– Water Rangers Launch TV Ad Urging Governor Cuomo to Choose NY’s Water over Gas Industry

January 3, 2012

Water Rangers Launch TV Ad Urging Governor Cuomo to Choose NY’s Water over Gas Industry

New Yorkers Looking for a Hero to Protect Water & Communities from Fracking

ALBANY, NY (01/03/2012)–The New York Water Rangers, a partnership of environmental and community groups working to protect the state’s waters and communities from the dangers of industrial gas drilling called hydraulic fracturing or “fracking,” today are launching a TV commercial designed to get the issue some much-deserved attention. Click here to see the video.

“Just like the tens of thousands of New Yorkers calling on Governor Cuomo and other state leaders to slow the rush to ‘frack’ for the gas trapped under our feet, this six-foot-three water ranger demands your attention and respect. And while this particular New York Water Ranger is funny, fracking is not,” said Rob Moore, Executive Director, Environmental Advocates NY. “All eyes are on Albany, watching and waiting for state leaders to act responsibly rather than open the floodgates to the gas industry.”

Starting today, the spot will air in Albany during the final week of the public comment period on the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) draft drilling proposals, the revised draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement and proposed regulations, both of which would guide fracking if it’s permitted in the Empire State. The comment period ends on January 11, 2012.

Actor Adam Lefevre plays a Water Ranger in the commercial, testing New York’s waters, scanning maps of proposed fracking sites, and visiting drill rigs. Lefevre has appeared on Law & Order and its spinoff series 12 times, in addition to roles in films such as Philadelphia, The Bonfire of the Vanities, and She’s Out of My League, among many others.

“I was born in Albany and New York State is my home. Right now, nothing concerns me more than what fracking could do to the quality of our world-class water. Not to mention the impact thousands of drill rigs, and the truck traffic that accompanies them, could have on New York’s unique community character,” said Lefevre. “Before Governor Cuomo and our other state leaders let this genie out of the bottle, we better know what we’re getting ourselves into.”

The video will air on select programs, including “The Daily Show,” “Colbert Report,” “Rachel Maddow,” and “Morning Joe.” The gas industry has invested heavily on ad placements on MSNBC and the major networks in the New York State Capital, and across the state. According to The New York Times, the gas industry has spent millions of dollars on high-paid lobbyists and advertising since 2009, when the battle over fracking in New York State began in earnest.

“We are approaching the time when Governor Cuomo must make critical decisions as to whether, and if so how, potentially dangerous new fracking might be permitted in New York,” said Kate Sinding, Senior Attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council. “It is imperative that he hears the public’s urgent call that he be a hero by not going down the path that has led to reckless drilling and contaminated water supplies in other states.”

The commercial was created by Room 5 Films, a New York City-based production company that produces narrative and documentary films, commercials and internet content. Two directors, Heather Smith and Greg Loser directed the spot. Susan Zimet (Zimet Group, Inc.) executive produced the video, as well as purchased the media time for the commercial, which was supported by several New York Water Rangers partners, including Catskill Mountainkeeper, Environmental Advocates NY, Natural Resources Defense Council, and Riverkeeper. The groups spent approximately $8,000 to air the video.

“While this commercial has a humorous tone to it, the message is deadly serious. Overnight the pristine landscape we love can be scarred with this intensive industry destroying our view shed as well as all the other destructive side effects of fracking. Governor Cuomo can be a true hero worldwide if he stops fracking from getting a foothold in our state,” said Susan Zimet, Zimet Group. Inc.