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NY Assembly passes new fracking moratorium

June 7, 2011

NY Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver posted the following message on his website on June 7: "I have good news: The Assembly has passed a bill that would protect New York’s drinking water by prohibiting the issuance of new permits for the controversial gas drilling practice known as hydraulic fracturing for another year.

"Now, we need the Senate to pass this critical legislation so we can send it to the Governor for his signature. The bill (A.7400) we passed today would extend a moratorium on “hydrofracking” until June 1, 2012, while both the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency study the safety of this drilling process.

"Protecting our environment is at the top of my agenda in Albany and it is essential that we make sure our water is not polluted by the toxic chemicals that are often used for hydrofracking. I remain committed to giving our children a healthier, cleaner and more sustainable world and I will continue to update you on the progress we make in protecting our water."

Independent Oil & Gas Association of NY files memorandum in opposition to the law:

IOGA said the law is is identical to a measure vetoed by Governor Paterson in 2010, and then quoted Paterson after the veto:

“Enacting this legislation, in essence, would put people out of work that results in no demonstrated environmental harm and is not even under DEC review, in order to effectuate a moratorium that is principally symbolic.

"Symbols can have great importance, but particularly in our current terrible economic straits, I cannot agree to put individuals out of work for a symbolic act.”

"This bill would amend unconsolidated law to establish a one year moratorium on issuing permits for horizontal drilling when hydraulic fracturing will be used."

IOGA of NY believes that this legislation is unwarranted, and ill-conceived. The EPA has already concluded on more than one occasion that hydraulic fracturing – a 60-year-old technology – is safe. What’s more, thousands of wells have already been hydraulically fractured in New York over the past 60 years without a single case of water contamination.

At the outset, it is critical to understand that the bill is technically flawed. As drafted, A 7400 would:

• Bar existing safe drilling that has been going on for decades in New York.

• Cause the loss of jobs in New York (4,500 directly and thousands more indirectly)- existing gas producing companies would go out of business and existing employees will be out of
work—more jobs lost in the Southern Tier of New York.

• This legislation was vetoed in 2010 because of the adverse effect this legislation would have on the economy, real property taxes, and its obsolescence.

The bill’s provisions prohibit all drilling permits, in any gas formation, where hydraulic fracturing is used. More than 90% of the hundreds of new wells permitted in New York State each year in formations other than Marcellus and Utica are developed using hydraulic fracturing (DEC permits issued: 670 wells in 2008 and 580 in 2009).


If this procedure is as safe as the people profiting handsomely from it say it is, and the contents of the fluids involved are truly as benign and wholesome as they say they are, I see no reason for further debate on the subject. Upon their drinking a 12 ounce beaker of the stuff themselves before a notary public, they should have their papers stamped and be permitted to drill for gas. I shall eagerly await the appearance of the President of Chesapeake energy, accompanied by the blond haired lady in the black dress from the pro-gas TV ads, as they toast each other with their respective glasses of the secret potion.
Im sure this will allay all fears over what otherwise does look like a group of lying greedy fiends willing to poison the rest of us permanently for a temporary profit.

Clever as a Fox

Do you sip your dish water before you drain it? It is far more likely to reach your water aquifer than frack water as it will be filtering down 100 feet instead of up through solid rock 7000 feet. It is similar in composition to frack water except that frack water has only 1% chemical content similar to the same chemicals under your sink. To think that something must be ingested before it is considered safe is just silly not clever.

I don't know what you're using to wash your dishes . . .

I just hope it's not what they're pumping into the ground. Then again that would explain alot :)

Good news here.

The Empire state has huge supplies of natural gas and is blundering around in debt. Decisions like this one will lead to the end of the leadership that dreams up this stuff. In the interim, gas will flow from other states. New York will buy the product derived from fracturing, go further into debt, and feel warm and fuzzy about how it has helped its citizens remain healthy and taxed all to hell.

This state will do just fine . . .

Our economy has always had its ups and downs, and it will rebound with or without fracking. If it's such a safe process then you will eventually see it here. I agree with the go slow approach that NYS is taking and I applaud the assembly for passing this legislation. Now we need the senate to follow, and my letter of support has already been sent.