It's inspiring to see political leaders do what's right for their state. On May 4, the Vermont legislature voted to ban shale gas drilling -- "fracking" -- from their state, and to prohibit the import of toxic fracking waste from other states. We need to see the same kind of leadership in New York.

Over the last four years, oil and gas companies have clearly demonstrated in Pennsylvania that they cannot frack without leaving a trail of ravaged forests, polluted streams, sickened families and contaminated drinking water in their wake. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo needs to learn from our neighbors: Fracking cannot be done safely and must be banned from New York.

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David VanLuven, Albany

Editor's note: The writer is the director of Environment New York, an advocacy organization.