Joel Tyner, a Democrat running for governor, is walking to Delhi from Monticello, starting today.

His mission on this 60-mile journey is to convince New York state officials to enact a moratorium on natural gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing that lasts until the Environmental Protection Agency completes its fracking study. This study, slated to cost $1.9 million, will take until 2012 to complete, according to the Huffington Post.

Tyner, 46, a member of the Dutchess County Legislature, told The Daily Star Monday that he believes the state Department of Environmental Conservation should not issue its guidelines on horizontal drilling and fracking without incorporating the EPA's findings.

"We need to protect our water," he said.

Tyner said he is running for governor, although he downplays his chances of winning.

If he is able to gather the 15,000 valid signatures needed to have his name placed on the ballot, he will challenge the Democratic front-runner, state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, in the September primary.

Tyner said that while he agrees with Cuomo on some issues, he believes Cuomo is not progressive enough to lead the state out of recession.

Part of Tyner's program is to raises taxes on wealthy New Yorkers, a move that is both

popular and necessary to avoid deep cuts in state programs, he said.

Cuomo has said he does not want to raise taxes, said Tyner.

"I've put my name out there because no other progressive county legislator in the state is doing it," he said.

In his walk for water, Tyner

is scheduled to leave the Sullivan County Office Building at 10 a.m. today, and proceed from North Street to Jefferson Street to state Route 17 to Route 206, to county Route 179 (old Route 17) to Rockland Road to Route 26 to the Hawleys-Downsville Road, ending at the Delaware County Office Building Thursday evening.

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