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Mission Statement

We fight to protect our communities against fracking and the destruction it inflicts on our watersheds, foodsheds, and communities. We support sustainable economies powered by renewable energy.


Community Environmental Defense Council, Inc. (CEDC) is an innovative and effective public interest law firm that has been leading and winning the war to keep fracking out of New York. We fight to protect upstate New York and beyond as a watershed, foodshed, and home for sustainable economies powered by renewable energy. We achieve these goals through creative and hard-hitting legal advocacy, grassroots engagement and public education.

CEDC's attorneys have won international recognition for their work (2014 Goldman Environmental Prize), given a TEDx talk for the WWF in Brussels, been featured in a PBS special, and have been featured in national and international press. We are small but extremely effective.

When everyone said it was hopeless to fight the most powerful industry on the planet, we refused to listen. We thought differently. We argued that banning drilling was not the same as regulating the industry, and that local municipalities, under the principle of Home Rule granted in the New York State Constitution, do have a right to ban gas drilling as an undesirable land use.

For the past five years, we have crisscrossed the State - meeting at kitchen tables, in church basements, and town halls - educating local residents and town boards that they can enact laws to keep gas drilling out, and then we draft those laws at no charge. And in June 2014, our state's highest court unequivocally upheld CEDC’s thesis and held that towns do have the power to ban fracking.



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