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 Hang contends that the document is outdated and doesn't use the latest science.
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.
"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."
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."
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.
"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."
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.
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.
"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."
Well they're at it again.
New York State Senate Democrats are towing the party line and asking for unnecessary regulations.
From Capital NY
"Senate Democrats have put together a package of bills that would limit the amount of hydrofracking waste that can be transported to New York."
Another superfluous law proposed about gas drilling failed to make it to the Senate floor.
From the Times Union:
"Senate Republicans have squashed a bill authored by state Sen. Cecilia Tkaczyk that would have banned the shipment of hydrofracking waste from other states into New York for treatment or disposal."
It's clear New York is behind the times on natural gas drilling - even U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer is supportive.
Natural gas drilling critics continue to call for health impact studies in New York, despite the multiple year review it's already under.
"A group of health professionals opposed to hydraulic fracturing penned a letter Wednesday to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, calling on him to take a closer look at radon levels in shale gas before allowing fracking in New York.