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Senator Tom Libous supports environmentally safe drilling because we need prosperity.

Statement from Senator Tom Libous on New York State's Gas Drilling Ban

Senator Tom Libous issued a statement today in response to Governor Cuomo announcement that New York State will ban natural gas drilling.

"I'm very disappointed by the Department of Health’s decision to ban natural gas hydro-fracking since over 30 other States have ruled that the process can be safely regulated," said Senator Tom Libous. "It's most unfortunate for our farmers, landowners, retailers, hospitality and construction workers looking for hope, growth and opportunity."​

This decision comes after a five-year ban on natural gas drilling and subsequent studies by the Department of Health and Department of Environmental Conservation.

 

 

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Gas industry tries to revive case on fracking home rule

It looks like there might be another home-rule court battle in the near future. A representative from the gas industry is fighting to have the case revisited that would stop localities from banning natural gas drilling.  

From the article:

"In a motion filed Wednesday with the Court of Appeals, Albany-based attorney Thomas West (pictured) asked the state’s top court to revisit the case, arguing that the panel of judges didn’t appropriately consider an argument made in court filings. West represents Mark Wallach, the bankruptcy trustee for Norse Energy, a former subsidiary to a Norwegian oil-and-gas company that challenged Dryden’s drilling ban.

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Merril Matthews: Anti-Fracking Laws vs. Property Rights

In a recent Wall Street Journal article Merril Matthews discuses the impact of local governments that ban natural gas drilling.

From the article:

"The growing efforts by state and local governments to stop hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," to extract natural gas could end up in the Supreme Court. These efforts may unconstitutionally limit property owners' ability to profit from their mineral rights.

More than 170 New York towns and cities have used zoning laws to restrict or prohibit fracking, and in June New York's Supreme Court turned back a challenge to this practice. Pennsylvania allows local municipalities to restrict fracking. Colorado and California are struggling with the issue.

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Gannett blog: Landowners group appeals NY fracking lawsuit dismissal

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It looks like there might be another chance for the Joint Landowners Coalition's lawsuit to force a decision about natural gas drilling.

From Gannett:

"A mid-level state court will have a chance to weigh in on a lawsuit seeking to force Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration into a decision on hydraulic fracturing for natural gas."

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Group of Environmentalists Asks Cuomo to Withdraw the draft SGEIS

A group of environmentalists, including former Binghamton Mayor Matt Ryan, led by the President of Toxics Targeting, Walter Hang of Ithaca has started a petition to ask Governor Cuomo to withdraw his draft SGEIS to permit hydrofracking.   Mr. Hang contends that the document is outdated and doesn't use the latest science.

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Gannett Blog: NY's top court says towns can ban fracking

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The New York State Court of Appeals ruled that towns can use local zoning laws to ban natural gas drilling - a move that could make it even more cumbersome for gas drilling to flourish in New York.

From Gannett:

"In a precedent-setting ruling that could have wide implications on the future of shale-gas drilling in New York, the state Court of Appeals ruled 5-2 in favor of the towns of Dryden, Tompkins County, and Middlefield, Otsego County."

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Niagara Publications: Silver, Sweeney: Moratorium on hydrofracking approved

It looks like downstate legislators have done it again - the New York State Assembly passed a three year moratorium on natural gas drilling. Their argument for the delay is more studies, even though there's already been ample time to examine the health impacts of gas drilling.

From the article:

"Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Environmental Conservation Committee Chairman Robert Sweeney announced the Assembly passed legislation establishing a statewide, three-year moratorium to allow for further study of hydraulic fracturing, a horizontal drilling process used to extract natural gas and oil, and its potential to contaminate drinking water supplies and harm the environment."

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Gannett Blog: Can towns ban fracking? NY’s highest court to hear arguments today

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The Court of Appeals will soon be weighing in about the rights of towns to ban natural gas drilling.

A recent article outlines the history of the issue and discusses both sides of the debate.

From Gannett:

"New York’s Court of Appeals today is set to hear arguments today on whether municipalities can ban hydraulic fracturing to drill for natural gas.

The state’s highest court will hear arguments this afternoon in two cases, one involving the Town of Dryden, Tompkins County. A appellate court in May 2013 unanimously ruled that local governments can ban fracking within their borders."

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New York Law Journal: Judges Ponder Imapct of Ruling on Fracking

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An article in the New York Law Journal outlines the arguments that were heard on Tuesday in the New York State Court of Appeals over two natural gas drilling home rule cases. Many local governments have banned natural gas drilling in their municipalities - which some say they have no authority to do.

The Chief Judge, Johnathan Lippman heard over an hour of arguments and understands both sides: the conflict between energy policy and public opinion. 

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Gannett Blog: Fracking critics call for moratorium, more-inclusive process

Natural gas drilling has been in a holding patern since 2008, but critics still aren't satisfied. They are calling for a moratorium of another three to five years.

It's time for a decision based on the scientific studies we've already concluded. We can't kick this can down the road any farther.

From Gannett:

"More than 200 health professionals and organizations signed on to a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state’s new acting health commissioner Thursday, calling for a firm moratorium on hydraulic fracturing for three to five years."

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