In a purely symbolic gesture, the Syracuse (NY) Common Council yesterday voted to ban the use of hydraulic fracturing inside city limits to drill for natural gas. It’s symbolic because new drilling rules, if ever released in New York, specifically prohibit drilling in the Syracuse watershed area. But politicians like Democrat Kathleen Joy, the driving force for getting the ban adopted, don’t let facts get in the way of political grandstanding.
Opponents of a controversial gas drilling process known as hydrofracking are applauding the Syracuse Common Council’s ban on the practice. But the gas industry says fracking is safe and the bans enacted in numerous communities are illegal because only the state has authority to regulate the industry.
Syracuse joins Albany and Buffalo in banning hydrofracking.
Syracuse Council Majority Leader Kathleen Joy spearheaded the legislation in her city. She says it will send a message to state regulators that communities have the right to protect themselves from potential health and environmental hazards.*
*Wall Street Journal/AP (Oct 25, 2011) – Syracuse council bans fracking of gas wells