On July 19, environmentalists rallied at Aveda stores to challenge the corporation’s
support of Environmental Advocates of New York (EANY), an Albany-tied organization
that has taken an increasingly prominent role in the widely disparaged industrial practice
of fracking. Activists drew attention to EANY’s support for regulated fracking (or ‘safe
fracking’, as the industry has called it). EANY’s Washington, D.C.-based parent
organization, the National Wildlife Federation, also came in for some bruising criticism
for their support of this polluting practice.
On Thursday at rush hour at five New York State store locations of the cosmetics giant, Aveda, customers were greeted by more than the smiling make-up-caked faces of customer service representatives. On that summer day, environmentalists rallied to challenge the corporation’s support of Environmental Advocates of New York (EANY), an Albany-tied organization that has taken an increasingly prominent role in the widely disparaged industrial practice of fracking. Activists drew attention to EANY’s support for regulated fracking (or ‘safe fracking’, as the industry has called it). EANY’s Washington, D.C.-based parent organization, the National Wildlife Federation, also came in for some bruising criticism for their support of this polluting practice.
“Aveda should know that consumers of its goods are being informed about their partnering non-profit, Environmental Advocates of New York. EANY sits on Governor Cuomo’s Hydrofracking Advisory Panel,” said Robert Jereski, an environmental activist handing out literature outside Aveda’s swanky Flatiron District salon in New York City. “This panel includes other promoters of ‘safe fracking’ such as the Natural Resources Defense Council and Riverkeeper. It does not represent the vast majority of environmentalists who oppose fracking and want it banned and criminalized.”
Activists listed the following demands on flyers they distributed:
Environmental activists rallied outside of Aveda stores in 5 locations across New York State including in New York City and issued the following demands to Aveda:
Demand that EANY resign from and publicly denounce Governor Cuomo’s ‘safe fracking’ Advisory Panel, which is tasked with “developing proper regulations” (for ‘safe fracking’);
Do not support any of the organizations which have participated in and refuse to publicly denounce the Hydrofracking Advisory Panel, an anti-democratic charade to promote ‘safe fracking’ in our state;
Tell EANY that you don’t buy and won’t provide support for their fake outrage against fracking. The smoke and mirrors by this ‘environmental’ organization serves to facilitate ‘safe fracking’ in our state, which all true environmentalists oppose;
Stop supporting EANY’s promotion of ‘safe fracking’. Cosmetics made from water used in ‘safe fracking’ are not safe. You can’t put lipstick on a pig.
Although EANY has couched its position on fracking in politic phrases declaring most recently to the New York Times that New York State is “not (yet) ready to move forward with fracking”, the underlying message of this group and other members of the Governor’s Hydrofracking Advisory Panel is clear: with proper oversight and regulation, fracking is possible and acceptable. Such a betrayal of the environmental movement is not new to professional environmental organizations. Yet despite pro-fracking propaganda by the gas industry or industry-funded foundations and non-profits (including the national Sierra Club and New York Water Rangers), a majority of informed New Yorkers remain adamantly opposed to any fracking.
Stay tuned: some of the erstwhile promoters of ‘safe fracking’ and fracking as a ‘transitional’ fuel are further muddying the waters, sponsoring a rally on July 28th dubbed “Stop the Frack Attack” which will take place in Washington, D.C. But endorsing organizations include not only EANY but such notorious purveyors of the ‘transitional’ fuel’ myth as the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Grassroots activists have vowed to expose and oppose ‘safe fracking’ groups that attempt to hide behind a banner of false unity while using their considerable funds and leverage to regulate an industry that environmentalists only want banned. Alliances with groups like these would result in ‘safe fracking’. But New Yorkers and people around the world are demanding these groups take effective actions to ban it.
Handing out literature and dealing with Aveda's pr flack. (Please don't spend tons of $ on PR! We just want you to support the demands of frontline communities, climate scientists, and grassroots activists: BAN FRACKING!)
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