BINGHAMTON, N.Y. — Eileen Hamlin leaned in towards the computer screen for a closer look at the purple blocks peppering a digital map of New York state. The color denoted land leased to natural gas companies in anticipation of a potential lift of the state’s four-and-a-half-year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.
“I’ve just learned that I’m surrounded on three sides by leased property,” said Hamlin, a finger pointing out her Kirkwood land on the map. She sat still for several more seconds, eyes frozen to the screen.
Hamlin was among several activists, including the city’s mayor, who convened on Thursday in Binghamton for the launch of Save The Southern Tier, an anti-fracking network spanning the five upstate counties near the Pennsylvania border where Gov. Andrew Cuomo has suggested fracking would be allowed, should the state release the ban.