  
15 Rutherford Place
New York, NY 10003
Tel: 212 673-5750

Steven Davison
Director of Communications
New York Yearly Meeting
212 673-5750 Tel
212 673-2285 Fax