Posted by: Jon Campbell
One Senate Republican and a pair from the Independent Democratic Conference held a news conference in Albany today, calling on the Legislature to pass a moratorium on hydrofracking until June 2013.
Sen. Greg Ball, R-Patterson, Putnam County, is carrying a bill in the Senate that would officially suspend hydrofracking in New York until June 1, 2013. It’s being sponsored by Assembly Environmental Chairman Robert Sweeney in the lower house.
The bill was officially introduced today.
Ball was joined by Sens. David Carlucci, D-Clarkstown, Rockland County, and David Valesky, D-Oneida, at the news conference, along with Craig and Julie Sautner of Dimock, Pa., who are among those involved in the ongoing battle with Cabot Oil & Gas over methane contaminated water wells in the quaint township south of Binghamton.
“We do not have the protections in place at this point,” Ball said. “Being such a comprehensive and complicated issue, we’ve got to have protections from the point of industry standards all the way up to the (gas lease) contracts that are being signed right now. And those contracts that have been signed, whether or not we can go back and make sure these issues are addressed.”
High-volume hydrofracking, meanwhile, is on hold in New York as the Department of Environmental Conservation works to finalize a set of proposed rules and regulations for the gas industry.
Brad Gill, executive director of the Independent Oil & Gas Association of New York, issued a statement blasting the moratorium bill.
“IOGA of NY questions the logic behind calls for an additional one-year moratorium on future and existing natural state exploration before the state Department of Environmental Conservation has even completed its nearly four-year review of the associated science, technology and environmental protections,” he said. “Pre-judging the outcome of the DEC’s work provides no added value to the merit of the discussion.” (ARTICLE)